The Sisterhood 50

The Charedim received almost no attention the past few years in Newsweek’s annual listing of America’s top 50 rabbis. Sure, some chareidim complain about this, but few care very much.

I get a sense that these feminists care very much that so few women are represented in this top 50 list.

Why do they care so much? I suspect they only care so much because they are so insecure in their identity as women rabbis. People solid in their identities don’t care if their kind isn’t well represented in some Newsweek list.

The blunt fact is that women rabbis are not particularly significant. If there were no women rabbis in the world, the Jewish world would not be greatly diminished. None of the great Torah scholars have been women.

I am not opposed to non-Orthodox forms of Judaism ordaining women as rabbis and I am not opposed to women teaching Torah in Orthodox life and advising on Jewish law in matters in which they have expertise. I just want things done in Orthodox Jewish life according to the dictates of the great rabbis, not according to the whims of an activist in Riverdale.

And when I see people reacting strongly because others do not see them in the light in which they view themselves, I think such people are insecure and needy, and that does not turn me on. Who wants to be around whiners?

I think people should stand on their own two feet and to not depend on others for borrowed functioning. We all have to learn to soothe our own anxieties and to not ask others to make us feel good about ourselves. (Passionate Marriage)

Chaim Amalek emails: “I cannot explain it, but I think that women end up as rabbis for the same reason that other women end up lesbians.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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