Is Shira Hadasha Orthodox?
In "Who's afraid of Shira Hadasha?" (February 2) Barbara Sofer notes that many critics of what she calls an "Orthodox egalitarian" minyan have never actually been to the synagogue. The reason for this is omitted: It is because the vast majority of Orthodox opinion forbids men to pray in such a synagogue for reasons pertaining to Halacha (I am unaware of the halachic intricacies pertaining to women praying there). Shira Hadasha itself admits that it follows a minority opinion. So the question is: Is Shira Hadasha Orthodox? Telling is the fact that the synagogue is largely affiliated with David Hartman, the co-founder's father, who long ago left mainstream Orthodoxy. Also Shira Hadasha and like-minded minyanim do not belong to any Orthodox synagogue umbrella organizations. So to call the minyan Orthodox is questionable, at best.