5/15/10

Are Synagogues Permitted to Hire Rabbis?

No. By the halakhic reasoning of Orthodox Rabbi Hershel Schachter, synagogues are not permitted to hire rabbis.

The idea of hiring a professional Jewish minister was copied from  Protestant and Catholic Churches. It is not a Jewish institution known in the bible or in the Talmud.

It may actually be better to suffer martyrdom, than for a synagogue to hire a rabbi (yehareg v’al ya’avor), extending the logic of what Rabbi Schachter, a faculty member at Yeshiva University, said last month, to wit, martyrdom is preferable to ordaining a woman as a rabbi because the Conservative movement ordains them.

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