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Rabba’s Bat Mitzvah

Rabba’s Bat Mitzvah

 I offer the following in response to your editorial regarding Rabbi Avi Weiss (“Orthodox Women Rabbis,” March 12).

I had the honor of attending a bat mitzvah at Hebrew Institute of Riverdale a few months ago. The service was presided over by Maharat Sara Hurwitz. I found the morning uplifting on many levels, not the least of which observing the bat mitzvah girl being thrilled to have a woman as her mentor and teacher. At a time when we are concerned about reaching our children, we should not miss any opportunity to stimulate the spirit of our sons and daughters. 

The important thing is not whether we call her maharat or rabba, but that we have women who are interested in becoming teachers of our children and teachers of Torah. I found Maharat Hurwitz no better or worse than many rabbis I have had the privilege to hear, but I did find it interesting that women sat in the main sanctuary while the men sat behind the mechitza.

The only complaint from the men was not about a woman leading the service but, “Why do we have to sit here, while the women have the good seats?”

It was one of the most interesting Shabbats I have spent in years. Bless you, Avi Weiss, and keep up the good work.




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