Women's suffrage suffers at synagogue

A synagogue spokesman said there had been a "division" on the issue, and, as is customary in religious circles, the question was taken to the rabbi, whose decision was binding.

By MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY
December 23, 2007 08:27

 
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Women around the world may have gained the right to vote 100 or more years ago, but in one Ramat Hasharon synagogue the issue is still a subject for debate, reports www.local.co.il. Women were prohibited from voting in recent elections for the Succat Shaul synagogue committee, and a number of synagogue members have asked the Justice Ministry to rule whether the elections are invalid as a result. According to the report, several days before the election, several congregants opposed to the idea of women casting a ballot turned to Ramat Hasharon Chief Rabbi Ya'akov Edelstein to ask whether women had the right to vote in the committee elections. The rabbi gave a "political" answer, saying that there was nothing in Jewish law to stop women from voting, but "for the sake of domestic peace" he would ask the committee not to allow women to do so. The committee then prohibited women from voting, although some committee members objected to the decision. A synagogue spokesman said there had been a "division" on the issue, and, as is customary in religious circles, the question was taken to the rabbi, whose decision was binding.

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