Rabbis Issue Edict Banning Mixed Shows.
Rabbis in Israel issued an edict Wednesday barring men and women from attending mixed theaters even though most facilities have segregated entrances and seating. The edict took effect as early as Thursday when a concert in honor of 82-year-old cantor Ben-Zion Shenker at the Wohl Center in Ramat Gan was canceled. Shenker is one of the leading composers of Chassidic music.
Organizer David Zaira told Ynet that he had planned to sell over 200 tickets for religious women for whom a separate section was designated. The edict drove Zaira, after consultations with rabbis and other organizers, to cancel the show for fear that making it a men-only event would insult religious women.
Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amr backed the edict, saying that although men and women were seated separately, there was a danger that they mixed outside theaters. "Since evenings like these allowed for easy debaucheries if not inside then outside theaters, confusion is easy. Therefore music shows, although segregated, are strictly forbidden," he said.