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Monsey Rabbi tells us why women can’t rabbis – it’s got nothing to do with halacha

It has been learned that the recent uproar within orthodoxy over Rabbi Avi Weissís decision to make the worldís first orthodox woman rabbi has no halachic basis whatsoever. Speaking on anonymity, a very knowledgeable and learned rabbi from Monsey told FS- News in an interview that he didnít agree with Rabbi Weiss, but that his disagreements werenít rooted in Jewish law, they were rooted in his refusal to acknowledge that any woman could do a manís job. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

You mean to tell me that you believe in the glass ceiling?

I donít believe in any type of ceiling, I firmly believe that Jewish women have roles and those roles have more to do with mimicking zomicks challah rolls, than they have to do with reaching this so called glass ceiling.

So women shouldnít be working?

I didnít say that, I just donít think they should be doing a mans job. This doesnít only apply to becoming Rabbis, I wouldnít trust a women to mow my lawn or purchase my chometz, those are mans jobs and she should stick to professions geared more towards women.

Donít you find it kind of weird that women are told they have their own roles until itís time to support their family Ė then they go against thousands of years of tradition by going out becoming the breadwinner. Isnít this odd?

No, a man has to sit and learn, if the parents donít have the money, the wife has to work.

So technically a woman could become a rabbi, itís just that orthodox Jews donít trust their mental capacity for such a hard job?

Thatís correct, I donít see any basis in halacha against a woman being a rabbi, assuming she were dressed tzniusdik, covered her hair fully, didnít wear red or denim and stayed on her side of the mechitza. However, I donít think women could handle the rigors of proposing bans, paskining on which products you could use with a triangle-K and off the cuff emergencies like telling the congregants that there was no minyan even though there are 15 men in shul Ė on second thought Ė how would she see if there was a minyan if she was on one side of the mechitza, assuming the mechitza was kosher.

So if itís allowed, why did the moetzes hagedolim and RCA put forth this proclamation that Avi Weiss had veered away from orthodoxy?

Did you notice that both proclamations contained no halachic sources whatsoever? I myself have noticed this with regards to many of these ďrulingsĒ that come from gedolim. They all say some big news, but what people donít notice is that they contain no sources or halachic information as to where these rulings came from. You must understand that most of these proclamations have to do with money and power, rarely do they have halachic basis.

I thought the halachic basis was tznius issues?

Well you could make anything into a tznius issue and they do, itís an easy way out. Think about it, doing things in the name of tznius forces women to be at the mercy of the men. Men canít keep their eyes off women so the women suffer Ė in this case, the tznius issues arenít relevant because she is modern orthodox and the laws of tznius do not apply.

Wouldnít it be more tznius for women to ask another woman their personal questions?

Thatís actually a very good point that I discussed with my 11th grade class. We were discussing different ways to be dan líkaf zíchus and this was brought up by a rather open minded boy, and no one had any arguments besides just denouncing such a blasphemous decision as wrong.

Do you think that Sara Hurwitz was frum?

No definitely not

Really, can you explain?

She doesnít fully cover hair, uncovered hair of married women is considered ervah, with the amount of hair she shows, itís akin to showing cleavage. She also davens in a shul without a kosher mechitza, according to pictures I have seen. I also heard her husband doesnít wear a hat to shul.

Why do you think the Gedolim dealt with Avi Weiss so harshly, but when it came to Leib Tropper they were silent?

Avi Weiss threatened the age old philosophy that women are lesser creatures than men. The Torah needs to be upheld as a living document, even though it was written three thousand years ago. I canít imagine how the rabbis felt after the emancipation proclamation which went against many mitzvos within the torah pertaining to slaves Ė now imagine what would happen if one of our own (for the record I donít think Avi Weiss is orthodox Ė but many modern orthodox people do and that makes him even more dangerous) would come around and throw the entire torah back in our faces. The torah was written by men for men, we had to give something to the women, so we told them they have roles and that has been and will always be the status quo.

Avi Weiss has threatened our entire way of life. Can you imagine what would happen if the roles were changed around. Girls would go to beis medrish and guys would go and get jobs, itís despicable. Who is this Leib Tropper character you talk about, Iíve never heard of him?

You donít know who Leib Tropper is?

Isnít he the kidney rabbi?

SoÖ the rabbis really did keep Tropper under the radar. Leib Tropper is that guy in Monsey that forced a women he was converting to have a tryst with him and his wife.

Yes, yes, thatís right I do recall hearing about this threesome loving, geirus rabbi, but whatís píshat. Itís not like he pulled a Kolko or a Lanner, these were consenting adults.

The rest of the interview will be published shortly.

