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New York - Rabbis Set To Denounce Rabbi Avi Weiss For Ordaining Woman As Rabba

Published on: February 24, 2010 09:54 AM
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Rabbis Set To Denonce Rabbi Avi Weiss For Ordaining Sara Hurwitz As Rabba. Photo by Claudio PapapietroRabbis Set To Denonce Rabbi Avi Weiss For Ordaining Sara Hurwitz As Rabba. Photo by Claudio Papapietro

New York - The word on the street is that the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest mainstream Orthodox rabbinical group, is getting ready to come down hard on Rabbi Avi Weiss, perhaps to expel him, primarily for ordaining a woman rabbi, Sara Hurwitz, whom he calls a “rabba.”
The RCA considers women rabbis a violation of Orthodoxy.

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Is the RCA about to haul Rabbi Weiss before its Vaad HaKavod, the committee charged with investigating “allegations of improprieties,” the first step in expulsion or discipline? The RCA’s executive director, Rabbi Basil Herring, was somewhat coy. Rabbi Weiss is not under investigation “at present,” he e-mailed.
However, a source employed by one of Rabbi Weiss’ enterprises confirmed, “the RCA is considering kicking out Avi Weiss.”


Read the full story at The Jewish Week



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1

 Feb 24, 2010 at 09:58 AM Anonymous Says:

wow, looks like the tca, just like the aguda has solved all of the real problems in klal yisroel already (tuition, money, molesters etc)

2

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:01 AM godol HaDor Says:

Ahn Alte Shoite...why waste their time.

3

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:06 AM CBS Says:

this is exactly what Avi Weiss wants. ...more publicty. Best thing to do is to ignore him.

4

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:08 AM Anonymous Says:

About time..

5

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:08 AM About Time Says:

It's about time. The scandal is that it took this long for the RCA to come to its senses.

6

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:13 AM Chaim S. Says:

Rabbos machshovos belev ish. The "ish" Weiss has many Rabbas in mind, but in the end, vatazas Hashem hi sokum. Hashem's Shulchan Oruch will win out. Weiss often has pushed the envelope but this time he has gone too far.

7

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:16 AM yosse nathan Says:

the Rabbinical Council of America just wants some free press to show the world that they exist

8

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:16 AM JFK Says:

soemone please explain me why being a female rabbi (Rebbetzin) must be via marriage of a Rabbi. Why can't a rebbetzin be a rebbetzin without marrying a rabbi?

And what is wrong with a female rabbi who will provide guidance to females?

Please - don't ramble your rhetoric. Provide halachic sources, preferably directly from the Torah, as opposed to some hassidic rabbi who says its forbidden

9

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM Robert Says:

today its women as "rabba"

next week these women may come to shule wearing streimels..

v'ha-mayveen yaveen

10

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:24 AM Joey Says:

Get rid of him! He is pulling down modern orthadoxy his version of it is exactly the same as the conservativs

11

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:44 AM Fred Says:

Reply to #5  
About Time Says:

It's about time. The scandal is that it took this long for the RCA to come to its senses.

Right. Cant have those women getting too uppity. Who knows where it might lead. They may even want more opportunity!

12

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:48 AM #1 is bitter Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

wow, looks like the tca, just like the aguda has solved all of the real problems in klal yisroel already (tuition, money, molesters etc)

#1 and your doing your share no doubt!

13

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:54 AM Anonymous Says:

What's there to investigate? What he has done is beyond the pale in Orthodoxy, so he needs to join likeminded rabbis which he would find in “Conservative Judaism”. He need not be expelled as he has expelled himself by what he did, and he should leave on his own if he has any scruples.

14

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:00 AM Tzi Bar David Says:

Reply to #3  
CBS Says:

this is exactly what Avi Weiss wants. ...more publicty. Best thing to do is to ignore him.

That hits the nail on the head, he does not care what anyone says about him, as long as his name is spelled correctly in the newspapers. Too bad he has that local, self serving rag, The Riverdale Press, that keeps praising him to the stars.

15

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:10 AM Anonymous Says:

The RCA saw this coming yet didn't do anything about it.
I wonder if they are doing it out of financial reasons.

16

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:13 AM BRONX Says:

If I remember correctly both Weiss and Rabbi Herring or perhaps his brother were in the same shule in the Bronx in the late 1960's. Weiss has strayed far from his YU beginings.

17

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:18 AM David Says:

G-d forbid that RCA should miss out on an opportunity to make fools of themselves! They may manage to run something like an inquisition where they organize a show-trial with a pre-ordained verdict, but if they decide to actually have a full and open argument on the merits of this topic, they will lose, and lose big-time.

18

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:26 AM Anonymous Says:

if we can have rebitzins then why cant she be a rabba? rebbitzins are just as powerful if not more then rabbas! lets ban them all as far as im concerned

19

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:52 AM Chaim S. Says:

Reply to #8  
JFK Says:

soemone please explain me why being a female rabbi (Rebbetzin) must be via marriage of a Rabbi. Why can't a rebbetzin be a rebbetzin without marrying a rabbi?

And what is wrong with a female rabbi who will provide guidance to females?

Please - don't ramble your rhetoric. Provide halachic sources, preferably directly from the Torah, as opposed to some hassidic rabbi who says its forbidden

I'll answer although I know that you won't accept my answers. It's obvious from the tone of your comment that you want an answer as much as the rosho son of the hagadah wants an answer. The Torah states very clearly that only an "ish" male, may be a witness and from this we also know that only males can therfore be judges. Traditionally then as these judges were the original ordained rabbis, only males were rabbis. In Shulchan Oruch the ruling is that only males can be counted in a minyan for any type of prayer service, specifically for saying kaddish, borchu or reading from the Torah. In addition, only males can be ordained as rabbis. Women have many places in Judaism. In every Bais Yakov type of girl schools, the married women teachers are called Rebetzin, even if their husbands are businessmen or professionals. Many Orthodox, even chasidish, shuls have women who are specifically named to provide guidance, without the need to be called "rabba" or any other such name. If you think this is rhetoric, then so be it.

20

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:55 AM a reader Says:

i think that rabbi weiss has been very clever here. he knows (as does anyone who is 'holding' in learning on some significant level) that there are several shittos in rishonim which allow/entertain the idea of women paskening shai'los (as well as several instances in jewish history when this was the case). as strange as it may seem to many of us, there really is no major problem with what he is doing beyond the fact that 'we're just not used to it'.
if the RCA throws him out for this, they will come out looking much worse than him, since at the end of the day the burden of proof is on them to demonstrate why what he is doing is technically 'assur'. they simply will not be able to prove this.

21

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:58 AM Did I miss something?? Says:

Excuse me, but perhaps I missed something. I saw that an investigation is underway, not that it has been confirmed that Rabbi Weiss has done this. Perhaps before we have him stoned, we should find out if it's true???? So far this "investigation" is into “allegations of improprieties,”

I'm glad none of you wo are calling for his head before an investigation is even done serve on a Beit Din!

22

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:05 PM Pardo Says:

Reply to #8  
JFK Says:

soemone please explain me why being a female rabbi (Rebbetzin) must be via marriage of a Rabbi. Why can't a rebbetzin be a rebbetzin without marrying a rabbi?

And what is wrong with a female rabbi who will provide guidance to females?

Please - don't ramble your rhetoric. Provide halachic sources, preferably directly from the Torah, as opposed to some hassidic rabbi who says its forbidden

That it wasn't done until now is ample proof that it is forbidden. Is he smarter than all our sages until now?

23

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Joey Says:

Get rid of him! He is pulling down modern orthadoxy his version of it is exactly the same as the conservativs

Modern Orthodoxy isn't good enough for him. He now wants to create Modern Orthodoxy in the image of Conservative Judaism.

24

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:15 PM Pashuteh Yid Says:

Because I feel sorry for the fellow who complained about all the negatives on Jewish blogs, maybe one should be dan Rabbi Avi Weiss lchaf zchus, as gemara says that if a beis din unanimously convicts somebody, he goes free because they were not mehapech bzchuso.

1) So far, we have not heard that the woman will be doing anything against halacha. I.e., if she was going to serve as an eid kiddushin, that would not be allowed. Merely giving speeches in shul and visiting the sick in a hospital does not seem to be a major issue.

2) She is not paskening halacha, only teaching existing halacha, as women teachers in Bais Yaakov do all the time.

3) Many thought Sara Schnirer broke with the mesorah as well, for initiating the idea that girls should go to school.

4) Women have now in general become more educated. Whereas at one point there were no women doctors, now it is commonplace. Should we tell our daughters that secular careers are open to you, but religious ones are not?

5) Is this woman trying to become less religiously committed or more? I could understand if she wanted to go to a baseball game on Shabbos and eat a treifeh hotdog, she should be roundly condemned. However, she is trying to learn and teach Torah and help others. Is that a terrible crime?

6) As far as mesorah goes, we have women Neviim and Shoftim such as Devorah and Chuldah and Miriam and Sara, etc.

7) The gemara says that at one point, women used to get aliyos and lein.

8) In the time of the gemara, people were not allowed to read by candle on Shabbos. However, times changed, and because we now have bulbs that don't need adjusting, everybody accepts that they can be used. Do you ever hear a complaint that we are violating our holy mesorah of not reading?

9) When Moshiach comes and we abolish Tisha B'av will that constitute a breach of our mesorah?

