Israeli Orchestra Cuts Female Singer For Orthodox Viewers

10/07/2011 04:23 pm ET | Updated Dec 06, 2011

The Israel Andalusian Orchestra has cut a concert featuring a female singer from its subscription series, due to complaints from Orthodox audiences. Francoise Atlan had been the only female featured in the series, and, according to Haaretz, some audiences threatened to cancel their subscriptions if the concert was not removed from the series.

Jewish law forbids an observant man from listening to a woman sing in a law known as kol isha. It is stated in the Talmud that the legs, hair, and voice of a female incite sexual excitement. This has prevented women from singing alone, and in some instances authorities even ban females from talking.

As an attempt at a compromise the orchestra will offer the concert with the female singer as a separate option who those who are not under the obligations of Jewish law. Is this a proper solution to the cultural clash of traditional, religious values and modern, secular rights? What do you think?

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