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Yerachmiel Lopin March 9, 2010, 9:11 PM


    • Heshy Fried March 9, 2010, 9:25 PM

      Thanks – appreciate that

      • Meir March 10, 2010, 12:10 AM

        This is a serious interview, then?

        • anon March 10, 2010, 1:59 AM

          what some people didn’t realize is that this is NOT a real interview!
          no one actually said these things.

          it is a satirization, a (humorous) exaggeration, of what some people might believe

          • J March 10, 2010, 2:59 PM

            The fact that you feel the need to tell people that is almost as funny as the article.

  • Sergey Kadinsky March 9, 2010, 9:40 PM

    To see a humor site go into serious news reporting… Who do you think you are, the Jewish Colbert?

    • ghottistyx March 9, 2010, 9:44 PM

      Serge, I think you’re on to something here.

      • Anonymous March 9, 2010, 10:50 PM

        jewish colbert =/= jon stewart?

        but what could i know, i’m a woman. back to the kitchen i go.

  • Lurkeress March 9, 2010, 9:41 PM

    This is hilarious. Bravo!

  • Elke Reva Sudin March 9, 2010, 9:46 PM

    Heshy you make me so riled up! Job well done.

  • ari March 9, 2010, 9:50 PM

    well done i thought this was real for a sec

  • Anonymous March 9, 2010, 9:51 PM

    Is this supposed to be a joke?

  • OrthoGirlOutsideThinker March 9, 2010, 10:09 PM

    I am extremely peeved at the audacity of these so called orthodox groups claiming such horrendous things. I feel uncomfortable with the idea of a female rabbi but at the same time the idea that the Torah supports the claim that women are secondary to men is absolutely false it just states the mitzvoth men and women must do….If women were secondary to men then why are men constantly having to do extra mitzvoth for numerous failings and disobeying of Hashem such as the sin of the spies or golden calf. Women refused to fallow their husbands when they knew it was wrong behavior. Now these groups feel the need to use tznius as a form of oppression and control by claiming that women are the cause of all men’s aberrant or natural sexual behavior. I have as of yet to hear about men learning to control their natural impulses by restrain themselves instead of misinterpreting Torah oral and written to oppress women.

    Now I’m not a feminist but I hate it when people screw with or destroy people while claiming to do it for the “Greater Good”!

    • Heshy Fried March 10, 2010, 10:28 AM

      Don’t you know that women are on a higher spiritual level – which translates into men can’t keep it in their pants.

    • Women, religions losers November 27, 2013, 10:28 AM

      Because the men who wrote the Torah wrote it for men and were not concerned with giving women tons of mitzvot other than those that pertain to breeding more men.

  • The Rebbe Reb Mailech March 9, 2010, 10:15 PM

    The funny thing is that if it weren’t for a few telling mistakes, it’s pretty believable and close to many people’s understanding of the truth.

  • yaakovyisrael March 9, 2010, 10:23 PM

    love it. this is truly both frum and satire. i too appreciate the realness. mad magazine…the onion….colbert…frum satire!

  • Yakov March 9, 2010, 11:11 PM

    Well done heshy…like Reb Mailich said if it weren’t for some key lines it would’ve sounded pretty real to the less informed “…who is this Tropper character you speak of…”

  • CCMSM March 9, 2010, 11:43 PM

    I think I know that Rabbi.

  • anon March 10, 2010, 1:58 AM

    what some people didn’t realize is that this is NOT a real interview! no one actually said these things.
    it is a satirization, a (humorous) exaggeration, of what some people might believe

  • Joe March 10, 2010, 2:32 AM

    Very funny…. the only give away was at the end… this guy shouldn’t know what a threesome is seriously?

  • anon March 10, 2010, 3:04 AM

    Oy. Please copy edit – for instance, the title needs another action verb. Try “Be”. “Can’t Be Rabbis”

  • old fashioned modern ortho March 10, 2010, 5:21 AM

    One of your best to date.

  • Rachel March 10, 2010, 6:22 AM


  • FrumGer March 10, 2010, 8:23 AM

    To all that could for one second think this was a real post-
    anytime he opens with a something about FS news- you know its drek..

    i feel like a im drinking hater-aid but i just used to find you uber funny, and lately its just been flat tires, nu whats up with that? Can you come up with stuff that is a little off your well beaten- into the- ground path? i used to watch your videos and it seemed like you were this somewhat innocent allbeit naivate funny little pissher that was just talking about the humor of the frum world, not really against it just commenting on the humorous social aspects of everyday frumkeit. now it seems you are much more dark more generally cynical but still trying to be funny, its not working. i have seen tons of your old videos and they are classic heshy. whats up with the change? i mean you have always been fringe and contriversal, but used to be much more lighthearted.

    btw the title needs a little work.

    also, purchase your chometz? since when does a jew buy your chometz from you on pesach? you sell it to a goy

    • Dave March 10, 2010, 10:04 AM

      Maybe its the constant scandals coming out every other day that explains why the humor is less lighthearted. You don’t have to hate the frum world to be a little pissed off at whats going on.