10) Rashi's daughters put on tefilin. Women are not obligated in Shofar or Sukkah, but universally do them anyway. They can take on additional mitzvos if they are sincere. I personally don't judge people's sincerity. I leave that to the RBSH.

This debate ought to center around specific halachic issues, as to what she can and cannot do with each point being brought from a source. Merely throwing around vague terms like yes Orthodox, not Orthodox, yes Mesorah, not Mesora have very little meaning. Our Mesorah is to follow halacha, so that is where the debate must center.

I am not saying I agree with this new idea, as I don't know enough about what she does and the whole arrangement. I am just suggesting we analyze it without letting our emotions run wild and instead focus on the intellectual and halachic ramifications. Rabbi Weiss has done much good for the klal in the course of his career, and he deserves to be given a fair hearing.

25

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Did I miss something?? Says:

Excuse me, but perhaps I missed something. I saw that an investigation is underway, not that it has been confirmed that Rabbi Weiss has done this. Perhaps before we have him stoned, we should find out if it's true???? So far this "investigation" is into “allegations of improprieties,”

I'm glad none of you wo are calling for his head before an investigation is even done serve on a Beit Din!

You really have missed something. Weiss himself has pubicized what he did. This isn't something done secretly. The RCA's "investigation" is so much politics and symantics. They're floating a trial balloon to see what the reactions are from their Rabbis.

26

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:21 PM Did I miss something??? Says:

Reply to #22  
Pardo Says:

That it wasn't done until now is ample proof that it is forbidden. Is he smarter than all our sages until now?

WOW, such a respectful and insightful answer. NOT!!!! So how do you explain away the fact that until the 15th century, chicken was considered parve? It wasn't until Rabbaim at that time decided that it was too risky to allow that to continue and decided that Chicken had to be classified as meat to avoid "CONFUSION". So just because it hasn't been done until now, it's really an answer. But then again, you're probably the kind of person who's satisfied with getting and giving the answer "because". OY, and I was taught that this is a THINKING religion.

27

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:23 PM Anonymous Says:

I believe it is an explicit Halacha in the Rambam.

28

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:26 PM Anonymous Says:

It looks like Rabbi Weiss is starting to age mentally.
He may know how to learn but is not an example of a practicing Rabbi.
With such as him we can do without Rabbis.
As far as this woman, there are thousands of more qualified who would dare not want such a job/title. She is a nuthead!!

29

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:28 PM reb avrum Says:

women are allowed to ritually slaughter animals even though no one has heard of female shochetes.The same may hold true of ordaining a woman as a rabbi as long as she is only dealing with women may not bee too bad.

30

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:42 PM TheTruth Says:

Reply to #19  
Chaim S. Says:

I'll answer although I know that you won't accept my answers. It's obvious from the tone of your comment that you want an answer as much as the rosho son of the hagadah wants an answer. The Torah states very clearly that only an "ish" male, may be a witness and from this we also know that only males can therfore be judges. Traditionally then as these judges were the original ordained rabbis, only males were rabbis. In Shulchan Oruch the ruling is that only males can be counted in a minyan for any type of prayer service, specifically for saying kaddish, borchu or reading from the Torah. In addition, only males can be ordained as rabbis. Women have many places in Judaism. In every Bais Yakov type of girl schools, the married women teachers are called Rebetzin, even if their husbands are businessmen or professionals. Many Orthodox, even chasidish, shuls have women who are specifically named to provide guidance, without the need to be called "rabba" or any other such name. If you think this is rhetoric, then so be it.

Its obvious from your answer that you are comparable to the "she'ayno yodea lishol" son.
How did you progress from male only judges to male only Rabbis? Especially since there is no such thing as Semicha nowadays? Are you insinuating that Devorah the prophetess is something that is totally made up? Are you ignoring R' Moshe's teshuva that clearly states women can be in Halachic positions of authority?
Perhaps you are more like a "tinok she'nishba" - blindly believing in the rhetoric that has been spewed at you from birth, unable to back up your egregious claims with hard facts?

31

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:51 PM intersting Says:

rabba maid

32

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:54 PM yossel Says:

I want my wife to be a Rabbi and get a good salary.
I will cook and clean the house and take care of the children!

33

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Comparing these PC wannabes to Devorah is an insult to our intelligence.

34

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:58 PM The Truth Says:

Aren't the Aguda a little late on this issue?

- The REAL Truth (People, please pick your own ID here, not take mine!)

35

 Feb 24, 2010 at 12:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Move on- ignore him and his nonsense "yeshiva". they are a blip on the screen of jewish history and will disappear soon enough. Reform and conservative is on the decline; so will this-and hopefully along the way some of the less observant will realize this is realy just watered down yahadus. i look forward to the day we bask in the rays of the melech hamoshiach, and the sanhedrin will put an end to this idiocy!

Amitus hatorah always prevails.

36

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:03 PM Anonymous Says:

purim on the way!! ;-)

37

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:15 PM Chaim S. Says:

Reply to #30  
TheTruth Says:

Its obvious from your answer that you are comparable to the "she'ayno yodea lishol" son.
How did you progress from male only judges to male only Rabbis? Especially since there is no such thing as Semicha nowadays? Are you insinuating that Devorah the prophetess is something that is totally made up? Are you ignoring R' Moshe's teshuva that clearly states women can be in Halachic positions of authority?
Perhaps you are more like a "tinok she'nishba" - blindly believing in the rhetoric that has been spewed at you from birth, unable to back up your egregious claims with hard facts?

Spoken like a true Rosho son of the hagadah. Thank you for proving my points. As usual for cynical followers of Eisov who tried to fool his father with "how do we maaser salt", you're doing a great job of skewing history in your favor. Devorah was a prophet not a rabbi. Devorah was not a judicial judge but rather a leader who were called "judges" (so much for your knowledge of Jewish history or tanach). R' Moshe did not clearly state that women can be in positions of halacha authority but taht they can be believed in some areas of halacha. And that "rhetoric" which you so blindly do not believe in is called Rishonim, Achronim, and various other holy she'ayno yodea lishols like Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach et al.

38

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:18 PM thanks. Says:

Chaim, thank you for the clear explanation.

39

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:21 PM Anonymous Says:

....and then will come mixed dancing!

40

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Chaim S. Says:

I'll answer although I know that you won't accept my answers. It's obvious from the tone of your comment that you want an answer as much as the rosho son of the hagadah wants an answer. The Torah states very clearly that only an "ish" male, may be a witness and from this we also know that only males can therfore be judges. Traditionally then as these judges were the original ordained rabbis, only males were rabbis. In Shulchan Oruch the ruling is that only males can be counted in a minyan for any type of prayer service, specifically for saying kaddish, borchu or reading from the Torah. In addition, only males can be ordained as rabbis. Women have many places in Judaism. In every Bais Yakov type of girl schools, the married women teachers are called Rebetzin, even if their husbands are businessmen or professionals. Many Orthodox, even chasidish, shuls have women who are specifically named to provide guidance, without the need to be called "rabba" or any other such name. If you think this is rhetoric, then so be it.

What about devora haneivya, wasn't she a shofetet?

41

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:40 PM 2FRUM4U Says:

the correct form of the word should be RABBIT. That way you can say, "Silly rabbit, smicha is for men". Happy Purim 2 all.

42

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:41 PM Anonymous Says:

to 336:

purim on the way? so is R'Weiss achashveirosh , haman or (chv"sh) mordechai

43

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:48 PM Avi Says:

Reply to #26  
Did I miss something??? Says:

WOW, such a respectful and insightful answer. NOT!!!! So how do you explain away the fact that until the 15th century, chicken was considered parve? It wasn't until Rabbaim at that time decided that it was too risky to allow that to continue and decided that Chicken had to be classified as meat to avoid "CONFUSION". So just because it hasn't been done until now, it's really an answer. But then again, you're probably the kind of person who's satisfied with getting and giving the answer "because". OY, and I was taught that this is a THINKING religion.

The status of chicken (fowl) is an argument in the Gemarah. I am not aware that any communities since that time ever held that such meat was Parave.

44

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
Anonymous Says:

Move on- ignore him and his nonsense "yeshiva". they are a blip on the screen of jewish history and will disappear soon enough. Reform and conservative is on the decline; so will this-and hopefully along the way some of the less observant will realize this is realy just watered down yahadus. i look forward to the day we bask in the rays of the melech hamoshiach, and the sanhedrin will put an end to this idiocy!

Amitus hatorah always prevails.

In reply to #19 and #35 - Your words are meaningless at best, divisive at worst. Being Orthodox, I adhere to the tenets of the torah as much as you or anyone else but i am still waiting to see someone give an intelligent answer to where there is a halacha denying women the position os teaching halacha. If you were a little learned, you would know some of the most prominent women in our history were judges and educators.

45

 Feb 24, 2010 at 01:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
JFK Says:

soemone please explain me why being a female rabbi (Rebbetzin) must be via marriage of a Rabbi. Why can't a rebbetzin be a rebbetzin without marrying a rabbi?

And what is wrong with a female rabbi who will provide guidance to females?

Please - don't ramble your rhetoric. Provide halachic sources, preferably directly from the Torah, as opposed to some hassidic rabbi who says its forbidden

A Rebbetzin is NOT a female Rabbi. She's a Rabbi's wife. She does not take on the job of a Rabbi.

46

 Feb 24, 2010 at 02:01 PM Not so Pashut Says:

Reply to #24  
Pashuteh Yid Says:

Because I feel sorry for the fellow who complained about all the negatives on Jewish blogs, maybe one should be dan Rabbi Avi Weiss lchaf zchus, as gemara says that if a beis din unanimously convicts somebody, he goes free because they were not mehapech bzchuso.

1) So far, we have not heard that the woman will be doing anything against halacha. I.e., if she was going to serve as an eid kiddushin, that would not be allowed. Merely giving speeches in shul and visiting the sick in a hospital does not seem to be a major issue.

2) She is not paskening halacha, only teaching existing halacha, as women teachers in Bais Yaakov do all the time.

3) Many thought Sara Schnirer broke with the mesorah as well, for initiating the idea that girls should go to school.

4) Women have now in general become more educated. Whereas at one point there were no women doctors, now it is commonplace. Should we tell our daughters that secular careers are open to you, but religious ones are not?

5) Is this woman trying to become less religiously committed or more? I could understand if she wanted to go to a baseball game on Shabbos and eat a treifeh hotdog, she should be roundly condemned. However, she is trying to learn and teach Torah and help others. Is that a terrible crime?

6) As far as mesorah goes, we have women Neviim and Shoftim such as Devorah and Chuldah and Miriam and Sara, etc.

7) The gemara says that at one point, women used to get aliyos and lein.

8) In the time of the gemara, people were not allowed to read by candle on Shabbos. However, times changed, and because we now have bulbs that don't need adjusting, everybody accepts that they can be used. Do you ever hear a complaint that we are violating our holy mesorah of not reading?

9) When Moshiach comes and we abolish Tisha B'av will that constitute a breach of our mesorah?

10) Rashi's daughters put on tefilin. Women are not obligated in Shofar or Sukkah, but universally do them anyway. They can take on additional mitzvos if they are sincere. I personally don't judge people's sincerity. I leave that to the RBSH.

This debate ought to center around specific halachic issues, as to what she can and cannot do with each point being brought from a source. Merely throwing around vague terms like yes Orthodox, not Orthodox, yes Mesorah, not Mesora have very little meaning. Our Mesorah is to follow halacha, so that is where the debate must center.

I am not saying I agree with this new idea, as I don't know enough about what she does and the whole arrangement. I am just suggesting we analyze it without letting our emotions run wild and instead focus on the intellectual and halachic ramifications. Rabbi Weiss has done much good for the klal in the course of his career, and he deserves to be given a fair hearing.

Thank you for adding some sense to much senseless rambling.

47

 Feb 24, 2010 at 02:45 PM Pardo Says:

Reply to #24  
Pashuteh Yid Says:

Because I feel sorry for the fellow who complained about all the negatives on Jewish blogs, maybe one should be dan Rabbi Avi Weiss lchaf zchus, as gemara says that if a beis din unanimously convicts somebody, he goes free because they were not mehapech bzchuso.

1) So far, we have not heard that the woman will be doing anything against halacha. I.e., if she was going to serve as an eid kiddushin, that would not be allowed. Merely giving speeches in shul and visiting the sick in a hospital does not seem to be a major issue.

2) She is not paskening halacha, only teaching existing halacha, as women teachers in Bais Yaakov do all the time.

3) Many thought Sara Schnirer broke with the mesorah as well, for initiating the idea that girls should go to school.

4) Women have now in general become more educated. Whereas at one point there were no women doctors, now it is commonplace. Should we tell our daughters that secular careers are open to you, but religious ones are not?

5) Is this woman trying to become less religiously committed or more? I could understand if she wanted to go to a baseball game on Shabbos and eat a treifeh hotdog, she should be roundly condemned. However, she is trying to learn and teach Torah and help others. Is that a terrible crime?

6) As far as mesorah goes, we have women Neviim and Shoftim such as Devorah and Chuldah and Miriam and Sara, etc.

7) The gemara says that at one point, women used to get aliyos and lein.

8) In the time of the gemara, people were not allowed to read by candle on Shabbos. However, times changed, and because we now have bulbs that don't need adjusting, everybody accepts that they can be used. Do you ever hear a complaint that we are violating our holy mesorah of not reading?

9) When Moshiach comes and we abolish Tisha B'av will that constitute a breach of our mesorah?

10) Rashi's daughters put on tefilin. Women are not obligated in Shofar or Sukkah, but universally do them anyway. They can take on additional mitzvos if they are sincere. I personally don't judge people's sincerity. I leave that to the RBSH.

This debate ought to center around specific halachic issues, as to what she can and cannot do with each point being brought from a source. Merely throwing around vague terms like yes Orthodox, not Orthodox, yes Mesorah, not Mesora have very little meaning. Our Mesorah is to follow halacha, so that is where the debate must center.

I am not saying I agree with this new idea, as I don't know enough about what she does and the whole arrangement. I am just suggesting we analyze it without letting our emotions run wild and instead focus on the intellectual and halachic ramifications. Rabbi Weiss has done much good for the klal in the course of his career, and he deserves to be given a fair hearing.

There is nothing to analyze as it is crystal clear that it's wrong. There is no comparison to what Sarah Schnirer did by opening up the first Beis Yakov. What Sarah Schnirer did was an innovation; what he is trying to do is to twist orthodoxy out of shape. Therefore we say, leave Orthodoxy alone and make yourself your own religion. If modern Orthodox isn’t anymore good for you then just leave it, but leave us alone and leave Orthodoxy intact.

48

 Feb 24, 2010 at 02:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #26  
Did I miss something??? Says:

WOW, such a respectful and insightful answer. NOT!!!! So how do you explain away the fact that until the 15th century, chicken was considered parve? It wasn't until Rabbaim at that time decided that it was too risky to allow that to continue and decided that Chicken had to be classified as meat to avoid "CONFUSION". So just because it hasn't been done until now, it's really an answer. But then again, you're probably the kind of person who's satisfied with getting and giving the answer "because". OY, and I was taught that this is a THINKING religion.

Is Rabbi Weiss of the caliber of a Shach, a Taz, a Bach? Relatively, a Reb Moshe Feinstein, yes; a Rabbi Weiss, are you kidding? What is he, a poisek?

49

 Feb 24, 2010 at 02:52 PM Anonymous Says:

This is a yiddeshe verion of Groundhog Day. We have all heard this debate before and there is NOTHING NEW here. Rav Weiss, shlita, is viewed by many of us as one of the great rabbonim in the U.S. today (I won't used the term "gadol" since it seems to be applied to anyone today) and is a true talmid chacham and tzadik Clearly, the political hacks in the RCA and Agudah will view his actions as a threat to their authority and their mortal fear of increasing the role of women in leadership positions in accordance with but thats also expected. Kol Hakovod to Rav Weiss and much hatzlacha to Rabba Hurwitz.

50

 Feb 24, 2010 at 02:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #40  
Anonymous Says:

What about devora haneivya, wasn't she a shofetet?

See 37.

51

 Feb 24, 2010 at 02:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #44  
Anonymous Says:

In reply to #19 and #35 - Your words are meaningless at best, divisive at worst. Being Orthodox, I adhere to the tenets of the torah as much as you or anyone else but i am still waiting to see someone give an intelligent answer to where there is a halacha denying women the position os teaching halacha. If you were a little learned, you would know some of the most prominent women in our history were judges and educators.

Like who?

52

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Is Rabbi Weiss of the caliber of a Shach, a Taz, a Bach? Relatively, a Reb Moshe Feinstein, yes; a Rabbi Weiss, are you kidding? What is he, a poisek?


Rav Weiss is a rosh yeshiva and considered by many orthodox jews to be equivalent or greater than all of the rabbonim you cite in lamdus and intellect. More importantly, he has leadership qualities for klal yisroel that will be shown to distinguish him from all the leaders of the rabbinical organizations.

53

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:23 PM Shimon of Riverdale Says:

Reply to #39  
Anonymous Says:

....and then will come mixed dancing!

That is something that is quite common with his community

54

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #47  
Pardo Says:

There is nothing to analyze as it is crystal clear that it's wrong. There is no comparison to what Sarah Schnirer did by opening up the first Beis Yakov. What Sarah Schnirer did was an innovation; what he is trying to do is to twist orthodoxy out of shape. Therefore we say, leave Orthodoxy alone and make yourself your own religion. If modern Orthodox isn’t anymore good for you then just leave it, but leave us alone and leave Orthodoxy intact.

Please remember that Sarah Schanirer did what she did with the support of the Chofetz Chaim and many other gedolim, Avi Weiss has exactly who supporting him?
Not even the YU rabbonim

55

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:30 PM vos is Says:

let hear be mabe the men will stop talking in shul

56

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:36 PM Chaim S. Says:

#24 has written well but he misses a key point in this issue. Nobody can argue that women have played a very key role in Torah true education, including teaching halocho. There is no question that Sara Schenirer is brucha m'noshim b'ohel for the seminal work that she started and accomplished. How imortant was the work done by two of the greatest pedagogues of our generation, Rebetzin Kaplan AH and yibodel l'chaim tovim Rebetzin David, neither of whom ever thought of being a "Rabbi". How much more worthy of semicha than anybody Weiss can bring forth is Rebetzin David who never asked her father Rav Hutner ztzl foe semicha and who arguably knows more Torah knowledge than 99% of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin. A key issue here is Weiss and his shitos of yiddishkeit. There's a well known question; in aramaic the word chamor can mean donkey or wine. How do we know which it is? The answer, go look where it comes from, the stable or the cellar. Weiss has spent years slowly fraying the fabric of Torah true Orthodoxy. His Rabba, had he named her Director of Halocho Guidance, it would not have made the same waves of displeasure as naming her, using semantics, the title Rabba, clearly meaning female Rav.

