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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:26 AM

Controversial Suspension For Contestant On Israel's 'The Voice'

We like to encourage young people to develop their natural talents and follow their dreams. Just look how far the preternaturally talented 13-year-old diva Carly Rose Sonenclar got on the “The X Factor” with the support of her family and community (not to mention millions of American television viewers).

But that’s not necessarily how things work in some sectors of Israeli society. Ophir Ben-Shetreet, a 17-year-old with a voice as outstanding as Sonenclar’s (at least to my untrained ear) is a leading competitor on Israel’s version of “The Voice.” One would think that she would be rewarded for her confidence, effort and talent. Sadly, that is not the case.

Ben-Shetreet is essentially being punished for having an exceptionally beautiful voice and wanting to share it with the world. The 12th grader has been suspended (with the agreement of her parents) for two weeks from her religious girls’ high school in the seaside city of Ashdod. Her offense? Singing in public.

As we know from news coming out of Israel in the past few years, enforcing kol isha, the prohibition against a woman’s singing in public (particularly in front of men), seems to be a top priority of the religious establishment.

http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/170011/controversial-suspension-for-contestant-on-israels/#ixzz2JN33trxm

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Reply Controversial Suspension For Contestant On Israel's 'The Voice' (Original post)
oberliner Jan 2013 OP
enlightenment Jan 2013 #1
aranthus Jan 2013 #2
oberliner Jan 2013 #3
aranthus Jan 2013 #5
geek tragedy Jan 2013 #4

Response to oberliner (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:57 AM

1. Is she going to be allowed to continue

in the competition? It looked like her entire family was there supporting her - and while I understand the social pressures that may have led to her parents agreeing to her suspension and remedial "training", I find it difficult to understand why they would let her go on the show in the first place if they would allow her to be yanked off because someone doesn't think that she should sing in public.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:43 AM

2. How is this controversial?

She is apparently a member of a Orthodox branch of Judaism and goes to an Orthodox school. They have rules. She broke them. You and I may not agree with the rule, but then I'm not a member of Orthodox Judaism, and I suspect that you are not either. If you want to be part of that group, then you accept their rules. If you don't want to accept those rules, then choose another branch of Judaism.

The author of the article claims that she is being punished for having a beautiful voice, but that simply isnt true. She's being punished for violating the rule against women singing in public. Instead it's the author who wants the school to bend its own rules because the girl has a beautiful voice. The school acted on principle. The author did not.

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Response to aranthus (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:17 PM

3. Can a 17 year old choose another branch of Judaism?

Might not be so easy for her.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:52 PM

5. Not easy, but not impossible.

It's not like she's going to be prosecuted for apostasy.

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Response to aranthus (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:26 PM

4. Yeah, it's so easy for a 17 year old to just leave the community that

includes all of her friends and family.

But, I would encourage her and every single other woman to leave the backwards sect of Orthodox Judaism as it's practiced there, where they treat women about as well as the Taliban do.

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