Friday, February 05, 2010

Rabba or Maharat? Who cares!!!!??????

Oh my G-d. (Don't want to offend anyone by spelling it out) Because, Lord knows, everyone has to weigh in on this. Mahara't? Rabbah? Not wanting to re-hash the whole debate, (click here for story) I have been reading the comments on the popular orthodox web site, Vos Is Neias, and I have come to believe that our people are insane.

For those of you who want the short version, Rabbi Avi Weiss, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and senior Rabbi of The Hebrew Institute in Riverdale, last year, ordained Sarah Hurwitz after she completed seven years of study, the same as any man would do. Because the HIR is a modern Orthodox synagogue, and because Rabbi Weiss was smart enough to realize that he would take a lot of heat for the action, chose a title that indicated ordination, but was different enough not to threaten the establishment. After a year of everyone wondering what the heck "Mahara't" meant, (it meant nothing to anyone outside of the HIR) they decided to change the title to Rabbah, a feminized version of Rabbi. I think that it is kinda dumb and funny, and they should just call her Rabbi, but it brings us a step closer. I have to admit, I have come to this position reluctantly, because I admit, I was one of those who felt that Halacha, Jewish law, should not casually be tossed aside. Over the past few years, however, i have been challenged (primarily by my wife) to look deeper into many of the things that "feminists" push for, and have found them to have halachic integrity. I Put the word feminist in quotes, since I don't think it applies. This is not a feminist issue. It is a thinking Jew's issue. And too often, we don't think. We rely on everyone else to think for us, under the guise of "they are gedolim - greater thinkers than we are" and i think, to some extent, because it is easier. There are those who would have us think that we cannot upend halacha or tradition, but that is completely against our tradition. Consider that 100 years ago, Sarah Schenirer departed from traditional Judaism by creating a system of educating, get ready here, GIRLS! I wonder how many people today would argue against giving girls a Jewish education? And that took a mere 100 years or so. Another 150 or 200 years before that, they were going to excommunicate the Baal Shem Tov, the father of chassidut for his radical thinking. I think that one took hold.
So back to the beginning about our people being insane. Change happens. All throughout our history, Rabbis have changed Jewish law. Who gets to decide which Rabbis have the right to do that? Answer is, we all do! So for me, Kudos to RabbiS Weiss and Hurwitz!


hevel@ Israeli Uncensored News said...

law cant be changed, modernization in such things is not right thing to do. but also creating of laws like mobile phone in sharutim is also not right-its too much.

DuDu said...

"A Groise Rov Hostu Gevoren" and speaking of titles you choose to call it "A thinking Jew." Call it what you may, it is nothing more than an uneducated opinion.

Spell out why Halachah has rejected the notion of women rabbis then defend the claim by answering sources (including sources in minhag) and arrive at an educated conclusion from "A thinking Jew". Besides, you are doing Hurwitz a big injustice, trying to undermine any authority Rabbis hold today just as the first "Orthodox" woman get conferred with the title "Rabbah"

Mottel said...

Well, Dudu, you will be happy to know that Rabbi Weiss has apparently acceded to the RCA and agreed not to "ordain" any more women for the moment. And Rabbah Hurwitz herself, it is reported, is considering giving up the title, or not using it, to allay the controversy. TOo bad for the Jewish People, I say.