57

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #49  
Anonymous Says:

This is a yiddeshe verion of Groundhog Day. We have all heard this debate before and there is NOTHING NEW here. Rav Weiss, shlita, is viewed by many of us as one of the great rabbonim in the U.S. today (I won't used the term "gadol" since it seems to be applied to anyone today) and is a true talmid chacham and tzadik Clearly, the political hacks in the RCA and Agudah will view his actions as a threat to their authority and their mortal fear of increasing the role of women in leadership positions in accordance with but thats also expected. Kol Hakovod to Rav Weiss and much hatzlacha to Rabba Hurwitz.

Oich mir ah gadol. May I ask you what makes one a gadol?

58

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:40 PM tsvika55 Says:

Reply to #19  
Chaim S. Says:

I'll answer although I know that you won't accept my answers. It's obvious from the tone of your comment that you want an answer as much as the rosho son of the hagadah wants an answer. The Torah states very clearly that only an "ish" male, may be a witness and from this we also know that only males can therfore be judges. Traditionally then as these judges were the original ordained rabbis, only males were rabbis. In Shulchan Oruch the ruling is that only males can be counted in a minyan for any type of prayer service, specifically for saying kaddish, borchu or reading from the Torah. In addition, only males can be ordained as rabbis. Women have many places in Judaism. In every Bais Yakov type of girl schools, the married women teachers are called Rebetzin, even if their husbands are businessmen or professionals. Many Orthodox, even chasidish, shuls have women who are specifically named to provide guidance, without the need to be called "rabba" or any other such name. If you think this is rhetoric, then so be it.

Shkoiach. Very good answer!

59

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #54  
Anonymous Says:

Please remember that Sarah Schanirer did what she did with the support of the Chofetz Chaim and many other gedolim, Avi Weiss has exactly who supporting him?
Not even the YU rabbonim

with some highly incompetent and embarassing male rabbis we see, we are not lowering our standards by ordaining women.

60

 Feb 24, 2010 at 03:52 PM Chaim S. Says:

If anyone can construe my posts as being words of war between a Torah true Orthodox Jew and the so-called Orthodox populist secularists, well yes it is. Yes we should fight against anybody who tries to tear at the fabric of our holy society and culture. Weiss has been doing this for years and all these posts who agree with him and give him kudos for his efforts are just as apikorsish as he is. This is exactly what the conservative movement started out as doing. Slowly tearing at yiddishkeit. And they had the temerity of calling themselves "conservatives"; so-called conserving our religion. History has proven that what they actually wanted to do and accomplished in doing was establishing a religion somewhat similar to Judaism. They have continued to tear at their own brand of religion by constantly abolishing Judaic traditions and laws that they themselves had upheld until recently. Why, because the people demand it? Is that the criteria for establishing halocho? Yes we have to fight, yes it's being divisive. Yes I want to divide myself from Weiss et all. As the Torah clearly states many times, move away from those who want to tear apart Torah true values. Ki Ani Hashem Elokeichem.

61

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to # 24. Did u xpect us to read ur whole Megillah.?

62

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:01 PM Mike Says:

Reply to #54  
Anonymous Says:

Please remember that Sarah Schanirer did what she did with the support of the Chofetz Chaim and many other gedolim, Avi Weiss has exactly who supporting him?
Not even the YU rabbonim

She had to pull teeth is the point. The Gadol-Types only agreed to educate women as a bdeieved thing, kicking and screaming. Nebech, we have to teach them, darn it!. She needed their support to get the job done, but that was all. (I suspect she thought they were a bunch of turkeys, but I cant proove this) In time, Bais Yakov schooling became the norm, and people forgot how revolutionary it truly was.

63

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #52  
Anonymous Says:

Is Rabbi Weiss of the caliber of a Shach, a Taz, a Bach? Relatively, a Reb Moshe Feinstein, yes; a Rabbi Weiss, are you kidding? What is he, a poisek?


Rav Weiss is a rosh yeshiva and considered by many orthodox jews to be equivalent or greater than all of the rabbonim you cite in lamdus and intellect. More importantly, he has leadership qualities for klal yisroel that will be shown to distinguish him from all the leaders of the rabbinical organizations.

You make my point. If Rabbi Weiss to you is greater then the Shach, Taz, and Bach then it is understandable why you support him. The blind leading the blind.

Just a little question, do you know who the Shach (Rabbeinu Shabse Hacohen) was? Was he American Australian or Canadian?

64

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:36 PM RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

The responsum in original Hebrew handwriting was first published in Tomeikh Ka-Halakhah vol. 1 (Union for Traditional Judaism, 1986), along with an English translation by Rabbi Wayne Allen. The following is the English translation:


With the help of God, May He be blessed,
Tuesday Evening, Rosh Hodesh Adar, 5739 [1979]

To our friends and colleagues, Rabbis Dimitrovsky, Halivni Weiss, Zlotnick, Faur, Francus, may your peace be increased:

In regard to the question that was put before you whether it is permitted to ordain a woman as a rabbi, I would have preferred not to deal with this question at all because of hidden reasons which I do not wish to disclose. I was glad that they neither asked me nor requested me to issue a legal decision. But now I am afraid that it is forbidden me·to deny kindness to others, to evade and not respond.

65

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:37 PM RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

First, we must clarify whether a woman is fit to judge. Certainly is is an accepted teaching that women are unfit to judge, as Maimonides rules, Laws of Kings 1.4-5. This is also the ruling in the Shulhan Arukh Hoshen Mishpat 7.4. Refer to the sources cited by the Vilna Gaon there, sup-paragraph 14. And even though some of the Rishonim permit [women to judge], this is only in regard to giving interpretations, but not to teach how the law should be carried into practice. And never have we found a woman judge; neither in the era of the Tanna'im, nor in the era of the Amora'im, nor in the Middle ages. Moreover, they said in Sifre Devarim, section 13, ed. Finkelstein p. 21 (in regard to the judges appointed by Moses): "Men -- and would we have ever even thought women?!" This astonishment of the Sifre proves more than the halakhic decision: never did they see or hear about a woman who judged. In any case, the ruling of Maimonides and the Shulhan Arukh is sufficient for us. There is no doubt that it is forbidden to ordain a woman to judge.

66

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:38 PM RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

Now let us clarify what is ordination in our day. This is explained in the Book of Documents by Rabbi Yehudah Barceloni, who explains to us when an "ordination document" was used. He writes (p. 152): "But now, even outside the Land of Israel, (or) [should be: if] the elders of the city agree or the elders of the synagogue or the academy to ordain one of the students [they are ordained -- like the editor's gloss] thereby, and they write an ordination document without placing their hands on his head. Rather, they only write him an ordination document as a reminder of semikhah. Since he has this ordination document in his hand, from that day forward all men call him rabbi and they appoint him among the judges and include him in the council of his colleagues, and his appurtenances and his clothing shall be like the appurtenances of the sages and like the clothing of the sages, his colleagues, and like other ordained rabbis and not like the students not yet ordained." Later (p. 133), he writes: "This does not resemble semikhah and is not semikhah at all. Rather, it is a mere similitude and a remembrance of semikhah so that the students will pursue the ideals of scholarship about which

67

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:39 PM RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

ideals of scholarship about which we wrote earlier so that they will gradually increase their degree of wisdom and its application."

In Lithuania they were accustomed to ordain young men who had not yet reached the stage of being able to render legal decisions with the title "a sage when he will so desire." This has some support from Bava Metzi'a 85a that Rabbi (Yehudah haNasi) ordained the son of Rabbi Elazar the son of Rabbi Shimon with the title "rabbi" in respect to the future. Refer there. In regard to the content of the ordination document, it is written in the Book of Documents by Rabbi Yehudah Barceloni mentioned above (p. 131) the formulation of which I do not cite "so as not to dwell on the matter because the elders individualize the language of each document according to what they agree on, etc." And in the formulation of the ordination that the author of Terumat haDeshen gave to Rabbi Yitzhaq Segal of Regensburg (according to Leket Yosher, Part II, p. 33): "and he is worthy to sit at the head and to judge and to issue legal decisions, etc., and they shall call him up to read from the Torah by the name "morenu harav" and similarly in any situation in which it is

68

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:39 PM RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

The purpose of this semikhah is to prevent unauthorized appointments to the office of rabbi. Refer to the lengthy discussion of this matter in the responsa of Rabbi David bar Hayyim haKohen of Corfu, Bayyit 22, Chapter 3, page 4 and onward, who was very stringent against appointing a rabbi without rabbinic ordination. And refer to the responsa of Rabbi Yitzhaq bar Sheshet, nos. 271-2. And we have already seen from the statements of Rabbi Yehudah Barceloni that there was not a fixed formulation of the ordination certificate. Rather, they were accustomed to expand the wording with florid language.

