Thursday, April 07, 2005

Calling Women to the Torah II

R. Aryeh Frimer, in the Winter 2005 issue of the JOFA Journal (here - PDF), p. 6, offers the following brief critique of R. Daniel Sperber's approach to allowing women to be called to the Torah (about this, see here):

As a practical example of the use of sensitivity, Prof. Sperber justifies women's aliyot by suggesting that kevod ha-beriyot can be utilized to set aside kevod ha-tsibbur. An in-depth survey of the responsa literature makes it clear, however, that this approach is seriously flawed for a host of reasons. Four follow: (1) It is illogical that the honor of the individual should have priority over that of the community. (2) Kevod ha-beriyot requires an objective standard - not a subjective one. (3) The "dishonor" must result from an act — not from something that was not done. (4) Kevod ha-beriyot can only temporarily set aside a rabbinic ordinance, not uproot it completely.

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