It’s Going to Happen
I just finished read a very good book on the question of the relationship between literacy and power, specifically when it comes to advanced Jewish learning by woman. The book is Tamar El-Or’s Next Year I Will Know More: Literacy and Identity Among Young Orthodox Women in Israel. I highly recommend this book, or its Hebrew original, for anyone interested in this issue. Hebrew readers can hear a little bit about her new book here.
It was interesting to finish this book right before the RCA discussed the question of women rabbis. I will say it again, it is just a matter of time. Once you teach young women how to study Talmud, it is inevitable that you are going to have female rabbis. Give her whatever title that you want, but Torah=Power. Below is a selection from El-Or’s book in which she describes a conversation that she had with the head of the Midrasha at Bar-Ilan University about her claim that teaching women rabbinic texts will inevitably lead to changes within Jewish tradition and law. (pp. 68-70)