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The Women of Worcester


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The third annual daylong symposium sponsored by the Jewish Federation in Worcester, Mass., was titled, "A Woman's Voice," without the slightest hint of irony. Less than a generation ago, "a woman's voice" meant only one thing, the talmudic prohibition of Orthodox men toward hearing the sound of Jewish women in prayer. Kol isha (a woman's voice) was used as the legal barrier against women becoming rabbis and cantors, the excuse for exclusion. That's why I named this newspaper column A Woman's Voice, to break down a wall.

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