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MarieDeLucy



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PostSubject: The Maccabeats?   Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:49 pm

Look them up on you tube. They are awesome and I end up sobbing with happiness after I listen to them.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:27 pm

I posted about the Maccabeats' Hanukkah videos here:
http://www.jewishbychoice.org/t104-hanukkah-music-videos

The Maccabeats made a Purim video that an "Open" Orthodox rabbi (whom I know) criticized the fact that it had no women and "Queen Esther" was played by a toddler girl in compliance with the issues of "kol isha" (restrictions on men hearing women's voices [singing]):
http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/where_are_women_maccabeats_video

A co-ed group in Israel, the Ein Prat Fountainheads, has been coming out with their own Jewish holiday music videos as sort of a liberal counterpart to the Maccabeats holiday videos.

Since Purim is coming up soon, here are the Purim music videos the two groups did last year:
http://lifeinisrael.blogspot.com/2011/03/maccabeats-and-ein-prat-fountainheads.html
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:15 pm

I hadn't even noticed the absense of women but I didn't watch the video in it's entirely. I tend to just turn it on and then do something else. I know their Candlelight video had Mayim Bialik (I follow her on twitter and facebook and she gushed about it for weeks Very Happy ) so I hadn't even given it any thought.
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MarieDeLucy



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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:54 pm

Debbie,

Thank you for the article, it was interesting. However, in my opinion I do not think they left out women on purpose. I love their songs, whether they have women in them or not.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:33 am

I also like the Maccabeats, but I think the use of the babies in the Purim video did indicate a conscious avoidance of women so that a segment of the Orthodox world would not think there was a problem with their video. It might seem like an over-reaction to something completely unintentional, but I understand why Rabbi Josh felt the way he did because I have Orthodox friends and I have seen this played out in other contexts.

As an example here is a "kol isha" situation at a Modern Orthodox school that I heard of:

We have friends who are former members of our lay-led minyan but who now live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The wife, T, grew up in a Modern Orthodox home, but is no longer strictly Shabbat observant and her husband, S, is a Conservative convert. They send their sons (who are halachically Jewish by Orthodox definitions since their mother is a JBB) to a very open-minded MO day school. It even has two teachers who are openly lesbian.

Recently, there was some kind of incident at the school in which "kol isha" was raised. I don't remember the details, but I think it concerned the school's annual musical in which someone in the administration suggested that there should not be any girls singing (at least those of age 12 and above). Well, T marched right into the principal's office and told him how unhappy she was about that idea. She said that even though she has only sons so her own children would not be deprived of participation, that she does not want her sons to be taught that girls/women should be suppressed or treated as second-class citizens in Jewish life.

T also told him she was upset about a note that had been sent home saying that any wine that people brought in (for some kind of school event) had to be "mevushal". The school has parents (and I think children as well) like her husband who are not Jewish by Orthodox definitions (or possibly simply not Jewish at all, if there are interfaith families). So some would say that if such a person were to pour non-mevushal wine, it would be treif. She had no problem with the school asking that the wine have a hechsher, but she felt that to also require that the wine be mevushal was essentially making an issue out of the fact that they did not consider some people Jews, which she felts is demeaning to those people. She felt that the school should just make sure that any wine is opened and poured by a Jew, so it wouldn't matter if it wasn't mevushal.

T told the principal that before enrolling her children, she had asked the administration very specific questions about areas where she might disagree with strict Orthodox view such as the school's views of women and halacha. Basically, she threatened to withdraw her children if the school changed policies such that it was no longer so open-minded.

So after being exposed to a number of situations like the above in the MO world, one can become somewhat sensitized to these kind of issues.
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MarieDeLucy



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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:20 pm

That is unfortunate Sad
However, it is weird because I have noticed women in other of their music videos. Eg. The Chanukkah video, and In Book of Good Life. Why would they avoid women in one video and not another :/ Hmm.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:44 pm

The two videos you mention were made after the Purim video that Rabbi Josh criticized. I think the Maccabeats made a conscious effort after that to include women, which I think is commendable. The thing that is actually very open-minded and which surprised me in the 2011 Chanukah video (which somehow I missed seeing back in December) is that they showed Miyam Bialik wearing a kippah. Now as a married Jewish woman (her husband converted to Judaism after they were married, and then so did her mother-in-law!), it is proper for her to cover her hair, but very traditional Jews would consider a black velvet kippah like the one she was wearing to be "beged ish" (men's clothing) and thus forbidden for a woman to wear (which is why many Orthodox women do not wear pants).
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:09 pm

When the issue of kol isha comes up, I can't help but wonder: When Miriam and the women sang by the sea, did men plug their ears and go "la, la, la, la" so they couldn't hear them singing?

