In Rabbi Chaim Landau’s “Are Female Rabbis a Threat — or Is It the OU?” (March 3), he thoroughly condemned the decision of the Orthodox Union regarding women clergy. As an individual with a pretty strong background in Jewish law and Talmud, I would like to share rebuttal.
Landau asserts that we should motivate and thank these genuinely motivated female clergy members instead of rejecting them, as he claims the OU has done. When reading the OU’s official statement, however, I see it differently. Numerous times in the statement, the OU explains that it unequivocally supports and encourages women being involved in the synagogue as follows: “The panel has also proclaimed – and celebrated – the important and fundamentally successful roles that women can and must play within our communal and synagogue structures, including as educators and scholars.” Certainly, the OU is not rejecting women as educators and scholars.
How is a genuinely inspired woman who wants to share Torah and her knowledge to the community being stymied? The only thing that the woman is lacking is the title “rabbi.” However, she can spread as much Torah as she so desires. Is that not what truly motivates someone to enter into the rabbinate in the first place?