Chief Rabbi says Belz driving ban on women is against Jewish values


Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has attacked a strictly Orthodox sect's ban on women driving as “at odds with Jewish values”.

In a letter sent out last week, leaders of the Stamford Hill-based Belz sect declared that female drivers go against “the traditional rules of modesty in our camp”.

Rabbi Mirvis, in a clear reference to the letter, described such a view of women as “objectionable”.

A much better example for Jewish women to follow, he believed, was Baroness Altmann, the newly appointed pensions minister who was enobled in a ceremony attended by the Chief Rabbi.

In a message posted on Facebook, Rabbi Mirvis wrote: “I was delighted to address guests at the enoblement of Baroness Altmann today.

Baroness Altmann is the archetypal ‘Eishet Chayil’ – ‘woman of valour’. She is a committed Orthodox Jewess who is talented, passionate about good causes and unrelenting in her efforts to do what is right for all of our society.

“After a week in which our community has been faced with a characterisation of women which is both objectionable and at odds with Jewish values, here is a role model for young Jewish women everywhere to look up to."

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