The Rabbi has no Robes

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    What duties in that temple require specifically Jewish knowledge anyway? Her success was in doing those things the congregants do value.

  2. HaSoferet says:

    I’m not sure what your point is, but isn’t it up to the hiring congregation to vet the prospective rabbi’s credentials before hiring? That has certainly been the case with any shul with which I’ve been affiliated.

  3. Michael says:

    There have been plenty of hucksters who have worked in Orthodox shuls as rabbis as well.

  4. mycroft says:

    “Earlier this year, I wrote about how easy it now is to become a Reform or Conservative Rabbi, with the advent of $8000 online ordination”

    One can get smicha online. I am aware of people serving as Rabbis based on online smicha. It is true that the RCA won’t recognize those smichas as valid for membership but I doubt the RA and CCAR would either. ” What duties in that temple require specifically Jewish knowledge anyway? Her success was in doing those things the congregants do value”

    What is not emphasized enough is that scholarship is not the most important attribute for a Rav or Mechanech to have-for starters integrity, ability to communicate what one knows and the ability to ask others when one is not sure are extremely important for those doing either of the important klei kodesh.

  5. Yaakov Menken says:

    mycroft, these are not comparable, and Michael, you present an assertion without evidence.

    Online smicha, such as that provided by Pirchei Shoshanim, is only accessible to someone with a certain level of background. If you don’t know how to understand the Shulchan Aruch and references to Gemara, you’re not going to be able to pass. I very much doubt the average HUC graduate today could pass, much less the average layperson without a background. At the end of the day, the Orthodox world works on caveat emptor, not what paper the person is holding. Integrity is hardly sufficient without knowledge and scholarship, just as the opposite is true as well.

    In this case, the woman in question had never been in any rabbinic school or taken any course at all. She had no learning or training, as far as we know, beyond that of being able to teach and administer a Hebrew school program. And we are talking about Michigan’s oldest Reform temple, with a senior Rabbi who’s been around for decades. And no one noticed.

  6. mycroft says:

    “mycroft, these are not comparable, and Michael, you present an assertion without evidence.” I have no idea who Michael is but I hope that the rules of Cross-Currents would prevent Michael submitting such evidence I do not believe that this is the place for evaluating individuals.
    “Online smicha, such as that provided by Pirchei Shoshanim, is only accessible to someone with a certain level of background. If you don’t know how to understand the Shulchan Aruch and references to Gemara, you’re not going to be able to pass” Agreed thus the real issue maybe not the online aspect but the knowledge required is essential-I personally disagree smicha should require more than the specific knowledge that is classically required-most important learning a way of life classically learned from a Rebbe. Of course, to be fair Reform and Conservative Judaism see no relevance to Halacha and thus naturally see no reason for their clergy to be experts in it. For practical Rabbanus a Rav has to know what the generally accepted halacha is in the vast majority of cases-the rest of the cases I assume and at least hope all Rabbonim would discuss with colleagues and mentors when the issue comes up. Of course, if a Ravs Rebbe is still alive he’d be the natural person to ask but in the nature of things talmidim generally out survive their Rabeeim and thus need others to discuss with.

  7. Steve Brizel says:

    The problem with online Smicha is that it lacks the critical element of Shimush Etzel Gavrah Rabah. Merely passing a Bchinah or series of Bchinos provides no insight into the kulos, chumros and hanhagos of any Adam Gadol.

Pin It on Pinterest