Tuesday, August 4, 2009


The Jewish Press (!) recently published an article called, "Orthodox Women Clergy?"by Michael J. Broyde, in which the author contends that the times in which we live warrant the Orthodox Movement both training women as clergy and giving them recognition as such.

To be honest, this seems way more radical than anything I expected to see in the Orthodox world during my lifetime. But really, really exciting. Yes, he says that women shouldn't be called "rabbi" because of "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," but I still think that it would be a huge step for the movement.

I am ridiculously excited that some in the Orthodox movement recognize that women today are capable of holding and should hold clergy positions (and that, in truth, women already perform the duties that warrant them being labeled as clergy). And that this is true to the effect that an Orthodox newspaper like the Jewish Press is willing to publish an editorial to that effect!

This is a huge step from the (Modern Orthodox) world in which I was raised where, a mere 15 years ago, my school gave the girls cooking, sewing, and typing classes while the boys took gemarah and mishnah.