Female MK blasts Bnei Brak chief rabbi: Don’t hide Queen Esther

MK Svetlova criticizes Bnei Brak Chief Rabbi for posting public banners requesting girls not congregate in the streets during Purim.

By Chaim Lev, Shoshana Miskin

First Publish: 3/21/2016, 11:22 AM

Ksenia Svetlova

Ksenia Svetlova
Photo: Knesset spokesperson

This year, like every year, posters signed by the Rabbi of Bnei Brak, Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau, have been plastered throughout the city requesting that women, for modesty purposes, not congregate in the streets during the Purim holiday.

“From experience on what happens on Purim in the street, I am turning to the parents and educators in (the Land of) Israel to warn girls not to congregate in the streets of the city on Purim. They may celebrate indoors in their homes with their families,” the poster read.

This year, the poster’s message aggravated MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union) who demands that the Bnei Brak municipality remove what she calls the “signs of exclusion”.

“The Purim miracle would not occur if it happened today, as Esther would be imprisoned in her house and so unable to rescue the people of Israel,” wrote MK Svetlova on her Facebook page.

Svetlova claims that the Bnei Brak municipality should remove the posters which degrade Jewish culture, heritage and the great women in history, “Sadly, the prophetess Deborah, Yael the heroine and Ruth the Moabite would not even receive minor recognition should they have lived in today’s Haredi communities.”

“Another thing to think about: If such behavior were customary during the time of the Megillah, we would not even hear about Queen Esther, and the miracle of Purim would probably never happen. I challenge (the public) to share this (Facebook) post, until the humiliating and excluding signs are replaced with calls for all the women and men of the city to celebrate the holiday. The holiday exists thanks to a woman who did not ‘stay away’ from the streets,” she added.

The poster’s in Bnei Brak

We still have a long road ahead of us


photo: MK Ksenia Svetlova’s press office

State recognition of rights of non-Orthodox won at cost of original fight of Women of the Wall

Dear friends,
Women of the Wall have won an important battle in the struggle for equality and recognition of all religious movements of Judaism.

Two months ago, I had the great honor to light the Chanukah candles with Women of the Wall at the Western Wall.
Today I was very pleased to learn that, after three years of negotiations, and in fact after 27 years of hard struggle, the two sides reached a compromise that is acceptable for both Women of the Wall and the rabbinate.

Western Wall belongs to all Jewish people, men and religious orthodoxy do not have any privileged on everybody else!
However, we still have a long road ahead of us. The state must protect the rights of all Judaism movements, as well as it protects the rights of the Orthodox.

Failure to recognize the various religious streams of Judaism harms not only the Israelis, but also has a negative impact on relations with the Jewish people in the Diaspora, as Jewish and democratic State of Israel also belongs to them!

The bill prohibiting the participation in the elections to the parties that do not have women candidates

Wish us luck!
Tomorrow the ministerial committee for legislation will approve or reject my bill prohibiting the participation in the elections to the parties that do not have women candidates. In the current Knesset convocation a record number of women is represented, but nevertheless this is still not enough, because women constitute 51% of the population.

In the last elections many women from the orthodox sector rebelled and tried to run separately, but literally a war was declared on them, and as a result they failed to pass the electoral threshold. It’s time to end this discrimination.

Unfortunately, I was not able to sign all female MPs, many feared the reaction of the religious parties, although the bill sets no quota; we are simply talking about the inclusion of women in the list of parties.

Even in the Middle East countries, about which I know firsthand, there are women in the legislative bodies, despite conservative views. For example, in 2013 the King of Saudi Arabia left 30 seats for women in the political advisory body. In the same year, 18 women were elected to the Jordanian parliament. We are the only democracy in the Middle East, and we must strive to better standards than in other countries in the region.

We Came to Disperse the Darkness…

lighting candles
Dear friends, just a few minutes ago I had a honor to light the Hanukkah candles at the Western Wall. With “Women of the Wall” and other wonderful women we celebrated the festival of lights in the holiest place for the Jewish people. No irrelevant arguments of the Western Wall rabbi or the shameful attempts of police not to let us in – nothing stopped us, and we lit the first candle of Hanukkah! We are worth it and we deserve it!

The Western Wall and Judaism belongs to the entire people of Israel, men and women, and it’s time for true equality – at The Wall, in the rabbinate and elsewhere.
I want to congratulate all of Israel with Hanukkah, my favorite holiday, and let the light of candles lit up the darkest corners of our hearts, let it warm and unite us. After all, even the smallest spark disperses much darkness