Friday, May 05, 2006

So-Called-Orthodox Woman Rabbi

The Jerusalem Post (link) is reporting that Haviva Ner-David has been ordained a rabbi by an Orthodox rabbi who is "well-regarded in modern Orthodox circles," Rabbi Aryeh Strikovsky (WHO???). Mrs. Ner-David is calling herself an Orthodox rabbi. Unfortunately for advocates of female Orthodox rabbis, they seem to have been given a radical for their poster-child.

According to this article, which could very well be wrong, Mrs. Ner-David has "been called up to the Torah twice since [her] ordination." She prays while wearing tefillin and tzitzis. And she speaks of the rabbinate as perpetuating a "patriarchal, hierarchical model." A book on which she is working discusses, among other things, "creating rituals for miscarriage [and] designing egalitarian Jewish wedding ceremonies that will guarantee women's equal status during the marriage and in the event of divorce."

In other words, this is a woman rabbi who speaks and acts like a Conservative rabbi. It's only news because she calls herself Orthodox. But, according to the article, she is no fool: "She knows that some Orthodox Jews will not accept her ordination and will not acknowledge her religious and social status as a rabbi." I'd say that "some" is the understatement of the year.

(See this post on the ordination of women.)

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