In truth, these matters are clear from Sanhedrin 13b (in regard to actual "semikhah", to judge matters of monetary fines): "and he is ordained by a title and they shall call him rabbi and they permit him to judge matters of monetary fines," and there is no mention here at all of issuing legal decisions or judgment because the title "rabbi" itself means that he is authorized to issue legal decisions and to judge. And similarly see Bava Metzi'a 85a mentioned above where the title "rabbi" means semikhah.

69

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:40 PM RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

And what they are accustomed to writing today "yoreh yoreh--yadin yadin" is merely a flowery expression. It refers to a question and a response. that is to say, according to the Gemara in Sanhedrin 13a, it means to give permission to issue legal decisIons and to judge. And as we saw above in regard to the "semikhah" of our teacher Rabbi Yisrael Isserlein, only "yoreh yadin" is mentioned.

70

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:40 PM RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

Thus, those ordaining rabbis who did not write "yoreh yoreh--yadin yadin" acted well because there is no granting of permission here, only certification and testimony that those ordained are worthy to issue legal decisions and to judge (provided that they continue to study) in accordance with our holy Rabbi in regard to the son of Rabbi Elazar the son of Rabbi Shimon, and in accordance with the frequent practice of the yeshivot of Lithuania which did not mind to even write "yoreh yoreh--yadin yadin" for students who had not yet reached the stage of being able to issue legal decisions, since they relied on the fact that [calling the students "rabbi" would greatly encourage them] and, in the end, the students would thus learn and become worthy to issue legal decisions and to judge.

71

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:41 PM RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

The end of the matter is that it is clear from the sources that being called by the title "rav" ("Rabbi he shall be called") reflects on the fitness to issue legal decisions and to judge, and we should not empty the title "rav" of its meaning from the way it has been understood by the Jewish people throughout the generations. Since a woman is not fit to judge, and she cannot become qualified for this, she cannot be ordained by this title (even if we see it as a mere expression, refer to the Tosafot, Avodah Zarah 5a, paragraph heading "Ella").

Let us not make ourselves objects of derision and jest.

Respectfully,

Saul Lieberman

Translated by Rabbi Wayne R. Allen


--
Posted By Gil Student to Hirhurim - Musings

72

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:47 PM Midwestern Guy Says:

Reply to #19  
Chaim S. Says:

I'll answer although I know that you won't accept my answers. It's obvious from the tone of your comment that you want an answer as much as the rosho son of the hagadah wants an answer. The Torah states very clearly that only an "ish" male, may be a witness and from this we also know that only males can therfore be judges. Traditionally then as these judges were the original ordained rabbis, only males were rabbis. In Shulchan Oruch the ruling is that only males can be counted in a minyan for any type of prayer service, specifically for saying kaddish, borchu or reading from the Torah. In addition, only males can be ordained as rabbis. Women have many places in Judaism. In every Bais Yakov type of girl schools, the married women teachers are called Rebetzin, even if their husbands are businessmen or professionals. Many Orthodox, even chasidish, shuls have women who are specifically named to provide guidance, without the need to be called "rabba" or any other such name. If you think this is rhetoric, then so be it.

Chaim, your heart is in the right place, but you have at least one thing terribly wrong. You say that only a man can be a witness. This is terribly incorrect. The easiest example is in the case of kashrus. We trust an eid echad who could even be female. If not, you couldn't even eat your own wife's cooking! There are other areas where we trust a woman's eidus, like the mikvah. Again, you are making the correct point, but it's important to present facts correctly.

73

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #59  
Anonymous Says:

with some highly incompetent and embarassing male rabbis we see, we are not lowering our standards by ordaining women.

I see, degrade all the rabbis and make Weiss godol hador, not just of this dor but greater then the Shach, Taz and Bach as #52 said.

74

 Feb 24, 2010 at 04:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #45  
Anonymous Says:

A Rebbetzin is NOT a female Rabbi. She's a Rabbi's wife. She does not take on the job of a Rabbi.

rebbitzen has got nothing to do with being marrie
to a rabbi Nor does it have to be that she is even married. dont make up your own garbage. go learn some history. a single man can be a rabbi and so can a rebitzin.

75

 Feb 24, 2010 at 05:01 PM thanbo Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

I believe it is an explicit Halacha in the Rambam.

So Yemenites won't have women rabbis (being one of the few groups that actually paskens by the Rambam). The rest of us will go to the stars (there is actually no explicit halacha in the Shulchan Aruch about this, either in the Mechaber or the Rema).

76

 Feb 24, 2010 at 05:04 PM Lawyer Says:

This reminds me of a maaseh with R. Soloveichik. When Golda Meir became PM, someone asked, "Nu, but the Rambam says a woman cannot be appointed to a position of serarah? So how was she appointed?" R. Soloveichik answered: "If an apikorus like Ben Gurion can be PM, then a woman can be PM." (The point being that the State of Israel could care less about a halakkha in the Rambam -- they have much more fundamental problems than that.)

I have the same reaction to this latest "RCA" scandal. There are not a few apikorsim and leitzanim in the RCA. Kick them out first, then you can get around to Avi Weiss. (Not that what he did is at all defensible, but there is alot worse out there.)

77

 Feb 24, 2010 at 05:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #26  
Did I miss something??? Says:

WOW, such a respectful and insightful answer. NOT!!!! So how do you explain away the fact that until the 15th century, chicken was considered parve? It wasn't until Rabbaim at that time decided that it was too risky to allow that to continue and decided that Chicken had to be classified as meat to avoid "CONFUSION". So just because it hasn't been done until now, it's really an answer. But then again, you're probably the kind of person who's satisfied with getting and giving the answer "because". OY, and I was taught that this is a THINKING religion.

What are you talking about? 1800 years ago, Reb Yosi Ha Galili held that chicken was parve and the Gemara ultimately held against him. The debate was settled then. The machlokes that extended throughout Jewish history was whether or not this was an issur de oraisa or an issur de rabbanan.

78

 Feb 24, 2010 at 06:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #76  
Lawyer Says:

This reminds me of a maaseh with R. Soloveichik. When Golda Meir became PM, someone asked, "Nu, but the Rambam says a woman cannot be appointed to a position of serarah? So how was she appointed?" R. Soloveichik answered: "If an apikorus like Ben Gurion can be PM, then a woman can be PM." (The point being that the State of Israel could care less about a halakkha in the Rambam -- they have much more fundamental problems than that.)

I have the same reaction to this latest "RCA" scandal. There are not a few apikorsim and leitzanim in the RCA. Kick them out first, then you can get around to Avi Weiss. (Not that what he did is at all defensible, but there is alot worse out there.)

Because there are other problems there, does it mean that they shouldn't take care of this?

79

 Feb 24, 2010 at 06:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Chaim S. Says:

I'll answer although I know that you won't accept my answers. It's obvious from the tone of your comment that you want an answer as much as the rosho son of the hagadah wants an answer. The Torah states very clearly that only an "ish" male, may be a witness and from this we also know that only males can therfore be judges. Traditionally then as these judges were the original ordained rabbis, only males were rabbis. In Shulchan Oruch the ruling is that only males can be counted in a minyan for any type of prayer service, specifically for saying kaddish, borchu or reading from the Torah. In addition, only males can be ordained as rabbis. Women have many places in Judaism. In every Bais Yakov type of girl schools, the married women teachers are called Rebetzin, even if their husbands are businessmen or professionals. Many Orthodox, even chasidish, shuls have women who are specifically named to provide guidance, without the need to be called "rabba" or any other such name. If you think this is rhetoric, then so be it.

i think your tone is less respectful than number 8's

80

 Feb 24, 2010 at 06:49 PM Robert Says:

Reply to #29  
reb avrum Says:

women are allowed to ritually slaughter animals even though no one has heard of female shochetes.The same may hold true of ordaining a woman as a rabbi as long as she is only dealing with women may not bee too bad.

kool
do you have a source?

81

 Feb 24, 2010 at 06:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

Comparing these PC wannabes to Devorah is an insult to our intelligence.

arrogant answer on your part
i dont sense any intelligence in your post

82

 Feb 24, 2010 at 06:52 PM Anonymous Says:

1. There were women Chassidishe Rebbes, such as the Maidel from Ludmir that people called "Rebbe". Also one holy Rebbetzin in recent times was revered as a Rebbe by a far-right dissident group who didn't accept a new Rebbe who most of the chassidim accepted, vdai lmeivin

2. I know a chasidishe yeshivah that gives smichah to women to be kallah teachers.

3. It might be good for her to see if the NYC wedding bureau will accept her smichah. She can make a parnassah signing marriage licenses for couples who the Rabbi doesn't want to sign (that can be her kavod by the chasunah). She can read the kesubah as much as a monkey can (v'dai lmeivin), so that is ok. Also maybe she can make money signing marriage licenses for goyim if they are both goyim (I know some rabbis do).

4. As far as I am concerned, I'm always happy when the Modern Orthodox go more to the left. When you have very frum people who believe in kefirah like evolution (see the RCA website) and Zionism it makes a big chillul Hashem. Better the zionists, evolutionists, and liberals don't defame Judaism by being holier than thou frum like NCYI and RCA who are rodef erlicher yidden for stupid reasons.

Mazel Tov, Rabba!

