So, it seems that R. Weiss has finally ordained Sara Hurwitz which is something that has been in the rumor mill as being in the works. Also, previously in the rumor mill, is the idea that Rabbi Weiss might be asked to leave the RCA for this. So, I'm not really sure if these are more rumors but, the word on the cyberstreet is that this has happened. Of course, the question has been asked as to WHY she can't be. The best answer was that the Torah says only men can be judges. Well, I have pasted in a comment from the VIN article.
While, I'm packing up and moving to Riverdale, I haven't heard a good Torah argument against her smicha.
Pashuteh Yid Says: Because I feel sorry for the fellow who complained about all the negatives on Jewish blogs, maybe one should be dan Rabbi Avi Weiss lchaf zchus, as gemara says that if a beis din unanimously convicts somebody, he goes free because they were not mehapech bzchuso.
1) So far, we have not heard that the woman will be doing anything against halacha. I.e., if she was going to serve as an eid kiddushin, that would not be allowed. Merely giving speeches in shul and visiting the sick in a hospital does not seem to be a major issue.
2) She is not paskening halacha, only teaching existing halacha, as women teachers in Bais Yaakov do all the time.
3) Many thought Sara Schnirer broke with the mesorah as well, for initiating the idea that girls should go to school.
4) Women have now in general become more educated. Whereas at one point there were no women doctors, now it is commonplace. Should we tell our daughters that secular careers are open to you, but religious ones are not?
5) Is this woman trying to become less religiously committed or more? I could understand if she wanted to go to a baseball game on Shabbos and eat a treifeh hotdog, she should be roundly condemned. However, she is trying to learn and teach Torah and help others. Is that a terrible crime?
6) As far as mesorah goes, we have women Neviim and Shoftim such as Devorah and Chuldah and Miriam and Sara, etc.
7) The gemara says that at one point, women used to get aliyos and lein.
8) In the time of the gemara, people were not allowed to read by candle on Shabbos. However, times changed, and because we now have bulbs that don't need adjusting, everybody accepts that they can be used. Do you ever hear a complaint that we are violating our holy mesorah of not reading?
9) When Moshiach comes and we abolish Tisha B'av will that constitute a breach of our mesorah?
10) Rashi's daughters put on tefilin. Women are not obligated in Shofar or Sukkah, but universally do them anyway. They can take on additional mitzvos if they are sincere. I personally don't judge people's sincerity. I leave that to the RBSH.
This debate ought to center around specific halachic issues, as to what she can and cannot do with each point being brought from a source. Merely throwing around vague terms like yes Orthodox, not Orthodox, yes Mesorah, not Mesora have very little meaning. Our Mesorah is to follow halacha, so that is where the debate must center.
I am not saying I agree with this new idea, as I don't know enough about what she does and the whole arrangement. I am just suggesting we analyze it without letting our emotions run wild and instead focus on the intellectual and halachic ramifications. Rabbi Weiss has done much good for the klal in the course of his career, and he deserves to be given a fair hearing.