I found the OU statement forbidding women clergy to be appallingly authoritarian, self-preservationist and highly offensive to women (“OU Nixes Women Rabbis. What Else Is New?” Feb. 10).
There wasn’t a single woman on the OU panel, despite the rabbis’ grudging acknowledgement that women can be scholars as well.
Those opposed to the yoetzet halachah [women experts on matters of family purity] clearly evidenced an interest in self-preservation, even at the expense of the women who would not seek the advice of a male rabbi, and thus violate Torah law — this isn’t a halachic opinion, it is a self-preservation opinion.
The OU decision will do everything to sunder Modern Orthodox unity. Must we divide ourselves even more, and see the other as “not religious enough” and thus excluded from the Orthodox midst because they empower and encourage the training and hiring of women rabbis? Was the OU’s goal to excommunicate those synagogues that advocate for women rabbis?
This opinion will not reverse the march toward women’s education, leadership and ordination. That ship has sailed.
Beverly Hills, Calif.