"Kol Isha" and it's Ilk

I understand and believe in tzniut (modesty) and understand the halacha behind it. However, there is a tendancy for people to 'outfrum' their peers, a tendancy to be more 'machmir' than is necessary;
I believe the Rabbanim in this article sited by LakewoodVenter are going 'over the top'. Granted, it is one thing not to be distracted by women, and not to let the secular world encroach into one's life. It is quite another to buy up the entire first-class section when the money can be used for purposes of tzedaka instead, and just plain ridiculous to cover the in-flight monitors! Do the Rabbanim fear they would be tempted to turn them on?
  • It is similar to the kol isha halacha: It originally meant that a man should not be distracted from saying the Shema by a woman's voice. Reasonable. There are 'machlokot' on this interpretation. It has expanded to the halacha that women are not permitted to sing in public. That is not the original injunction at all. The 'syag' has been extended and widened to the point where the prosciption is against women, not men, as it was originally intended.
  • See http://www.yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?id=1831 and http://www.aishdas.org/student/kolisha.html for further discussion on the prohibition of kol isha from the Gemara Brachot 24a. I am far from knowledgable in Gemara, having studied only in high school and a little as an adult. I welcome documented comments from Talmud scholars!
  • Comments

    Nemo said…
    As far as the airplane thing, um, yeh, pretty extreme. I wonder which secular Israelis are buying into this flight where they'll have to leave the wives home, or at least meet them eight hours after the flight arrives.

    What about the flight attendants, does Elal have enough male attendants? And to spare?
    Lady-Light said…
    Isn't it extreme? Does this behavior mean they are more pious than other rabbanim, who fly on airplanes with female flight attendants?
    Is Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, for example, the Rav Shkhunah of Efrat, less pious because he is more modern?
    Nemo said…
    Rabbi Riskin is the man. I met him a few months ago when he visited the Beth Din that I work for. The Rabbanim there, both Lubavitch and Modern Orthodox held him in the highest regards.

    Secondly, there is no other Rabbi in the world, even the most hardcore Charedi Rabbis, that would do that. But hey, if they can charter the plain, why not? I'm sure there are others paying their ticket to subsidize.

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