With the support of 83% of the congregation’s voting members, Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis has become West Bank Orthodox synagogue Shirat Hatamar’s sole spiritual leader — a first in the Jewish State. (From The Jerusalem Post: “The term ‘rabbanit’ or ‘rebbetzin’ traditionally referred to the rabbi’s wife, and Mirvis thinks it is appropriate that ‘we are giving new meaning to a term that has existed for thousands of years.’ “) Other Israeli Orthodox communities have had female spiritual leaders, but only in conjunction with male rabbis. Mirvis defines herself as an Orthodox “feminist woman.”
Quote: “My duties in the synagogue are to serve as the sole halakhic authority for our community, teach Torah and rule in halakhic matters, which [were] always the traditional [duties] of a rabbi in halakhic Orthodox communities. I will also counsel families and individuals, deliver sermons and teach Torah classes for our community. There are no other rabbis serving in our synagogue; I will be the sole ‘rabbinic voice’ and ‘spiritual leader’ in all religious matters.”
Sources: The Times of Israel (introduction), Jewish Journal (quotation)
Read “In Israeli first, woman chosen as sole spiritual leader of Orthodox community” ►
Read “Interview with an Orthodox Trailblazer: Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis” ►
Watch “JOFA Australia Q&A Session with Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis” [1:02:37]. ►
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