Shas party's new guru opposes academic studies for women
A recent letter in which Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Shalom Cohen ostensibly banned haredi women from attending academic colleges has aroused consternation both within and outside the movement.Well in that case, what a stupid fool she is! Another product of the collective mindset that hurts Haredis too. And Cohen is insulting the Torah further by acting as though it's against studies like science and mathematics. How would the ancient Israelites have ever built the Temple Mount without those kind of studies? So here's another demonstration by Shas of why they're one of the worst movements in modern Israel and have to be shunned by anybody with common sense, even within the Haredi community themselves.
Late Shas founder and former spiritual head Rabbi Ovadia Yosef explicitly approved the establishment of institutions of higher learning designed for haredim, including the one founded by his eldest daughter, Dr. Adina Bar-Shalom.
But Cohen’s letter banning such studies, which was leaked to haredi news website Kikar Hashabbat on Monday, contravened Yosef’s approach.
“Female [high-school] students should not even think about undertaking academic studies in any framework, because this is not the way of the Torah,” Cohen wrote in the letter earlier this month, saying that the content of such courses and the teachers at the academic institutions were not in keeping with Torah principles.
Speaking on Army Radio on Tuesday morning, Yaffa Deri, who is the wife of Shas Party leader Arye Deri and manages a haredi institution of higher learning herself, said she was surprised by the letter, but opined that Cohen had not had in mind the colleges she runs when he wrote it.
Deri said she had consulted with senior rabbis, including Cohen, about the college and that it was ideologically sound for haredi girls. She added, however, that if Cohen were to instruct her to close the college, she would comply.
Update: while we're on the subject of Haredi colleges, here's another article that gives more insight.