Chief Rabbinate: Women should not be tested for the rabbinate

Chief Rabbinical Council says calls for ordination exams for women are attempts to harm rabbinate as an institution.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

meeting of Chief Rabbinical Council
meeting of Chief Rabbinical Council

The Chief Rabbinical Council announced its unequivocal support for Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef that the Chief Rabbinate would not allow women to be tested for the rabbinate.

During the meeting, the council discussed a range of issues including the ordination of women, the appointment of municipal rabbis, and the shmita year.

At the beginning of the meeting, the rabbis of the council called to support Chief Rabbi Yosef and to oppose efforts to 'harm' the rabbinate as an institution.

The council's decision, which will be submitted to the court as the Chief Rabbinate's position on the matter, states that "there must be strong opposition to allowing women to be examined by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel or to be sponsored by the Chief Rabbinate for halakhic examinations held for women even outside its framework."

The decision also states that "the role of the Chief Rabbinate, in this context, is to constitute an institution that authorizes rabbis, and the Chief Rabbinate must be careful to operate only in this framework. This should be done without expressing a position regarding the establishment of a system of study and examination in halakhic fields under a different framework, similar to study and examination frameworks in various professions in Judaism, academia and others, which have nothing to do with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel."

In its remarks, the council also referred to the factors behind the request to conduct rabbinical examinations for women. "It cannot be ignored that the petition in question, together with other legal proceedings currently underway, is part of a broad trend to advance goals foreign to the spirit of traditional Judaism."

The rabbis concluded their decision with harsh words that could affect all the thousands of examinees in the rabbinate exams, "This breaching of the fence is a fatal blow to the tradition of accreditation passed down from generation to generation and we as the chief rabbinate must support the fence and plug the breach, even if this means disabling the system of examinations and ordination to the rabbinate held by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel."