Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Women Cannot Be Rabbis But They Can Be Kabbalists

A Guest Post By E. Fink

Shmarya is reporting that a certain Rebbetzin Aidel Miller has an approbation from great rabbis and is removing Ayin Hara from anyone who pays the requisite fee. It seems that Rebbetzin Miller is well versed is some fancy-pants segulos and is able to help with shiduchim and child bearing. She also is an expert in helping you find happiness, specifically through laughter. To this end she uses Omega-3 supplements. She is treating women with something she calls "Laughter Therapy".

The whole thing reeks of snake oil. But that is not my beef. I have come to terms with the naiveté of orthodox Jews.

The fascinating thing to me, is that I thought that only men could be mekubalim. If it is true that women can be mekubalim, why can't they be talmidos chachamos too? Rebbetzin Miller is a feminist!

So I am conflicted. Should I be championing Rebbetzin Miller as a trailblazer of female religious leadership? Or disappointed that the best we can do for women is get them to be kabbalist saleswomen.

One last note. One theory regarding the proliferation of women possessed by demons or dybbuks is that women were unable to sermonize and rebuke their co-religionists. However, under the spell of a spirit they were not the one speaking, they were merely a conduit for the spirit. This gave them an outlet for inspiring the public. Women would encourage the belief that they were possessed simply to have a voice.

Could we be seeing the same phenomenon today? Perhaps.

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