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Kol isha plaintiffs not the keepers of the Jewish nation

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The kol isha issue has been written and discussed about at levels that will split an already fractured South African Jewish community in ways that this Jewish community may never recover from.
by Sydney Kanichowsky | Jul 13, 2016

If the court case - in the Equality Court - goes ahead, this will do untold damage to the Jewish nation as a whole. In a month’s time we will be mourning the Tisha B’Av destruction of the two holy temples in Jerusalem and other tragic events through Jewish history.

Have the Jewish nation and the South African Jewish community not learnt anything in over 3 500 years and especially over the last 2 000 years?

The Yom Hashoah events that are held in all parts of the world and especially in Cape Town and Johannesburg, are held in most cases within the boundaries of a Jewish cemetery or Jewish holy site or a Jewish museum.

A Jewish cemetery is a sacred place. A Jewish cemetery has certain halachic rules whether Orthodox, Reform or any other faction. It is halacha that a woman should dress modestly, not wear pants, should always wear a dress and an acceptable skirt and should cover her arms in modesty.

A man who is wearing a tzitzit that normally would be hanging out, should not come into a Jewish cemetery in this manner and should hide away his tzitzit out of respect for those departed souls that are no longer able to perform mitzvot. We also do not eat in a Jewish cemetery for the same reason.

These halachas tell the living Jews coming to a Jewish cemetery that the cemetery is a holy place and that there are halachas that guide all Jews.

If this is the case, then the Yom Hashoah event is not a “secular” event and is in fact a religious event with all the halachas that must be kept for ALL the people attending such an event - Orthodox, Reform and secular Jews.

What Gilad Stern, Sarah Goldstein and SACRED are doing, is bringing the entire Jewish nation into disrepute and they should be ashamed of themselves. This should not be the way Jews behave.

Whether one keeps the halacha of kol isha or not, is not for these two people and an organisation to decide on behalf of the greater Jewish community top determine what is right or wrong. Who made these people the keepers and judges of the Jewish nation?

One cannot turn a religious event inside a Jewish cemetery into a “secular” one. Where is the respect for the dear departed souls of all those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and all the dear departed souls of those buried inside the Jewish cemeteries?

It is not the SA Zionist Federation nor the Jewish Board that decides if an event like the Yom Hashoah one is religious or secular. It is Jewish halacha that can only dictate that and the fact that the Yom Hashoah event is held in a Jewish cemetery in Cape Town and Johannesburg makes that event a religious one and subject to halacha.

 It is not South African law of gender equality that dictates these proceedings. It has nothing to do with gender equality.

If those who do not believe in these halachic rules don’t like Yom Hashoah being a religious event, then they should hold their own “secular” events somewhere else or at a different time to the halachic religious event and get women to sing to their hearts delight.


Savoy Estate, Johannesburg


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