The Orthodox World

-Isi Leibler bemoans the fact that in the Israeli Orthodox world, “the voices of moderation are silent. Zealotry has become the order of the day.” What he calls the “increasing stranglehold of haredim on religious institutions” is partially to blame, as is the increasing disconnection of rabbis from the people. (The Jerusalem Post)

-Chanoch Daum, raised in the national-religious Orthodox world in Israel, and sent to the prestigious Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, has written a book which in part deals with how and why he chose to (mostly) leave the Orthodox world. (Haaretz)

-A look at the rise of egalitarian practices in Orthodoxy in Israel, and increased women’s participation, including dancing with Torah scrolls at Simhat Torah, being called to the Torah, giving sermons on the weekly portion and reciting Kaddish in public. But there is stiff resistance even in the non-Haredi world. (The Jerusalem Post)

Blu Greenberg surveys the impact of feminism on Orthodoxy in the US, seeing the largest impact in the area of education. The article also looks at advances in ritual roles and the gradual move of women to become “part of the rabbinic staff�. (The Jerusalem Post)

-Modern Orthodox have put out a type of minisiddur or mega-bencher, “Shaarei Simcha – Gates of Joy: Traditional Prayers, Songs, and Modern Inclusive Rituals.� (The Jewish Week)

-Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance goes to war against the new ArtScroll Women’s Siddur in part because it says that women should not lead communal prayer after meals, even if no men are present, and should not say Kaddish and because there is “a belittling of women’s tefillah.�
 ArtScroll, which has been fabulously successful, merely shrugs. (The Jewish Week)

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