Thursday, June 21, 2012

From the mailbag...

R' David ben Yosef Goldin writes about Marc Shapiro on Kol Isha:
Mr. Shapiro: "So now I ask my fair-minded readers: Is Artscroll’s statement that Metzudat Tziyon translates שרים ושרות as “singers” accurate? I think the answer is clearly “no”. Metzudat Tziyon translates the words in question as “male singers and female singers,” and yet—don’t tell me you are surprised—in Artscroll this morphs into “singers”. Why would Artscroll fudge the translation? The answer is obvious. They don’t want people to think that Solomon would have listened to women singing."

Your lack of erudition and bias is outstanding. The English word "singers" certainly implies "male and female singers". It is not exclusively male. It is however plural, which is significant to refute your groundless conclusion. There is no objection in halacha to listening to a group of women singing, especially if their voices are combined with those of men singing. This is based on the Talmudic principle of tre kali mi mishtame'ah. Thus, there is absolutely no reason for Artscroll (or anyone else) to not want "people to think that Solomon would have listened to women singing". Perhaps Artscroll's citation of the M"T is incomplete, but it is not inaccurate or misleading --- except perhaps to he/she who wishes to be mislead.

Methinks the rabbi needs to work on his reading comprehension. He simply has no point.

As well, his misrepresentation of the acceptance of the principal of "trei kali" (which he misquotes; that third word should be "lo") is pure apologetics and not reflective of actual practice in "Chareidi Artscroll-ville", where women are not heard singing in mixed company, with the possible exception of Shabbos zemiros among some (perceived) lenient families.