83

 Feb 24, 2010 at 07:00 PM Robert Says:

Reply to #76  
Lawyer Says:

This reminds me of a maaseh with R. Soloveichik. When Golda Meir became PM, someone asked, "Nu, but the Rambam says a woman cannot be appointed to a position of serarah? So how was she appointed?" R. Soloveichik answered: "If an apikorus like Ben Gurion can be PM, then a woman can be PM." (The point being that the State of Israel could care less about a halakkha in the Rambam -- they have much more fundamental problems than that.)

I have the same reaction to this latest "RCA" scandal. There are not a few apikorsim and leitzanim in the RCA. Kick them out first, then you can get around to Avi Weiss. (Not that what he did is at all defensible, but there is alot worse out there.)

it is so sad to read lason harah about un-named orthodox rabbis in the rca..
while personally disagree with some of their political positions i still respect all the rabbis there.

"There are not a few apikorsim and leitzanim in the RCA"
this type of talk must stop now !!!!!

84

 Feb 24, 2010 at 07:12 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #19  
Chaim S. Says:

I'll answer although I know that you won't accept my answers. It's obvious from the tone of your comment that you want an answer as much as the rosho son of the hagadah wants an answer. The Torah states very clearly that only an "ish" male, may be a witness and from this we also know that only males can therfore be judges. Traditionally then as these judges were the original ordained rabbis, only males were rabbis. In Shulchan Oruch the ruling is that only males can be counted in a minyan for any type of prayer service, specifically for saying kaddish, borchu or reading from the Torah. In addition, only males can be ordained as rabbis. Women have many places in Judaism. In every Bais Yakov type of girl schools, the married women teachers are called Rebetzin, even if their husbands are businessmen or professionals. Many Orthodox, even chasidish, shuls have women who are specifically named to provide guidance, without the need to be called "rabba" or any other such name. If you think this is rhetoric, then so be it.

The Shulchan Aruch does not say that only men can receive yoreh yoreh semicha, which does not include any implication of permission to serve as a dayan.

85

 Feb 24, 2010 at 07:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #80  
Robert Says:

kool
do you have a source?

the mishnah in chullin - women can also be mohelos (like Tziporah was)

86

 Feb 24, 2010 at 07:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Let us call her ; YENTL

87

 Feb 24, 2010 at 08:00 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #22  
Pardo Says:

That it wasn't done until now is ample proof that it is forbidden. Is he smarter than all our sages until now?

No proof at all. Look at your siddur and you will find many post-Chazal additions. Were they all forbidden?

88

 Feb 24, 2010 at 08:02 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #47  
Pardo Says:

There is nothing to analyze as it is crystal clear that it's wrong. There is no comparison to what Sarah Schnirer did by opening up the first Beis Yakov. What Sarah Schnirer did was an innovation; what he is trying to do is to twist orthodoxy out of shape. Therefore we say, leave Orthodoxy alone and make yourself your own religion. If modern Orthodox isn’t anymore good for you then just leave it, but leave us alone and leave Orthodoxy intact.

No, what Sarah Schnirer did in "creating" formal Jewish education for women was preceded over a century earlier by the Jewish school set up in New York by Israel Kurdsheet and Gershom Mendes Seixas. Neither was even a rabbi, and they did not ask permission of "gedolim"!

89

 Feb 24, 2010 at 08:04 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #72  
Midwestern Guy Says:

Chaim, your heart is in the right place, but you have at least one thing terribly wrong. You say that only a man can be a witness. This is terribly incorrect. The easiest example is in the case of kashrus. We trust an eid echad who could even be female. If not, you couldn't even eat your own wife's cooking! There are other areas where we trust a woman's eidus, like the mikvah. Again, you are making the correct point, but it's important to present facts correctly.

And the yoreh yoreh semichah covers only matters of halachah in which women are obligated.

90

 Feb 24, 2010 at 08:06 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #62  
Mike Says:

She had to pull teeth is the point. The Gadol-Types only agreed to educate women as a bdeieved thing, kicking and screaming. Nebech, we have to teach them, darn it!. She needed their support to get the job done, but that was all. (I suspect she thought they were a bunch of turkeys, but I cant proove this) In time, Bais Yakov schooling became the norm, and people forgot how revolutionary it truly was.

Well there was one gedol who didn't have to be dragged: Rov Soloveitchik z'tz'l argued strongly that it was a chiyuv on the community to teach all levels of Torah to women (yes, including gemara).

91

 Feb 24, 2010 at 08:09 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #71  
RejectsWomenRabbis Says:

The end of the matter is that it is clear from the sources that being called by the title "rav" ("Rabbi he shall be called") reflects on the fitness to issue legal decisions and to judge, and we should not empty the title "rav" of its meaning from the way it has been understood by the Jewish people throughout the generations. Since a woman is not fit to judge, and she cannot become qualified for this, she cannot be ordained by this title (even if we see it as a mere expression, refer to the Tosafot, Avodah Zarah 5a, paragraph heading "Ella").

Let us not make ourselves objects of derision and jest.

Respectfully,

Saul Lieberman

Translated by Rabbi Wayne R. Allen


--
Posted By Gil Student to Hirhurim - Musings

Male converts are also not fit to serve as dayanim, and nobody objects to them getting yoreh yoreh semichah.

92

 Feb 24, 2010 at 08:24 PM Mumcha Says:

I think that anyone who can defend Rabbi Weiss or his premise is sorely lacking in Jewish knowledge and education. Tampering with a tradition that is thousands of years old and super-contemporary is dangerous. If you want to know why this is counter our Mesorah and negates Judaism, why don't you read Rabbi Fingerer's op-ed in last week's Jewish Press (page 4). It is the best exposition I've seen explaining why women rabbis are not allowed.

93

 Feb 24, 2010 at 08:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #92  
Mumcha Says:

I think that anyone who can defend Rabbi Weiss or his premise is sorely lacking in Jewish knowledge and education. Tampering with a tradition that is thousands of years old and super-contemporary is dangerous. If you want to know why this is counter our Mesorah and negates Judaism, why don't you read Rabbi Fingerer's op-ed in last week's Jewish Press (page 4). It is the best exposition I've seen explaining why women rabbis are not allowed.

why dont you get to the point and tell us?

94

 Feb 24, 2010 at 09:09 PM Anonymous Says:

I think we all need a Millhouse..

nu so where are you ??

95

 Feb 24, 2010 at 09:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #90  
Charlie Hall Says:

Well there was one gedol who didn't have to be dragged: Rov Soloveitchik z'tz'l argued strongly that it was a chiyuv on the community to teach all levels of Torah to women (yes, including gemara).

that was later

96

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:03 PM Pashuteh Yid Says:

For those who believe that Yiddishkeit can only function in ancient times and societies, but cannnot relate to all times including the modern age, I will cite you some quotes from the Rambam, and you tell me if they would be acceptable nowadays.

1) The Rambam says a husband should force his wife not to leave the house more than once or twice a month, unless for certain reasons he lists.

2) The Rambam says if a wife doesn't perform the melachos she is supposed to do for her husband, she should be hit with a stick.

3) The Rambam says that if a couple was married for more than ten years without children, they must divorce. If they do not want to, beis din should hit the husband with a stick until he gives a get.

I ask you, what happened to the holy mesora of these rulings, which are not practiced today, and no orthodox Rav would condone it, if anybody wished to. Anybody conducting themselves in this manner would immediately by arrested on abuse charges.

The answer is that the mores of society change, and therefore the halacha recognizes this, and is implemented in different ways.

97

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:09 PM Pashuteh Yid Says:

(Continued) In past generations, when women stayed home and did not go to school, maybe there was no need for women to serve as community leaders, and maybe they did not want to in the first place. Today, things are different.

The primary message of the Torah is menschlachkeit. Those who say having a woman Rabbah is destroying the fabric of Judaism seem to imply that for them the essential core and fabric of the entire religion is the prohibition of women Rabbahs. But in truth the 3 big aveiros do not incude that, so that can't really be the fabric of Judaism, can it? Rather, it is chesed, period. Is it menschlach to expel a Rabbi who has done so much for the klal because of his decision to allow a woman to participate in some of the communal tasks that were traditionally done by men? An honest understanding of what Judaism is all about is necessary here.

98

 Feb 24, 2010 at 10:29 PM Anonymous Says:

RE; to # 96. Today, a husband would be happy if his wife leaves for a whole Month.

99

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:02 PM Anonymous Says:

i don't see any problem if she is using it in a new clergy role - she can be a chaplain in a hospital or a woman's prison, stuff that the state requires ordination but is not a halachic position. I can understand why this would be good.

100

 Feb 24, 2010 at 11:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #92  
Mumcha Says:

I think that anyone who can defend Rabbi Weiss or his premise is sorely lacking in Jewish knowledge and education. Tampering with a tradition that is thousands of years old and super-contemporary is dangerous. If you want to know why this is counter our Mesorah and negates Judaism, why don't you read Rabbi Fingerer's op-ed in last week's Jewish Press (page 4). It is the best exposition I've seen explaining why women rabbis are not allowed.

Rabbi Fingerer doesn't explain anything. It's the same amorphous argument about mesorah which avoids any halachic discussion whatsoever and falls back on the same red herring of women and men having different roles...that doesn't answer the question.

101

 Feb 25, 2010 at 12:09 AM Anonymous Says:

1) Why dont we just call her a RABBIT.... oh, dont want to insult those poor little furry animals....

