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In the latter situation (case 2), the passive behavior of the community will not void the existing prohibitive custom; thus the activity will remain forbidden. The issue of women’s tefillot obviously falls into the former category.

The view of R. Moses Isserles is unclear and appears to be self-contradictory. See Darkei Moshe haArokh, Y.D. sec. 1, no. 2; Mappa, Y.D. sec. 1, no. 1; and H.M. sec. 37, no. 22. For one attempt at reconciling and unifying R. Isserles’ position, see R. Johanan Kremnitzer, Orah Mishor, Y.D. sec. 1, both mahadura kama and mahadura batra. See also R. Abraham Isaac haKohen Kook, Mitsvot Re’iya, Y.D. sec. 1, no. 1.

172.R. Simeon Greenfeld, Resp. Maharshag, II, sec. 19; Resp. Igrot Moshe, Y.D. I, sec. 13, and O.H., II, sec. 21. See Shakh to Y.D. 264, no. 2 who writes that the dearth of women mohalot cannot be used to demonstrate that a custom has been established that women do not circumcise: “And moreover, even if that was the custom, it was only because women do not know how to circumcise.”

173.See R. Israel Schepansky, “Torat haMinhagot,” Or haMizrah 40:1 (144) (Tishrei 5752), p. 38, at pp. 49-51, and sources cited therein. See also R. David Friedmann (Karliner), Resp. She’eilat David, I, Kunteres haMinhagim, note 2; Igrot Moshe, supra, note 172 and O.H., III, sec. 64, and O.H. V, sec. 38, no. 4.

174.Infra, note 182*.

175.Exodus 15:21.

176.Cited in R. Menahem Mendel Kasher, Torah Sheleima, Exodus 15:21, note 239.

177.Supra, note 175.

178.The numerical value of the letters in the words “ga’o ga’a”—“highly exalted” equals 18, the number of benedictions in the shemone esrei.

179.Supra, note 176.

180.See Israel Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages, (London: E. Goldston, 1932), p. 26; Shlomo Ashkenazi, HaIsha beAspaklaryat haYahadut, I (Tel Aviv: Zion Press, second edition, 1979), p. 138; Shlomo Ashkenazi, Dor Dor uManhigav (Tel Aviv: Don Press, 1977), pp. 209-210; Emily Taitz, “Women’s Voices, Women’s Prayers: Women in the European Synagogues of the Middle Ages,” in Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue, supra, note 3*, pp. 59-71; Shoshana Gelerenter-Leibowitz, “Growing Up Lubavitch,” in Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue, supra, note 3*, pp. 238-242; Shoshana Pantel Zolty, supra, note 3*, pp. 173-176; Macy Nulman, “Prayer and Education in the Life of Jewish Women,” Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy 19

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