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Jerusalem - Israeli Rabbi: Rabbinical Semicha Should Be Recognized As Full Academic Degree

Published on: August 4, 2016 12:50 PM
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Jerusalem - An Israeli rabbi is calling for the government to grant bachelors degrees to those who hold a rabbinical license which would open up civil service positions to those who have semicha.

Rabbi Shimon Jacoby, director of Israelโ€™s rabbinical courts, made a formal request to the Ministry of Finance after meeting with the chief rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Israel Yizchak Yosef, and civil service commissioner Moshe Dayan as reported by Arutz Sheva. 

Noting that earning semicha involves stringent requirements including a minimum of four years of yeshiva study as well as rigorous oral and written tests, Rabbi Jacoby requested that those who complete the full course of study receive a bachelors degree from Israelโ€™s Council for Higher Education. 

Currently rabbinical license is not recognized as an academic degree, preventing those whose sole educational credential is semicha from holding civil service jobs with an academic achievement requirement and from earning an academic salary in public rabbinical positions.

โ€œThe recognition of a rabbinical license a equivalent to an academic degree will assist the integration of these highly educated people in civil service as well as…into the public,โ€ wrote Rabbi Jacoby.


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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 04, 2016 at 01:09 PM Yankel123 Says:

Great, let 'em compete with the English and Sociology majors.

2

 Aug 04, 2016 at 02:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Yankel123 Says:

Great, let 'em compete with the English and Sociology majors.

If English literacy is a job b requirement, they won't stand a chance.

3

 Aug 04, 2016 at 03:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Getting semicha is more equivalent to a PhD than a bachelors degree.

To Anonymous 2:52 PM: Why would an Israeli rabbi have to be literate in English? Israelis are literate in Hebrew, which is sufficient for a rabbi's position in that locale.

4

 Aug 04, 2016 at 03:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

If English literacy is a job b requirement, they won't stand a chance.

Not to mention science, history, mathematics and the critical thinking. They sure can regurgitate Talmud, though, with close to the accuracy of a computer, which is impressive.

5

 Aug 04, 2016 at 04:12 PM elyeh Says:

"these highly educated people"

If all smicha was comparable then maybe you can add certain additional general education requirements and get some sort of certificate.

BUT there are all sorts of smicha, and all sorts of batlanim who get smicha who are not worthy of holding any public positions. Beware - this is another scheme for power and wealth by the Israeli Rabbinical Establishment.

6

 Aug 04, 2016 at 04:14 PM DaveBarry Says:

They will be able to compete with any Art or History major.

7

 Aug 04, 2016 at 07:21 PM cowdoc Says:

Reply to #5  
elyeh Says:

"these highly educated people"

If all smicha was comparable then maybe you can add certain additional general education requirements and get some sort of certificate.

BUT there are all sorts of smicha, and all sorts of batlanim who get smicha who are not worthy of holding any public positions. Beware - this is another scheme for power and wealth by the Israeli Rabbinical Establishment.

You have to have the basics before higher education. This is just more stuff to try to get a group of worldly uneducate people a higher salary when they can list a degree on their job application. The way it stands now in Israel we don't need most of these professional Jews on the taxpayers money

8

 Aug 05, 2016 at 01:54 AM Greener Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Getting semicha is more equivalent to a PhD than a bachelors degree.

To Anonymous 2:52 PM: Why would an Israeli rabbi have to be literate in English? Israelis are literate in Hebrew, which is sufficient for a rabbi's position in that locale.

Congratulations! You clearly explain why smicha is not "equivalent" to any university degree. To quote you: "Why would any Israeli rabbi have to be literate in English?" But the point is that as far as being acceptable for a civil service position, semich is worthless. Most civil service positions require basic knowledge of English. So in this instance semicha is more equivalent to PhD, i.e. Piled High & Deep.

9

 Aug 07, 2016 at 11:00 AM InsideOne Says:

The poor man is showing off his own ignorance. All other fields of study include within them a common baseline of courses in college-level basics, across math, languages literature, history, etc.

The smicha boys in question not only do not have that, many haven't even had those courses at a high school level.

So when you're ready to get serious about this, develop a real college level curriculum that includes the basics, with the "Talmudic law"/smicha part added on to it. Then we can talk.

And while you're at it, get real about standardizing what is actually studied and have serious testing and grading on the halacha portions, too. If you think society at large will trust the word of the corrupt rabbinic leadership on who should be regarded as educated, as opposed to a true and openly understood system of study and testing, you're truly living in a bubble.

10

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