Friday, January 11, 2008

Female Orthodox Rabbis?

Feminist Credential Disclaimer: I see no halachic obstacle to women becoming lower-level Orthodox rabbis, based on the Pischei Teshuvah in Choshen Mishpat 7:4 (note 5), and the Tosfos explaining how Devorah the prophetess functioned. However, it is just not done.

There is a confusing article in the Jerusalem Post today, claiming (or not claiming) that the Hartman Institute is starting a program to train women, regardless of denomination, for ordination as Orthodox rabbis. But it's not a normal ordination, in that it doesn't look like they'll have the title "rabbi". And it's not a normal ordination program, being based, not on Talmud and halacha, but on a Masters in Jewish Philosophy and extra teacher training.

R' Aviner, often thought of as a posek for Modern Orthodoxy, isn't happy, but is less happy about Orthodox women studying side-by-side with heterodox women, than he is about the semi-ordination.

So: is this a Great Step Forward for Orthodox Feminism, or is it another non-issue that's trying for a bit of publicity, like the non-denominational (if Orthodox in practice) Kehillath Orach Eliezer hiring a non-Orthodox woman to be a non-rabbi?


Lion of Zion said...

well now this gets YCT off the hook.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

RK Dina Najman of KOE is Orthodox.

How do you distinguish "lower-level" rabbis?

thanbo said...

Ah. Maybe I was confusing the KOE thing with Ner-David's ordination.

Lower level - yoreh yoreh, not yadin yadin.

Michael Kopinsky said...

I think the better punctuation is "yoreh? yoreh. Yadin? Yadin." (Or Lo Tadin, in this case.)