The woman at the center of the controversy over ordaining women as Orthodox rabbis, Rabba Sara Hurwitz, joins the conversation at The Salon, sharing her perspective on the Rabbinical Council of America’s “2010 Convention Resolution: Women’s Communal Roles in Orthodox Jewish Life.” (Scroll down for the full text of the resolution.)
Also on hand are author Judith Shulevitz, whose recent book “The Sabbath World” takes a historical and cultural look at the concept of the Sabbath, and President & CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Culture Elise Bernhardt, one of the few women at the helm of a major Jewish organization.
Moderated by Forward editor Jane Eisner, with Mediate.com Editor At Large Rachel Sklar, this episode’s discussion digs into the significance of the Sabbath in contemporary Jewish life, Bar & Bat Mitzvah wars, the RCA resolutio,n and, regarding the recent controversy over a Lane Bryant commercial for a plus-sized line of lingerie, our panel considers whether full-figured but not fully-clothed women belong on a prime time television commercial.
Full text of the RCA’s “2010 Convention Resolution: Women’s Communal Roles in Orthodox Jewish Life”:
Here’s the full text of that resolution:
Apr 27, 2010 — 1) The flowering of Torah study and teaching by God-fearing Orthodox women in recent decades stands as a significant achievement. The Rabbinical Council of America is gratified that our (members) have played a prominent role in facilitating these accomplishments.
2) We members of the Rabbinical Council of America see as our sacred and joyful duty the practice and transmission of Judaism in all of its extraordinary, multifaceted depth and richness – halakhah (Jewish law), hashkafah (Jewish thought), tradition and historical memory.
3) In light of the opportunity created by advanced women’s learning, the Rabbinical Council of America encourages a diversity of halakhically and communally appropriate professional opportunities for learned, committed women, in the service of our collective mission to preserve and transmit our heritage. Due to our aforesaid commitment to sacred continuity, however, we cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title.
4) Young Orthodox women are now being reared, educated, and inspired by mothers, teachers and mentors who are themselves beneficiaries of advanced women’s Torah education. As members of the new generation rise to positions of influence and stature, we pray that they will contribute to an ever-broadening and ever-deepening wellspring of talmud Torah (Torah study), yir’at Shamayim (fear of Heaven), and dikduk b’mitzvot (scrupulous observance of commandments).
Watch the complete episode of The Salon 05: