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Rabbanut To Attorney-General: “We Will Not Appoint Women As Rabbaniot”

The temporary replacement for the Nasi of the Moetzet HaRabbanut HaReishis, HaRav Yaakov Roja, sent a letter on Sunday evening to the Attorney-General’s office saying that the Rabbanut will not appoint women as Rabbaniot.

HaRav Roja wrote: “Unfortunately I will not be able to comply with what was stated in your letter regarding the Supreme Court ruling regarding these clauses – that the appointment of women must be considered according to Clause 7(8).”

“I must act according to the decision of the Moetzes HaRabbanut HaReishit, of which I am a member, in reference to the aforementioned issue, which states: ‘According to halacha, there is no halachic possibility for the appointment of women to the position of Rav.'”

“Therefore, considering the appointment of a woman to the position of Rav is forbidden as it recognizes that a woman can serve in a Rabbinical position, which is contrary to the position of the poskei halacha and Gedolei HaDoros and the Chief Rabbaim of their generations.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

13 Responses

  1. Rebbe Akiva before he became a Tamid Chohum, wanted to tear a sage to pieces like a dunkey. Same idea… Hopefully they’ll do teshuvah…

  2. The position in question is not as a Rav per se. The body that selects the Chief Rabbis – a legal and not a Halachic body – is comprised of a certain number of “Rabbanim” and a certain number of “political appointees”. This body does NOT pasken Halacha – they are purely a voting body, and the government can decide the criteria for membership, the same way they can decide the membership of any other body.

    The AG has determined that women who have passed the Rabbanut Smicha tests – but who are not given the title Rav or some female equivalent – must be considered for the “Rabbinic” seats on this voting body, since the criteria is expertise necessary to evaluate the candidates’ qualifications – and such women have the relevant expertise. They are not sitting on a Beis Din or giving Piskei Halacha – the acts that are inherently Rabbinic and would therefore be problematic – so this looks more like a power play and less like a true Halachic dispute.

    For reference, I note that when Shuls hold a vote on Rabbinical candidates, they don’t generally limit the vote to either male members or those with Smicha – it’s usually the entire membership that votes. This vote is akin to that – there has to be a certain basic level of Halachic knowledge and competence to be considered, but ultimately, it is not only for the Rabbonim to choose.

    an Israeli Yid

  3. The demand to consider women as part of the Rabbanut just highlights how out of touch the legal system in Israel has become. In their quest to be egalitarian and uber ethical, they are attacking both the underpinnings of logic and religion. These are the ppl providing paid defenders for the Nukhba murderers! And please! Why do catholics understand that the pope will never be female?! Maybe the AG should probe that.

  4. I think the hole femanest movement is problematic! Why should women be trying to take over mens rolls? (and of course the other way round is just as absurd)
    If this was a building job then the kablan would not be ordered to hire more women. Or if this was beauty parlour they wouldn’t be ordering the parlour to be hiring more men.
    Women in mens rolls will do a second rate job compared to men and same goes the other way.
    In sport we see there is men sport and women sports. Men and women are different emotionally, fiscally, spiritually and so on.
    So if they want a female to have a roll like cheif Rabbi (which i dont think is such a bad idea. Women dont have enough female outstanding in the limelight women to look up to and emulate) then make a job called Cheif Rabanit.
    And just by the way i think they should pick Rebanit Yemima Mitzrachi for the roll!

  5. The 2 functions of Rabbanut are Kashrut and marriage. Kashrut may be compromised as it pertains to איסור והיתר and עד אחד נאמן is derived from women. Enough said.

  6. @anIsraeliYid you insist on trotting out the Rambam about milchemes mitzvah regarding army service which is clearly not followed lhalocha by accepted poskim now and in generations past (and you don’t follow it either as there’s no excuse for you not to serve yourself now no matter which country you live in nor how old you are) , yet in this case ignore the Rambam about נשים and שררה which is clearly ossur and paskened in shilchan oruch and many shaalos utshuvos from generations past.

  7. @Ishpurim המגל פנים בתורה שלא כהלכה
    אף על פי שיש בידו תורה ומעשים טובים – אין לו חלק לעולם הבא

  8. @Ash – the Rambam I’ve quoted is brought Halacha leMa’aseh by the Ramah, and there is not contested by any of the Rishonim or earlier Achronim I’ve seen (and yes, I’ve looked) – so a little respect for the Rambam’s p’sak is warranted. As to the Rambam’s shita on serara – firstly, there is considerable dispute on that, but second, and more importantly, it’s far from clear that serving as a member of a body that selects someone who will have authority – when the one voting has essentially zero authority on his – or, more relevantly, her – own would be considered serara even according to the Rambam.

    an Israeli Yid

  9. @an Israeli Yod no it’s not and you know it. I’ve asked you ages ago for mekor and you’ve always failed. Even the tzitizis Eliezer (who was a daas yochid) doesn’t say what you claim

  10. (not to mention you’re disrespecting your own minority opinion on what the Rambam says by not serving yourself in the army for which there’s no exception teshitoscho no matter your age nor location)

  11. @Ash – sorry, I don’t carry a full Rambam in my pocket, but it’s in Hilchos Shabbos where he discusses non-Jews attacking a Jewish city. He says (and this is from memory) that in the case of a border city, one goes out to fight for “kash v’teven” even on Shabbos, and other Jews should join them, and – key point – “umitzva la’asoso”. That should give you enough info to find the specific Rambam.

    As to my personally not serving – I actually did volunteer at the beginning of the war, primarily in logistics and English PR. What I was ultimately told by the government reps I was speaking with, though, is that a key point was to also keep Israel’s civilian economy working – so they said it was more important for me to focus on my civilian job to keep my employees engaged and productive. There’s a role for all to play in Israel’s defense, and what that role should be depends on age, fitness, and skills, and each individual needs to be evaluated based on where he can make the maximum contribution – which, for young men in a time of war, means the army and not the Beis Medrash (unfortunately).

    an Israeli Yid

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