7/14/2008

Rabbi Bigman: Women can sing 'in innocence'

Rabbi Bigman: Women can sing 'in innocence' - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews

Interesting article. The actual responsum is here. Hat tip: Menachem Mendel

I admire
Rav Bigman. I agree with his principles - that if the cultural underpinnings of a particular halakha no longer apply, then minority positions can be sought out and exploited. I admire the fact that he is unafraid of slippery slopes. I've sent particular students to his yeshiva (you know who you are): those who I feel would take advantage of and benefit from its particular approach.

The Ynet article is another matter entirely. I keep an eye on these things now that I'm self-employed as a translator. It introduces Rav Bigman as a "council head". That's a really bad rendering of "Rosh Yeshiva" - the term "yeshiva" in Modern Hebrew, in addition to meaning an institute of advanced Talmudic study, can also mean "meeting" or "council". Where are the editors? Where is minimal research? Do they pay that poorly that their translators simply neglect to do their homework?
Als
o, Rav Bigman list 5 criteria by which one can determine whether a female voice is "ervah". The translator renders this as: "Propriety of atmosphere, lyrics, musical style, the woman's vestige, and her body language". I think he meant "vestments", not "vestiges" (Rav Bigman himself refers, in Hebrew, to "levush", which I would translate here as "garb" or "costume", and not the archaic or ritualized "vestments", and certainly not "vestiges").

And n
ow you know why we need professional translators.
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