2) I figured out how you would thanks her = tell her TODAH RABAH!!!!! hahahahaha

102

 Feb 25, 2010 at 12:58 AM Allen Says:

Reply to #17  
David Says:

G-d forbid that RCA should miss out on an opportunity to make fools of themselves! They may manage to run something like an inquisition where they organize a show-trial with a pre-ordained verdict, but if they decide to actually have a full and open argument on the merits of this topic, they will lose, and lose big-time.

The tragedy of what Weiss is doing is he is playing into the hands of the Haredim. We are the l;aughing stock of the frummies!
They paint all Modern Orthodox with the same brush, and just because we have one rotten apple who cannot accept Tradition - all Modern Orthodox suffer.

Weiss should join the conservites and let him change their ways rather than inventing his strange version of Modern Orthodoxy.
If it aint broken don't fix it.

103

 Feb 25, 2010 at 03:22 AM Nicole from LA Says:

Reply to #97  
Pashuteh Yid Says:

(Continued) In past generations, when women stayed home and did not go to school, maybe there was no need for women to serve as community leaders, and maybe they did not want to in the first place. Today, things are different.

The primary message of the Torah is menschlachkeit. Those who say having a woman Rabbah is destroying the fabric of Judaism seem to imply that for them the essential core and fabric of the entire religion is the prohibition of women Rabbahs. But in truth the 3 big aveiros do not incude that, so that can't really be the fabric of Judaism, can it? Rather, it is chesed, period. Is it menschlach to expel a Rabbi who has done so much for the klal because of his decision to allow a woman to participate in some of the communal tasks that were traditionally done by men? An honest understanding of what Judaism is all about is necessary here.

There is nothing Pashut about this yid!

Only 3 Mitzvahs that matter- and break our Mesora of 1000s of years that is working very well in these times to make a chesed to a hand full of women libbers who are not content in their role.
Why doesn't this Tzzadik Weiss make male Rebbetzins??

104

 Feb 25, 2010 at 05:17 AM Vayzosa Says:

Reply to #90  
Charlie Hall Says:

Well there was one gedol who didn't have to be dragged: Rov Soloveitchik z'tz'l argued strongly that it was a chiyuv on the community to teach all levels of Torah to women (yes, including gemara).

But the Rav NEVER allowed Woman Rabbis (even if you call them by some other looney title!). But what my cousin who lives in Riverdale tells me that the Relationship between Rabbi Avi and his Raba is a little too friendly!

Not a healthy situation. What is the husband of a Raba called?? - Rabatzen??

105

 Feb 25, 2010 at 05:33 AM YitzchokAizik Says:

Is this really our problem? And if it is, is it our largest and most urgent one?

106

 Feb 25, 2010 at 06:27 AM Leave it as it is!! Says:

Why are Conservetive Shules empty and Real orthodoxy is thriving to packed houses?
Because people want "The Real Thing" not some new invented version.

Avi has always pushed the boundaries. We were together when he chained himself to the Russian Embassy. But to provoke and rebel might suit Avi's personality but it is not something genuine shule goers will appreciate.

107

 Feb 25, 2010 at 09:14 AM Right of Riverdale Says:

Reply to #21  
Did I miss something?? Says:

Excuse me, but perhaps I missed something. I saw that an investigation is underway, not that it has been confirmed that Rabbi Weiss has done this. Perhaps before we have him stoned, we should find out if it's true???? So far this "investigation" is into “allegations of improprieties,”

I'm glad none of you wo are calling for his head before an investigation is even done serve on a Beit Din!

He HAS done it - nobody is denying it - they are proud of it and shouting it from the rooftops! I know her personally - she "does" weddings, funerals.... not sure what that entails exactly. Definitely more than a Rebbetzin giving guidance. Other than being counted for a minyan with men or getting an aliyah in the mens minyan (they do womens minyanim in that shul) she basically performs like a Rabbi - speeches, answering questions, etc.

THere is another orthodox shul in Manhattan who also has a female "Rosh Kehilla" but they dont call her Rabbi - they arent as publicity thirsty as Rabbi Weiss.... so nobody talks about her.

If RCA is kicking Rabbi Weiss out because of this - I think that they should consider voiding all of the Rabbis that he ordained - their hashkafa of doing kiruv by going down to bring others up is skewed - sometimes they go too far down and forget to come up (ie welcoming intermarried families)

108

 Feb 25, 2010 at 09:28 AM Right of Riverdale Says:

Reply to #104  
Vayzosa Says:

But the Rav NEVER allowed Woman Rabbis (even if you call them by some other looney title!). But what my cousin who lives in Riverdale tells me that the Relationship between Rabbi Avi and his Raba is a little too friendly!

Not a healthy situation. What is the husband of a Raba called?? - Rabatzen??

The relationship btw Reb Avi and all his congregants is a little too friendly... the guy is a hugger - men, women, children.... on the bimah, on the street.... I really dont think that suggesting something is going on between them is fair - stick to the facts, they are disturbing enough

109

 Feb 25, 2010 at 09:39 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #106  
Leave it as it is!! Says:

Why are Conservetive Shules empty and Real orthodoxy is thriving to packed houses?
Because people want "The Real Thing" not some new invented version.

Avi has always pushed the boundaries. We were together when he chained himself to the Russian Embassy. But to provoke and rebel might suit Avi's personality but it is not something genuine shule goers will appreciate.

Rabbi Weiss does indeed offer Real orthodoxy. The C and R shuls are empty and Rabbi Weiss's shul is packed. He has hundreds of families who used to be non-observant who now are shomer Shabat, observe kashrut and taharat HaMishpachah, and send their kids to orthodox schools. Come visit some time. But don't arrive late to Shabat morning services if you want a seat -- despite four or five minyans every Shabat morning.

110

 Feb 25, 2010 at 09:42 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #100  
Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Fingerer doesn't explain anything. It's the same amorphous argument about mesorah which avoids any halachic discussion whatsoever and falls back on the same red herring of women and men having different roles...that doesn't answer the question.

What is interesting here is that Rabbi Weiss's opponents are largely relying on sociological arguments, which is the kind of stuff that non-Orthodox rabbis use! The total lack of any substantive halachic argument ought to be an embarrassment.

111

 Feb 25, 2010 at 09:44 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #104  
Vayzosa Says:

But the Rav NEVER allowed Woman Rabbis (even if you call them by some other looney title!). But what my cousin who lives in Riverdale tells me that the Relationship between Rabbi Avi and his Raba is a little too friendly!

Not a healthy situation. What is the husband of a Raba called?? - Rabatzen??

There seems to be no limit to the motzi shem ra that Rabbi Weiss's supposedly Orthodox opponents will resort to.

112

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:06 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to No. 111. Wow. What a keen observation .

113

 Feb 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM Na Says:

Reply to #100  
Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Fingerer doesn't explain anything. It's the same amorphous argument about mesorah which avoids any halachic discussion whatsoever and falls back on the same red herring of women and men having different roles...that doesn't answer the question.

Rabbi Fingerer answers this issue with great tact and sensitivity. He explains that is some ways technical Halachah is superseded. He eloquently explains the perpetuation of the Mesorah throughout the ages and how it is the only tool for our survival.

114

 Feb 25, 2010 at 12:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #113  
Na Says:

Rabbi Fingerer answers this issue with great tact and sensitivity. He explains that is some ways technical Halachah is superseded. He eloquently explains the perpetuation of the Mesorah throughout the ages and how it is the only tool for our survival.

Of course, Halacha is never superseded when it comes to anything that might make our lives easier or better. And it shouldn't be. But on this issue, the mesorah trump card is always played. Get it right, people-we follow halacha.

115

 Feb 25, 2010 at 12:44 PM Pardo Says:

Reply to #87  
Charlie Hall Says:

No proof at all. Look at your siddur and you will find many post-Chazal additions. Were they all forbidden?

What he is attempting is not an addition but a deletion. Again, that it wasn't done until now is ample proof that it is forbidden. Is he smarter than all our sages until now?

116

 Feb 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM Naomi Says:

Reply to #114  
Anonymous Says:

Of course, Halacha is never superseded when it comes to anything that might make our lives easier or better. And it shouldn't be. But on this issue, the mesorah trump card is always played. Get it right, people-we follow halacha.

Who, may I ask, are you to make such an audacious claim? Who vested you with such authority? Do you know the mechanisms of the extra-legal manifestations of Jewish law/tradition? The rabbi was speaking from a learned view of Torah.

117

 Feb 25, 2010 at 01:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #104  
Vayzosa Says:

But the Rav NEVER allowed Woman Rabbis (even if you call them by some other looney title!). But what my cousin who lives in Riverdale tells me that the Relationship between Rabbi Avi and his Raba is a little too friendly!

Not a healthy situation. What is the husband of a Raba called?? - Rabatzen??

#104 : What is wrong with you? With one careless remark you transgressed the halachos of Lashon Hara and Motzei Shem Ra, and gave a false statement in front of thousands of readers. You need to do teshuva for that.
R' Weiss definitely has a history of unconventional and out-of-the-box activities. However, I would suggest you take a trip to his shul in Riverdale and see first hand the warmth, d’veykus and pure avodas Hashem and ahavas Yisrael that envelops his kehillah on a weekly basis.
His congregation – men and women alike – have a sincere desire to serve Hashem through t’fillah and avodah. What R’ Weiss is doing is creating a way -albeit non-conventional – for the modern orthodox woman to feel more connected to davening, Torah and halacha. The idea is not for Ms. Hurwitz to pasken halacha for men and families, but rather to be an accessible conduit for women to speak comfortably with someone who knows halacha and has a framework of yedios in Torah and halacha.
I’m not a Rabbi or a talmid chacham by any stretch, but my pintele yid tells me that achdus and tolerance for our brothbrothers and sisters will surely bring the geulah sooner than misguided kanaus.
A freilichen Purim!

