Attitudes Towards Women’s Participation in Public Prayer Among Jewish and Muslim Websites
Oren Z. Steinitz
Congregation Kol Ami
1008 West Water St.
Elmira, NY, 14905
Both Jewish and Islamic legal systems have historically classified women as “others.” As Feminist attitudes slowly made their way into Western mainstream thought, both Jewish and Muslim Feminists found that the religious legal discourse had been even slower to adapt. In the Jewish world, while the non-Orthodox movements have been increasing women’s active participation in public rituals for decades now, many Orthodox scholars still view gender issues as a watershed between Orthodoxy and the rest of the Jewish world. Muslim scholars, on their part, have only recently started to seriously address the topic of women’s active participation in public rituals. This paper will review web-based questions and answers regarding women’s active participation in public ritual, and examine whether a liberal attitude on those issues automatically sets a person–be it the inquirer or the responding scholar–outside the orthodox, or mainstream, enclave.
Judaism; Islam; Responsa; Fatawa; Halakhah; Shari`a; Feminism; Women; Prayer; Salaat