Non-Congratulations to the New Non-Rabbis

Thirty years ago, in 1983 we were happy to start sending our women Jewish Studies major graduates at the University of Minnesota to train to become rabbis in the Reform movement. We told them to go out and become full head rabbis of synagogues, not assistants or educational directors. Some did. We were proud.

This week we read of the non-ordination of three females by an Orthodox institute. We sadly shake our heads and dejectedly shrug our shoulders. This is a milestone of non-progress.

This non-event is a rare mixture of chutzpah and cowardice on the part of these women and their teachers. Their mentors dared to give a “degree” and “title” to the women and yet they fearfully refrained from ordaining them with the accepted titles “rabbis” or the feminine of the term, “rabbahs” to be more grammatical.

All of this is too perplexing for our Talmudic CPU to process. Our Talmudic processing system has short-circuited and crashed and cannot analyze this conflicted non-event any further.


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