Updated: Nov 14, 2021
Ofir Ben Shitrit (Hebrew: אופיר בן שטרית) is an Israeli Orthodox Jewish singer. She came to prominence in 2013 as a contestant on the reality singing competition The Voice Israel.
She spoke with Renee Ghert-Zand about how she lives as a musician under the Orthodox Jewish rule kol b’isha erva (“A woman’s voice is nakedness”) which prohibits women from singing in front of men:
”I am very connected to music. I’ve read some articles on the internet, and some rabbis say the issue isn’t a woman singing, but rather that a woman is standing on a stage and a lot of men are watching her and it’s a lack of modesty. So, I understand that as long as a woman is singing modestly and performing in a non-provocative way, it’s okay. I didn’t do anything wrong on the show. I dressed modestly and I performed modestly. I didn’t dance or anything like that.”
“Wreath of Thorns” was originally a poem by acclaimed Isaeli poet, Natan Yonatan. The piece was inspired by the death of his son during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.