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Women in Judaism

Women’s priest….Nope. We cannot agree.

Can women be rabbis?

First you must be clear in what is or was a Priest and what is a  Rabbi.  A rabbi is teacher and/or head of a “yeshiva”.
Historically and biblically, women filled leadership roles in the Jewish community but not as ‘priests’. Being a priest and being a Rabbi are two different things that must not be confused.

Many women in the Bible were leaders!  They were corageous and clever. In general, women could perform a number of religious roles, including being prophetesses and Nazirites. It’s is religious law (tradition) that  treats women differently in various circumstances.    Women also had a role in ritual life. Women (as well as men) were required to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem once a year and offer the Passover sacrifice. They would also do so on special occasions in their lives such as giving a todah (“thanksgiving”) offering after childbirth. Hence, they participated in many of the major public religious roles that non-levitical men could, albeit less often and on a somewhat smaller and generally more discreet scale.


Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the quintessential leader of modern Orthodoxy, forbade women from serving as presidents of synagogues or any other official positions of leadership, and from performing other mitzvot (commandments) traditionally performed by males exclusively, such as wearing a tallit or tefillin. Soloveitchik wrote that while women do not lack the capability to perform such acts, there is no mesorah (Jewish tradition) that permits it. In making his decision, he relied upon Jewish oral law, including a mishnah in Chulin 2a and a Beit Yoseph in the Tur Yoreh Deah stating that a woman can perform a specific official communal service for her own needs but not those of others.

According to Halakha (Jewish Talmudic law), women are exempt from most time-bound positive mitzvot (commandments), as well as a few other mitzvot, such as the study of Torah and the requirement to have children.

If you live of traditions of man, lies and darkness you can keep on that, by the time Messiah comes you know where you stand as “tradition” is not what was left but Torah.

What really is the issue? Is it anything more than a quibble about titles? Speaking about ultra orthodox or just orthodox Talmudic-based Judaism if a woman is counselling, advising on religious and personal matters, answering pertinent questions on Jewish law, and teaching Torah to those in the community who want it, there are enough major and universally accepted rabbis of impeccable Orthodoxy who agree there is nothing halachically wrong with this at all. Nowadays, in Israel and elsewhere in the Orthodox world, women do all these things all the time, and plead in rabbinic courts, sit for the same exams as men, and give halachic advice from official positions within the State Rabbinate.

It is true that there are certain ritual functions that women cannot perform for men. But these do not define who is a rabbi is or is not.

In Yeshua’s movement and teachings we see women participating as equals. Read here   you are not enlighted enough.   By preference , talking about Paul (Saulo) and by the way, have you ever heard of  Theoklia?   We also recomend the book ” In seach of Paul by John Dominic and Jonathan L. Reed.

The authentic and historical Paul ( Saulo), author of seven New Testament letters he actually wrote (Romans,1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Phillipians, 1 Thessalonians ,Philemon), held that within biblical jewish communities it made no difference whether one entered as a bible jew, or goyim, as a believer man or woman, as a free believer or slave believer. All were absolutely equal with each other. But in Thymoty, a letter atributed to Paul by later christians though not actually written by him, women are told to be silent in church and pregnant at home (2:8-15). A later follower of Paul inserted in 1 Corinthians that is shameful for women to speak in church, but correct to ask their husband for explanation at home (14:33-36).   Those pseudo-Pauline, post Pauline and anti-Pauline obliterations of female authority are the verbal and canonical equivalent of that visual and iconographic obliteration of Theokli’s eyes and hand in that hillside cave of Grotto o St Paul.

Does a search for Paul push female leadership, authority and apostolicity off to the side and finally off the front, or does a search for Paul bring Theoklia, women, and equality back steadily and inevitable into the light until female and male stand together side by side in thye full life of the center?

Communities appointed their religious leaders based on their qualities, or they emerged thanks to their charisma. It was only later when non-Jewish states started to appoint official ecclesiastical representatives and chose the term “rabbi” that the question of qualification and ordination emerged as an issue.  The rabbinate today owes more to imitating non-Jewish clergy than it did originally.

The term “rabbi”, itself, is nowadays pretty meaningless. Anyone can call himself, or herself a rabbi. Like “who is a Jew”, or having a degree. You can buy one online. What matters is where and from whom you got it. Because of the devaluation of the title many Orthodox Talmudic based leaders prefer to be known as Rav or Rabban or Rebbe. “Rabbi” in many Orthodox or Talmudic-based Judaism responsa is written “RA Bi” which in Hebrew means “Bad for Me”. It is indeed intended in some quarters as derogatory. So why the fuss?

We post insightful and demonstrates enlightenment of women’s increased contributions within the religious and biblical jewish community. When given  twisted Bible interpretations I’m referring to the vitriolic, hatefilled spew of several of the opinions to this blog. I have to partly agree with a friend, I believe some of these guys may have been weaned too soon. Not to mention dropped on their heads at some point during their formative years.

We don’t tolerate descrimination or man-made laws. We believe that women are equal to men in the eyes of G-d but both have different rols.

The title “Rabbi”. To me, that is a serious misinterpretation of what most of these women Rabbis are doing (probably confusing the term with “priest”). While I did see about 10% were openly involved in what may be interpreted as “liberal” causes and have agendas that are outside the tenet of scripture, some of these women Rabbis are involved in charitable causes and promoting judaism.


One Orthodox objection is based on tznius, modesty. Modesty is a matter of comportment and attitude. It’s undeniable and clear that most male Orthodox rabbis have projected far more arrogant, immodest concupiscence and corruption this past year than women.


 Since when is a woman teaching Torah, counselling, visiting the sick, and making herself useful around a large community pagan?  Tell that to Yeshua….specially on how  Yeshua related Judaism to women.

We don’t believe or accept that only orthodox ordination from an orthodox yeshiva makes a legitimately ordained Jewish Rabbi. That’s crap.

Related links

Should women learn in silence?

America’s Influential Women Rabbis

Women Rabbis in Judaism

I am an independent, conservative thinker, not affiliated with any political party or religious sect, and I am a proud Jew. I completely support an individual’s right to believe and do what they consider right and correct, provided it doesn’t harm anyone or infringe on their individual rights. I do not believe in social, political and religious agendas that tell me they know better than I how best to take care of myself, and that I need to follow someone’s belief system and practice because it’s “for my own good.” I trust my personal relationship with Hashem and trust in Him to be my guide in the world. While I do not follow nor practice rabinnic or talmudic Judaism, I am a strong supporter of those who do following strictly and first a Biblical or Torah-based Judaism, as well as those whose hearts are simply and beautifully Jewish, and have found their own way within Judaism.


About Orekh Schriftsteller

Orekh Schriftsteller. That it is one the online pen-name of author and Managing Director of DM Enterprises.


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