Women’s Titles
Wed, 04/07/2010

The title “rabbi” does not come with any sort of divine inspiration, magical power or secret handshake. So why all the fuss over Sara Hurwitz’s title (“Rabba Hurwitz Mulling Retracting New Title,” March 19)?

 Throughout the Young Israel network of synagogues, interns who have not received semicha of any sort are casually called rabbi. In the yeshiva system, male teachers of religious subjects are called rabbi whether or not they have received rabbinical ordination from an accredited seminary.

To me, rabbi is a term of respect that many rabbis do not deserve and many righteous, Torah-observant community lay leaders do. Regardless of what you call Sara Hurwitz, clearly she has the respect of her shul and greater community. To them, she is a rabbi.

Holliswood, Queens

 

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