Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin: Women with Leadership Authority According to Halachah examines in detail the legitimacy for feminine leadership in Jewish law. Exploring the various manifestations of female leadership, whether as women clergy or other forms of female halachic adjudication, Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin responds to the standard criticisms leveled at the recent phenomenon of female authority within the Orthodox community. In this groundbreaking book, Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber argues the halachic, political, and sociological levels of female leadership in Judaism.
About the Author:
Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber is a leading scholar of Jewish law, customs, and ethics. He taught in the Talmud Department of Bar-Ilan University, where he also served as dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies and president of the Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies. In 1992, he was awarded the Israel Prize for Jewish Studies. Prof. Sperber currently serves as rabbi of the Menachem Zion Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The descendant of a line of distinguished Orthodox rabbis, Prof. Sperber was born in 1940 in a castle in Ruthin, Wales, and studied in the Yeshivot of Kol Torah and Hevron in Jerusalem. He earned a BA in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art and received a PhD in classics, ancient history, and Hebrew studies from University College, London.
Prof. Sperber has published more than thirty books and four hundred articles on the subjects of Talmud and Jewish socio-economic history, law and customs, classical philology, and Jewish art. Among his major works is a well-known, eight-volume series, Minhagei Yisrael, on the history of Jewish customs. More recently, he has written books on halachic methodology and rabbinic decision-making in confrontation with modernity, and has established an independent beit din dealing with agunah issues. He is the author of On Changes in Jewish Liturgy: Options and Limitations; On the Relationship of Mitzvot Between Man and His Neighbor and Man and His Maker, and The Importance of the Community Rabbi: Leading with Compassionate Halachah, all published by Urim Publications.
Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky heads the Women's Beit Midrash and Halachic writing program at Herzog College as well as the Halachah program for Rabbaniot at Migdal Oz. Previously, she headed the Beit Midrash program for women at Beit Morasha. She also lectures at Shalem College, and is a widely published author of Torah and halachic research articles that appear in scholarly Torah journals. Rabbanit Tikochinsky has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Law and a PhD in Talmud from Bar-Ilan University. Her book on the scholarship of the Minchat Chinuch is set to be published soon. She and her husband, Yakir, live in Nof Ayalon, where they are raising their seven children.
- Introductory Remarks
- Women in Rabbinic Positions
- Women in Positions of Communal Authority
- Can Women Serve in Positions of Authority?
- Reactions of Rabbinic Organizations to Sara Hurwitz's Semichah
- Women Rabbis? by Rabbi Hershel Schachter
- Response to Rabbi Schachter
- Concluding Remarks
- Afterword: Women in Positions of Halachic Leadership by Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky
Appendix I: Orthodox Union Statement on Female Clergy (February 2017) / Responses from Rabbi Herzl Hefter and Rabbi Ethan Tucker
Appendix II: Rabbi Soloveitchik's Position on Women as Shohatot and the Development of Customs of Abstention / Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox
Appendix III: Wanted: Precision, Nuance, and Avodat Hashem / Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf
Appendix IV: What is "Mesorah" / Tradition?
Appendix V: Tradition and Innovation, by R Samuel Sperber zt"l
About the Authors