Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event
This does not mean women would or should be called “rabbi.” For reasons ranging from formal authority (serarah) being limited to men, to the title being given only to those who can serve as witnesses or function as chazzanim, to it simply being a matter of tradition, it is reasonable to argue that a different title should be given.
Nor does this does mean training for women in the Orthodox clergy must be identical to the training men receive for the rabbinate. Women sometimes bring different pastoral approaches that require different training. All of this is secondary to the fact that formal institutional training for women who wish to be part of the Orthodox clergy – teaching, preaching and answering questions of halacha and hashgacha – is an improvement over the current lack of any formal training and therefore a good idea. Such programs, granting degrees conferring fitness to be a member of the Orthodox clergy, are a wise idea whose time has come.
Some Objections – and a Reply
Some will no doubt protest that this will all lead down a slippery slope toward egalitarian services. Personally, I think this slope is unlikely to slip. Pastoral and halachic matters undertaken by clergy are quite distinct within Orthodoxy – from the liturgical work of a chazzan to the sexton duties of a gabbai to the rabbinical court responsibilities of a dayan. In England, different members of the clergy (not all of whom even have semicha) go by distinctly different titles, reflecting different roles: reverend, minister, rabbi, and dayan; maybe that is a fine idea worth importing to America.
Others object to this type of training based on their disagreement with the worldview (hashkafat olam) of specific individuals involved in organizing the first training program for Orthodox women clergy. (Let me be honest: I share many of those objections). But the solution to that objection is to open alternate training programs with different faculty, staff, students and worldviews. It would be a shame if a good idea were abandoned merely because some in the Orthodox community think ill of the people who first thought it.
So, yes, certifying people – men and women – as well-trained Orthodox clergy is a good idea, and certainly better than the status quo, which allows essentially untrained women to function in pastoral roles.
In the end, our community can only grow and flourish with well-trained clergy – both men and women – teaching, preaching and counseling God’s Torah. I look forward to all my children – both my sons and my daughters – being scholars and students of God’s living legacy on this planet.
About the Author: Rabbi Michael J. Broyde is not a member of the IRF but he is a member of the RCA and a dayan in the Beth Din of America. He was the founding rabbi of the Young Israel in Atlanta and is a law professor at Emory.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
“these soldiers are on the front lines of a war that the entire world is fighting”
Hayovel’s vision: to share with them (Jews) a passion for the soon coming jubilee in yeshua messiah.”
Dalai Lama: In the interest of Tibetans today to have peaceful co-existence with the Chinese.
The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors
It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”
The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.
The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.
The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.
How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?
In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities
Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.
But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.
If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.
Israel – the land and the nation – lost a giant earlier this month with the passing of Justice Menachem Elon, a monumental talmid chacham who served on the Israeli Supreme Court from 1977-1993, and as its deputy president from 1988-93, bringing a deep Torah viewpoint to the highest tiers of the Israeli judiciary.
We know that genuine halachically viable solutions to the agunah problem are hard to come by and might not even be within our grasp. But we also know the agunah problem can be functionally solved in practice, even if not in theory, and the solution is clear and obvious.
This short essay will develop five critical points for responding to the voices within the broader community that seek to accept and legitimize homosexual conduct, an activity that directly contradicts the dictates of halacha.
You may applaud the idea of ordaining women rabbis, or you may recoil in horror at the prospect, but the simple fact remains that women already serve the Orthodox world in clergy-like positions.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/orthodox-women-clergy/2009/07/22/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: