Women and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives by Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber , Rabbi Mendel Shapiro , Professor Eliav Shochetman , Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin , Chaim Trachtman (Editor), MD (Editor).
Communal prayer has always been a central component in Jewish life. Traditional orthodox services are structured around spatial and functional separation of men and women. In this book, introduced by Dr. Tamar Ross, Rabbi Daniel Sperber presents a halakhic justification for expanding the role of women in communal prayer services. Building on work by Rabbi Mendel Shapiro (included in the volume) in which the legal sources are examined and interpreted to permit women to lead parts of the service and participate in Torah reading, Rabbi Sperber highlights the pivotal importance of kevod ha-beri ot (human dignity) in encouraging fuller participation of women in communal prayer. Because of the relevance and timeliness of the topic, two articles that express opposition to Rabbi Sperber s position are included one by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and one by Professor Eliav Shochetman. This anthology represents an example of a vibrant dialogue between leading scholars on a current issue and highlights the dynamic nature of the halakhic process.