Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I just came across this, and I found it so unbelievable (and not in a good way) that I had to find somewhere to share it. The only disclaimer I'll give is that I do not believe that this Rabbi reflects the Orthodox world, or even his little corner of it.

From Wikipedia's entry on Women in Judaism:

Traditionally, women are not generally permitted to serve as witnesses in an Orthodox Beit Din (rabbinical court), although they have recently been permitted to serve as toanot (advocates) in those courts. This limitation has exceptions which have required exploration under rabbinic law as the role of women in society, and the obligations of religious groups under external civil law, have been subject to increasing recent scrutiny.

The recent case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, the first rabbi to be expelled from the Rabbinical Council of America following allegations of sexual harassment, illustrated the importance of clarification of Orthodox halakha in this area. Rabbi Tendler claimed that the tradition of exclusion of women's testimony should compel the RCA to disregard the allegations. He argued that since the testimony of a woman could not be admitted in Rabbinical court, there were no valid witnesses against him, and hence the case for his expulsion had to be thrown out for lack of evidence.
I'm not saying I'm innocent. I'm just saying that you can't accept a woman's testimony that I'm not...

Thank God, the RCA rejected the claim. There is hope.

No comments: