Bar Ilan University: Kol Isha Machlokes Ahead Of Holocaust Remembrance Day


1As Israel prepares to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday night and Thursday 27 Nissan, Channel 10 News reports there is a machlokes brewing surrounding kol isha and official events marking the day on the Bar Ilan University campus. The university’s rav explains this has been the custom throughout the years.

According to the report, days ahead of the planned performances female vocalists have been informed they may play instruments and take part in official events but they will not be permitted to sing because of kol isha.

Student Yifat Blasiano, who was scheduled to be among the vocalists in a Holocaust Remembrance Day event told Channel 10 “I was told that I could only play [an instrument]. They are not permitting me to sing during the ceremony and this doesn’t serve anyone”.

The university rav, Rabbi Shlomo Sheffer is responsible for the programing and he told Channel 10 “If she wishes to play [an instrument] with us it is fine. We didn’t wish to get into the whole machlokes. This is how we act in the university”.

In response to the report, university officials explain “The Holocaust Day ceremony is intended for the entire tzibur of students and staff, religious and non-religious, those who avoid kol ish and those who do not. In order to avoid dispute regarding the character of the ceremony, the decision has been made to exclude female vocalists as was the case throughout the years and will be the case this year”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. There are many contemporary deniers of the Holocaust. I suspect most are anti-semites. Many claim that the Holocaust is proven by Jewish historians, reporters, pundits—accordingly very bias. Well, let me adduce proof of the Holocaust not by any Jewish source but by allies armies, by Germans themselves and by my own personnel experience.

    During the Nuremberg trials, Nazi commanders of Einsatz groupen A, B, C and D, (i.e. SS killing battalions in Russia) testified themselves freely and without any coercion to the numbers of Jewish men, women and children slaughter. Written reports of the particulars of each “slaughter” by Einsatz groups listed the numbers of Jews killed, the time, place and the breakdown by age/gender to Berlin Headquarters. Initially, the reports were sent to Berlin via wireless communication which British intelligence easy deciphered by their enigma system.

    General Eisenhower witnessed the genocide committed by the Nazis, first hand, by inspection of the Dachau concentration camp. He had Generals Bradly, Patton and Montgomery accompany him as added testimony to the atrocities by the Germans. General Eisenhower took the unprecedented step of bypassing Pres. Roosevelt and requesting a deputation of members of the House of Commons to see for themselves the carnage. Ike commented that “I don’t want some SOB in the future denying what took place here.”

    A former neighbor of mine, was an army medic during the WW II. As a medic, he was called to a camp in Germany and perform medical services to survivors of one of the camps. He took old black/white pictures of the camp which I and one of his children found in a closet while he was working. There were pictures of emaciated bodies stacked like cord wood, ready for “burning” and other sights of dead bodies thrown here-and-there indiscriminately.

    I can verify all of the above and more which time and space does not allow. One last thing I should mentioned, I am not Jewish, but am very low moral character of which I am very much ashamed and do hope to atone.

    A goy,
    Gerry Mullen

  2. To #1 Gerry Mullen: As an Orthodox rabbi, I would like to say to you that your lengthy write-up testifies that you are most definitely NOT of very low moral character!! The German criminals, their associates, and those who kept silent during the slaughter are the ones who need atonement, something that might not even be possible in this life. Even if you have done some things that you now regret (and who hasn’t done such?) your courageous and candid words here are most certainly a step in the right direction. Try to get those photographs taken by your neighbor the army medic (another righteous fellow in disguise…) publicized. It is refreshing to read the words of honest people. Indeed, it is refreshing to learn that there are still such people in the world! Gerry, it’s entirely possible that with these words of yours, you have earned a share in the World to Come. And, yes, as a non-Jew!