How Not to Handle Religious Pluralism in Israel

Dr. Mike Ghouse   November 9, 2019   Comments Off on How Not to Handle Religious Pluralism in Israel

Here is another piece on the commonality of Jews and Muslims that is the rules of orthodoxies among both traditions. Indeed, almost all religious men don’t shake hands with women, and some cultures do not allow women to enter the place of worship. Women’s voices on the public stage are resented by them, let alone singing. A few Imams walked out in an award ceremony in Dallas, when a woman was received the award for her work and about to speak, Of course, I had my say to them, full story in the book American Muslim Agenda.

By the way, that is only a small tiny percent of Jews and Muslims that follow that creed. A majority in both traditions sing and entertain. If you are not a Jew or a Muslim, don’t gloat, your group has similar things.

What is Pluralism take on this? To you is your practice, and to me, it is my practice, you live what gives you comfort, and I live by what gives me pleasure. Let’s not push our practices onto each other.

Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism

Courtesy Mosaic Magazine

On November 20, a tribute concert for Shlomo Artzi, the so-called “Israeli Bruce Springsteen,” was scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv, with the twin purposes of celebrating Artzi’s 70th birthday and raising money for Ezra l’Marpe, a non-profit that helps the sick obtain medical treatment. Yet Ezra l’Marpe’s founder, the ḥaredi rabbi and self-taught medical genius Avraham Elimelech Firer, canceled the concert abruptly after several performers protested over the fact that no female vocalist would be performing. At issue is the halakhic prohibition on men listening to women sing. Ruthie Blum comments:

[W]hen the organizers of the gala honoring Artzi discovered and revealed that no female vocalists would be able to perform, incensed women artists made a stink, and their male counterparts began to announce that they couldn’t possibly appear on stage under such circumstances. You know, out of “solidarity” and in “principle.” Which actually meant that they feared being accused of male chauvinism.

If anything illustrates the danger of viewing individual issues through an inflexible ideological prism, this is it. Firer has proved himself to be a selfless and heroic figure, who has done nothing but use his . . . gifts to help comfort and heal millions of people, without regard to their ethnic, religious, or gender identities.

The sanctity of life is but one of Firer’s religious principles. Another is refraining from listening to women sing. Allowing the latter to cancel out the former not only is intolerant and unjust, but exposes the kind of narrow-mindedness that feminists and fanatical secularists accuse the Ḥaredim of possessing. In this case, it also turned what would have been a blessed happening into an empty auditorium.