Of course I wonder why you shouldn't play instruments in synagogue on Shabbat when the bible is full of references of people praising God with the harp and timbrel and cymbals, etc.
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SaraK

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Debbie B. wrote:
The thing that is actually very open-minded and which surprised me in the 2011 Chanukah video (which somehow I missed seeing back in December) is that they showed Miyam Bialik wearing a kippah. Now as a married Jewish woman (her husband converted to Judaism after they were married, and then so did her mother-in-law!), it is proper for her to cover her hair, but very traditional Jews would consider a black velvet kippah like the one she was wearing to be "beged ish" (men's clothing) and thus forbidden for a woman to wear (which is why many Orthodox women do not wear pants).

I think on Kveller or possibly her Facebook, she posted that it was actually hat, but that it looked like a kippah from the front. She follows tznius rules, I don't see why she would abandon them for an Orthodox video like that. I can try and find the article again, if anyone's interested?
It looked like a kippah to me too but then I read that article.
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SaraK

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:48 pm

Mychal wrote:
When the issue of kol isha comes up, I can't help but wonder: When Miriam and the women sang by the sea, did men plug their ears and go "la, la, la, la" so they couldn't hear them singing?

Of course I wonder why you shouldn't play instruments in synagogue on Shabbat when the bible is full of references of people praising God with the harp and timbrel and cymbals, etc.

I don't understand this either.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:05 pm

Mychal wrote:
When the issue of kol isha comes up, I can't help but wonder: When Miriam and the women sang by the sea, did men plug their ears and go "la, la, la, la" so they couldn't hear them singing?

Of course I wonder why you shouldn't play instruments in synagogue on Shabbat when the bible is full of references of people praising God with the harp and timbrel and cymbals, etc.
There are many differences between the ancient Judaism of the Torah and Rabbinic Judaism. We also don't keep slaves or allow polygamy anymore. We are not Karaites.

Nevertheless, I do think it is dishonest for those who advocate ever-stricter observance to claim that it's the way Orthodoxy or traditional Judaism always was. For example, the hard-liners do not want to acknowledge the fact that 50 years ago, wives of very well-respected Modern Orthodox rabbis did not cover their hair outside of shul.

By the way, the use of instruments in synagogue when it is not Shabbat is still allowed, and I think that the biblical references to worship with music do not specify that it is done on Shabbat. An Orthodox friend in Israel recently sent me an account of being at an Orthodox Carlebach-style service in Israel for a Rosh Chodesh on a Friday that used musical instruments. He really liked it and I think felt that the musical instruments really enhanced the service, but for sure would never approve of instruments used on Shabbat.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:21 pm

I looked up the Kveller article:
Mayim's Miracle Maccabeats Debut

OK. It's a hat. Not that it would matter to me anyway. Lots of women in my minyan choose to wear standard male kippot.

But Mayim's wrong that the criticism of the lack of women was all from non-Orthodox Jews although I wouldn't be surprised if the bulk of the people who jumped on the issue later were non-O and simply anti-Orthodox. But I believe that Rabbi Josh was the first one to write publicly about the lack of women in the Purim video and he is an Orthodox rabbi. (However, his semicha is from the YCT rabbinical school which some Orthodox Jews consider to be "not Orthodox" because of it's very progressive views and that Rabbi Avi Weiss, its founding rabbi, has ordained a woman as a "Rabba" and has allowed a woman to lead a Kaballat Shabbat service at his shul.)
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SaraK

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:33 pm

I think it's a really good point that Rabbi Josh made, and even better that it comes from an Orthodox rabbi. I'm really glad it got The Maccabeats to include women but maybe being mostly unmarried when they made their Purim video, they simply didn't consider including women.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:46 pm

Quote :
I do think it is dishonest for those who advocate ever-stricter observance to claim that it's the way Orthodoxy or traditional Judaism always was.