    • Heshy Fried March 10, 2010, 10:32 AM

      Women in general my friend – and all humor is subjective. If I aimed to please everyone I would have been out of business. I write what I feel like writing, I used to write lists, I’m pretty much done with lists. If people didn’t like what I was writing, I would change, someone wrote last week that I wasn’t writing humor enough so I decided to change all of my ideals into satirical pieces – it’s worked wonders for me – obviously not for you.

      The title was changed from an original title – it’s less SEO intensive now.

  • shosh March 10, 2010, 10:58 AM

    That’s cool! Congrats!

  • Leibel March 10, 2010, 1:21 PM

    Hilarious stuff, I’m amazed that making a woman a rabbi gets condemned more than sexual and financial scandals. The most you get is a press conference or shabbaton about the importance of following Choshen Mishpat or an investigation that can’t accomplish anything, but the woman rabbi (which can at least be argued for halachically unlike money laundering and pimping) gets condemned almost immediately.

  • FrumGer March 10, 2010, 6:43 PM

    I mean do what u want i will keep reading, its just you seemed much more lighthearted, a year ago…. maybe i am just reading into things ive always viewed myself as somewhat intuitive and maybe i am wrong.

  • merchant services houston March 10, 2010, 7:47 PM

    once again proving that nothing good comes out of monsey these days ūüôā

  • ephedrine March 10, 2010, 9:42 PM

    You make an interesting point that tznius considerations can often be a garbage in garbage out fallback position. I never thought of it in quite that way. The fact that most of the chumras regarding tznius are placed on women may indeed be an indication that some halachas are self-serving to men. After all, if it is the man’s uncontrollable yetzer that is the problem then ought not the man bear the burden of the chumras that rein it in?

    • DrumIntellect March 17, 2010, 10:49 AM

      I think the “Torah” dress code harms men just as much as it harms women.

  • nadzieja batki March 11, 2010, 8:42 AM

    I think men have missed the point of the women as rabbi brouhaha.You all seem to know the Torah so how did you all miss Genesis 3:16, Your desire…he shall. Because of sin and the curse, the men and women will face struggles in their own relationships. We have turned a harmonious system of G D ordained roles into a distasteful struggles of self-will. The woman’s desires will be to lord it over her husband but the husband will rule by Divine design. Men have lost what little respect they had from women. Men have given women enough ammo to be used against themselves. Men have thought that life has a do over but it doesn’t, so with all the cheating and the lying, etc., with no self control on their behaviors, it has come to payback time. No excuse of any man being innocent will work this time. Men had been warned by countless people but no change and you men were too cowardly or went along with fellow males.

  • FrumGer March 11, 2010, 10:54 AM

    nadzieja batki-

    While i am against women pretending to be rabbaim, (as no real such thing exists) And generally agree with you that women have lost respect for men. and that the past two or three generations there has indeed been a gender struggle. I would none the less argue your interpretation. It seems to me that the Torah is saying that women will always seek the approval of men, their desire will be for them. they will want favor from us, they will have a natural neediness for a man. The need and want us no matter how much of a dumkopf ass hole we can be. as you so well expounded on, in your comment.

  • rocker March 11, 2010, 9:55 PM

    when will ppl learn???
    women are not lesser then men, but come on, show me a man who can raise & love a child more than the woman who carried the child in her belly for 9th and gave birth to him????
    It’s simply a woman’s roll to be loving, friendly, understanding creature and to raise and guid her family w/ love…
    to go out there and lead is a man’s job…. that’s why when u do find a man who can: be loving, sensitive, understanding, he’s patient he’s GAY!!
    ps. i’m a mom&wife who spends 8 hrs a day in the corp. world: it’s a heck of ALOT eiser to be a corporate manager then to raise children and be a wife…. no bull.

  • Debbie Far Rockaway July 8, 2010, 4:59 PM

    At first, wasn’t sure you were kidding.

    The Jewish men already depend on us women to be the breadwinners so they can shmooz in shiur (ahem, learn in yeshiva), to raise their children while they are hardly home because they are in yeshiva or minyan, and cook, clean, launder, make Shabbos, etc.

    If they couldn’t AT LEAST have the pulpit, they’d have nothing.

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