Ordaining Women

Tzvee’s Talmudic Blog has posted the following post:

Rabbi says Martyrdom is better than Ordaining a Woman Rabbi.

According to Orthodox Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a faculty member at Yeshiva University, martyrdom is preferable to ordaining a woman as a rabbi.

After hearing that inspiring message, the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America voted to pass this resolution: “…we cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title.”

No comment. I am just passing along this information.

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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4 Responses to Ordaining Women

  1. Nate says:

    >I come from a Conservative Jewish tradition, which ironically is pretty liberal in its theology and politics. And they have had women rabbis for many years, and I have even heard one speak once a year for the last few years during the High Holidays. That said, my personal leaning tend to be more conservative (little "c"), and I feel uncomfortable with some of the egalitarianism of modern Judaism. Not because I think women are incapable of leadership roles, but under traditional Jewish teaching they actually are exempt—or in some cases, maybe even barred—from many of the laws and regulations that male Rabbis are expected to perform. Now, many modern forms of Judaism respond to this by ignoring these biblical and rabbinical commands, permitting women to act as if they were men. But they're not men, and it's not consistent with our tradition. I appreciate the fact that there are strands of Judaism that would allow women who want to pursue Rabbinal careers and I think it's good that they can pursue them. But Orthodox Judaism's strength has always been the unwillingness to compromise on these matters, and I think that's the right move for them.


  2. >Nate,Thank you for your thoughtful comment. The reason I did not comment on the decision of the Rebbis was because I respect their decision.I come from an egalitarian tradition and thus, I am more open to the ordination of women. However, I used to belong to a denomination that opposes the ordination of women, and I respect their decision.In my religious tradition, a church decides whether or not to ordain a woman. Churches differ on this issue and I also respect their theological position.Claude Mariottini


  3. Nate says:

    >I think it's important to respect these differences of interpretation. Within either Jewish or Christian tradition, I can't see this matter as fundamentally important to their respective theologies. It's hard to prove which path is the "correct one," so having different approaches where people of different opinions can seek their goals, and feel most comfortable in their spiritual journey, has a real value.My mother-in-law takes the command of 1 Tim 2:12 quite literally and would not participate in even a Bible study run by a woman (unless it was an all-female group). I don't think that's the right solution, but I respect her decision because it's important for her to follow what she understands to be God's will.


  4. >Nate,You and I are in agreement on this issue. When it comes to this issue, we must respect the views of Christians who disagree with us. This issue is not a matter of fellowship; it is a matter on the proper interpretation of specific biblical texts.Claude Mariottini


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