Redefining kol isha
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Redefining kol isha

There is an essential grievous error at the base of this article about the issue of kol isha and Neshama Carlebach (“Her own voice,” April 4). Kol isha is not in any way a prohibition against women singing before men. The prohibition is only against men listening. Neshama may sing when and where she wants. It is upon men to choose. Any such notion that this is an abusive regulation against women is a function of an individual’s choice to be and remain angry and resentful as a result of dynamics that occurred long ago. This is not to say that such anger, pain and resentment aren’t justified. Quite the contrary. The question becomes what does one do with that anger, pain and resentment?

Neshama made an announcement about becoming Reform. Now she writes about how much it is lacking and therefore…. This very much reveals the impulsive choices Neshama has made. She employs her father’s name in support of her choices. However, her father only truly wanted one thing from his daughters: That they grow and mature into the fullness of Jewish womanhood with new consciousness informing on eternal Jewish practices. Anyone wanting to hear, in Shlomo’s own words, how he defined all this need only seek out any of the untold number of teachings and sayings from Shlomo, that are now accessible.

Shlomo was a fully realized musician long before Debbie Friedman began singing, with his first record coming out when she 8 years old. By the time she was 20, he had released some 15 albums and composed hundreds upon hundreds of songs, the House of Love and Prayer was 5 years old, and he was 46 years old. Show me any single song whose music reveals Debbie Friedman’s influence in any way. Any notion that he was influenced by her is sophistry at best.

Since Shlomo took off, there has been a plague of nonsense about him spoken by people both close as well as distant. I can no longer remain silent on not speak truth when I have the opportunity.

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