118

 Feb 25, 2010 at 01:03 PM Pardo Says:

Reply to #102  
Allen Says:

The tragedy of what Weiss is doing is he is playing into the hands of the Haredim. We are the l;aughing stock of the frummies!
They paint all Modern Orthodox with the same brush, and just because we have one rotten apple who cannot accept Tradition - all Modern Orthodox suffer.

Weiss should join the conservites and let him change their ways rather than inventing his strange version of Modern Orthodoxy.
If it aint broken don't fix it.

Yours is the best comment. Finally someone sticking up for Modern Orthodoxy. If we support Rabbi Weiss then we are shooting ourselves in the foot, as the Chareidim who are looking at us suspiciously will point a finger and say, you see I told you so. Let’s stop pushing the envelope and be Orthodox as our name implies and leave reform to the Reform.

119

 Feb 25, 2010 at 01:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #103  
Nicole from LA Says:

There is nothing Pashut about this yid!

Only 3 Mitzvahs that matter- and break our Mesora of 1000s of years that is working very well in these times to make a chesed to a hand full of women libbers who are not content in their role.
Why doesn't this Tzzadik Weiss make male Rebbetzins??

That's next.

120

 Feb 25, 2010 at 01:08 PM Pardo Says:

Reply to #105  
YitzchokAizik Says:

Is this really our problem? And if it is, is it our largest and most urgent one?

It's urgent because it is happening now, not in the past nor in the future. Anything bad done in the present becomes urgent. As to if it's really our problem; whose problem is it if not ours? Large or small, WE need to deal with it.

121

 Feb 25, 2010 at 01:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #108  
Right of Riverdale Says:

The relationship btw Reb Avi and all his congregants is a little too friendly... the guy is a hugger - men, women, children.... on the bimah, on the street.... I really dont think that suggesting something is going on between them is fair - stick to the facts, they are disturbing enough

God told Abraham to send away Huggor. On a serious note, we shouldn't get off track. He is doing it because he is hell bent on modernizing Orthodoxy to the ultimate extreme, and that is exactly what Reform did; they also started out from Orthodoxy until the cord was cut.

122

 Feb 25, 2010 at 01:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #110  
Charlie Hall Says:

What is interesting here is that Rabbi Weiss's opponents are largely relying on sociological arguments, which is the kind of stuff that non-Orthodox rabbis use! The total lack of any substantive halachic argument ought to be an embarrassment.

So all of a sudden Rabbi Weiss and his supporters are the ones using Orthodox tactics and the rest are using non-Orthodox tactics. Give me a break.

123

 Feb 25, 2010 at 03:12 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #122  
Anonymous Says:

So all of a sudden Rabbi Weiss and his supporters are the ones using Orthodox tactics and the rest are using non-Orthodox tactics. Give me a break.

Indeed that is precisely what is happening here. None of Rabbi Weiss's opponents have been able to come up with well-sourced halachic arguments against him on this.

124

 Feb 25, 2010 at 04:54 PM Evelyn Says:

Our Shule in London has a fantastic lady who helps females. We call her a Rebbetzin (although her husband is a Lawyer). She does not speak in front of Men but helps, teaches and counsels woman in a way no Avi Weiss Rabba will ever do! As she is genuine not a title seeking Womens Liberation type.

This is only about Avi Weiss pushing the bounries as he has always done. Not one single Rabbi of any standing supports him! He is running a one man show with his flock who don't know any better.

125

 Feb 25, 2010 at 05:10 PM ex Sterns Says:

Avi Weiss has only one oppomnent!

H I M S E L F !

126

 Feb 25, 2010 at 07:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #116  
Naomi Says:

Who, may I ask, are you to make such an audacious claim? Who vested you with such authority? Do you know the mechanisms of the extra-legal manifestations of Jewish law/tradition? The rabbi was speaking from a learned view of Torah.

So is Rabbi Weiss. Your problem is that anyone who you disagree with suddenly becomes illegitimate. The argument that the Mesorah can trump anything is absurd. There was no mesorah for kollels. There was no mesorah for Bais Yaakov. There was no mesorah for shtreimels. There was no mesorah for sheitels. But you never heard anyone say "We can't have X, there's no mesorah for it!" Whatever is convenient for rabbanim to decide is against the mesorah gets declared that way.

And please don't tell me some rant about emunas chachamim and the gedolim. After the number of so-called "gedolim" who supported the menuval Leib Tropper in his campaign to destroy the lives of gerei tzedek, they have no credibility left. We have only halacha to tell us what to do and not to do.

127

 Feb 25, 2010 at 09:18 PM Abaye and Rabah Says:

Reply to #6  
Chaim S. Says:

Rabbos machshovos belev ish. The "ish" Weiss has many Rabbas in mind, but in the end, vatazas Hashem hi sokum. Hashem's Shulchan Oruch will win out. Weiss often has pushed the envelope but this time he has gone too far.

Chaim S. should get the status of amorah for this derasha. this is amazing!

128

 Feb 28, 2010 at 05:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Does anyone here actually know what her role is?

While if the intention is for her to be a posek then this is beyond the pale of accepted orthodoxy, if she is providing pastoral care, giving shiurim to women, educating women on torah and mitzvos then what's the problem?

The issue I think here is the fact that she has been given a (pretty empty) title which sounds dangerously close to something else and this has provoked an overwhelming reaction against. If she was called a yoetzet, would there be this issue? If she had no title at all would there be this issue?
The real question here is what is she actually doing.

129

 Mar 02, 2010 at 07:19 PM Pardo Says:

Reply to #128  
Anonymous Says:

Does anyone here actually know what her role is?

While if the intention is for her to be a posek then this is beyond the pale of accepted orthodoxy, if she is providing pastoral care, giving shiurim to women, educating women on torah and mitzvos then what's the problem?

The issue I think here is the fact that she has been given a (pretty empty) title which sounds dangerously close to something else and this has provoked an overwhelming reaction against. If she was called a yoetzet, would there be this issue? If she had no title at all would there be this issue?
The real question here is what is she actually doing.

No, the real question is what is Rabbi weiss's intententions. If we won't stop him now he'll move it up another notch, nad then another notch, until a women becomes a full fledged rabbi. Even if he'll stop here, you can be sure that others won't and take it all the way. That's why we should nip it in the bud and put him outside the pale of orhodoxy. Let him do whatever he wants, but plaest don't call it Orthodox Judaism. Truth in labeling please.

130

 Mar 02, 2010 at 10:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
Pashuteh Yid Says:

Because I feel sorry for the fellow who complained about all the negatives on Jewish blogs, maybe one should be dan Rabbi Avi Weiss lchaf zchus, as gemara says that if a beis din unanimously convicts somebody, he goes free because they were not mehapech bzchuso.

1) So far, we have not heard that the woman will be doing anything against halacha. I.e., if she was going to serve as an eid kiddushin, that would not be allowed. Merely giving speeches in shul and visiting the sick in a hospital does not seem to be a major issue.

2) She is not paskening halacha, only teaching existing halacha, as women teachers in Bais Yaakov do all the time.

3) Many thought Sara Schnirer broke with the mesorah as well, for initiating the idea that girls should go to school.

4) Women have now in general become more educated. Whereas at one point there were no women doctors, now it is commonplace. Should we tell our daughters that secular careers are open to you, but religious ones are not?

5) Is this woman trying to become less religiously committed or more? I could understand if she wanted to go to a baseball game on Shabbos and eat a treifeh hotdog, she should be roundly condemned. However, she is trying to learn and teach Torah and help others. Is that a terrible crime?

6) As far as mesorah goes, we have women Neviim and Shoftim such as Devorah and Chuldah and Miriam and Sara, etc.

7) The gemara says that at one point, women used to get aliyos and lein.

8) In the time of the gemara, people were not allowed to read by candle on Shabbos. However, times changed, and because we now have bulbs that don't need adjusting, everybody accepts that they can be used. Do you ever hear a complaint that we are violating our holy mesorah of not reading?

9) When Moshiach comes and we abolish Tisha B'av will that constitute a breach of our mesorah?

10) Rashi's daughters put on tefilin. Women are not obligated in Shofar or Sukkah, but universally do them anyway. They can take on additional mitzvos if they are sincere. I personally don't judge people's sincerity. I leave that to the RBSH.

This debate ought to center around specific halachic issues, as to what she can and cannot do with each point being brought from a source. Merely throwing around vague terms like yes Orthodox, not Orthodox, yes Mesorah, not Mesora have very little meaning. Our Mesorah is to follow halacha, so that is where the debate must center.

I am not saying I agree with this new idea, as I don't know enough about what she does and the whole arrangement. I am just suggesting we analyze it without letting our emotions run wild and instead focus on the intellectual and halachic ramifications. Rabbi Weiss has done much good for the klal in the course of his career, and he deserves to be given a fair hearing.

excellent response - well thought out and thoroughly fair - many people hear the words woman and rabbi in the same sentence and automatically cringe - it needs to be analyzed more closely through the lens of halacha

131

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