I also wonder how a woman cannot be a rabbi when there were female prophetesses. A woman is capable of understanding God's instructions, but she can't understand Torah--especially Oral Torah?
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:15 pm

SaraK wrote:
I think it's a really good point that Rabbi Josh made, and even better that it comes from an Orthodox rabbi. I'm really glad it got The Maccabeats to include women but maybe being mostly unmarried when they made their Purim video, they simply didn't consider including women.
Actually, a third of the Maccabeats were married or engaged back when the Purim video was made:
will YOU Marry a Maccabeat
And now, a year later, a majority of the Maccabeats are married or engaged:
Maccabeats marriage update

The Maccabeats are young college and grad school students, but Orthodox Jews tend to marry before their mid-twenties, and it is much more common among Orthodox Jews than say non-Orthodox Jews to marry while still in college or grad school.
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SaraK

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:31 pm

Debbie B. wrote:
SaraK wrote:
I think it's a really good point that Rabbi Josh made, and even better that it comes from an Orthodox rabbi. I'm really glad it got The Maccabeats to include women but maybe being mostly unmarried when they made their Purim video, they simply didn't consider including women.
Actually, a third of the Maccabeats were married or engaged back when the Purim video was made:
will YOU Marry a Maccabeat
And now, a year later, a majority of the Maccabeats are married or engaged:
Maccabeats marriage update

The Maccabeats are young college and grad school students, but Orthodox Jews tend to marry before their mid-twenties, and it is much more common among Orthodox Jews than say non-Orthodox Jews to marry while still in college or grad school.

I'm well aware of this... I guess I was wrong about the personal lives of the Maccabeats, though, but when I said "mostly unmarried" wouldn't two thirds being unmarried satisfy?
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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:53 pm

Mychal wrote:
Quote :
I do think it is dishonest for those who advocate ever-stricter observance to claim that it's the way Orthodoxy or traditional Judaism always was.

I also wonder how a woman cannot be a rabbi when there were female prophetesses. A woman is capable of understanding God's instructions, but she can't understand Torah--especially Oral Torah?

Many consider it inappropriate for matters of modesty.

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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:17 pm

Also, Orthodox women are not allowed to lead services or be witnesses (some Conservative rabbis also feel that women do not qualify as witnesses), so the argument is that they can't do some aspects of a rabbi's job. I saw Rabba Sara Hurwitz speak (and spoke with her briefly after her talk) and she says that she can do 100% of the job of a rabbi. She pointed out that she can still make sure that there is a minyan of ten men without being one who is counted herself. And of course, she can do some things that men can't or she can be more effective particularly with respect to dealing with women congregants. (For example, I'm sure most women would be much more comfortable asking about "family purity" let alone showing stains on her underwear to a woman rather than a male rabbi.)

There is also an argument that having a woman do certain things shames a congregation because it implies that they have no man who is able to do the job. I believe that many of the views stem from ancient and medieval assumptions about women's roles which are captured in the Talmud.

I think it is worth remembering that even the non-Orthodox movements did not have women rabbis (or even women taking an Aliyah) quite recently compared to the long history of Judaism. In the United States, the Reform movement ordained its first female rabbi in 1972. See A History of Women's Ordination as Rabbis
One of my minyan friends who is just my age was in the first class at the JTS rabbinical school to include women. She received semicha in 1989.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: The Maccabeats?   Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:48 pm

Quote :
Many consider it inappropriate for matters of modesty.

But then the argument becomes were the prophetesses immodest women? Or were the people and the kings immodest for consulting with them and following their advice?

While most women in Biblical days were wives and mothers, there were those who took on religious, political, or even military roles, and no one's sorry that they did. Where would we be without Esther or Jael?

"Deborah held court beneath a palm-tree, in the open air. There, where everyone could hear her, she warned the Jewish people and urged them to leave their evil ways and return to G-d. The entire Jewish nation respected this great prophetess.

Deborah was the wife of a man whose name was Lapidoth, which means "torches." Our sages tell us, that at the advice of his wife he furnished large wicks and oil for the lights of the sanctuary of Shiloh, which burned like torches. Thus, our Sages say, was the effect of this holy woman on everyone around her: spreading the light of Torah. "

"Thus Deborah's predictions came true: the highest glory of the victory belonged to a woman, not to Barak, and Deborah herself glorified the brave Jael in the immortal "Song of Deborah.""
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