The Churban Continues: Maharat Certificate States Clearly That Ordained Women Received Full-Fledged Semichah


maharat-semichah-ordinationWhen some individuals in the frum community first raised concerns about the semichah being given by Rabbi Avrohom Yosef Chaim Hakohein – Avi – Weiss and his Yeshivat Maharat to women, some people said, “Ah! What’s the big deal? It won’t be a real semichah. Leave them alone.”

Unfortunately, though, the fears were legitimate. Open Orthodox has taken its latest stab at Orthodoxy, as it tries to adulterate religious Judaism.

On Sunday, Avi Weiss ordained three Orthodox women. Despite the semantics and games of Yeshivat Maharat’s leadership, the Maharat ordination certificate specifically states in Hebrew that semichah was granted to these women: “Husmicha lehora’ah berabim…” View the semichah here.

{Z. Newscenter}


  1. so what is thw difference between this so-called open orthodoxy and conservative Judaism? A rose by any other name smells just the same

  2. Not to minimize the importance of this and other issues, but how about we quit bashing every other group of yidden who doesn’t agree with 100% of our hashkafos.

    I’m so sick and tired of all the bashing and name-calling. We can discuss these important issues without the name-calling.

    The three weeks are coming and must serve as a reminder that we’re ALL yidden, and whatever we believe and whoever may be misguided, we have to love one another.

    Perhaps for every negative article about Rabbi Avi Weiss, how about posting a positive one as well. I don’t agree with a lot of his views but I’m sure he’s done a lot of good for the tzibur over the years.

  3. Interesting: The document reads that she is qualified “l’asukei hilchsa aliba d’shmaita.” This appears to be a corruption of the well-known phrase “l’asukei shmaita aliba d’hilchsa” (generally, to figure out the gemara according to halacha). I wonder who wrote this…

  4. They can’t even get their falsheh semichah right! It’s not “La’asukei Hilchasa Aliba D’Shmaits’a,” as they wrote–it’s supposed to be, “La’asukei Shmait’sa Aliba D’Hilchasa”! LOL!!!!!

  5. Dear Achdus,
    You imply that the Weissodox are a “group of yidden who doesn’t agree with 100% of our hashkafos.” That, sir, is a way for a Belzer to describe Bobover, or a YU fellow to describe Lakewooder. The Weissodox don’t agree with TORAH hashkafos!

  6. To #6: It’s not a corruption. A corruption is accidental. It’s deliberately playing on the well-known expression in the gemara, but it’s saying something completely different. Everyone does this, from authors of piyyutim to rishonim to acharonim, from gedolim to printers of pashkevilim.

  7. To Achdus please?
    I’m sure you wonder why Moshe was always involved in Machlokus: Korach, Meraglim, Erev Rav, Doson & Aviram, Misonenim, and many more.
    The Chasam Sofer was very verbal against Moses Mendelson. You should have given both Moshe Rabeinu & the Chasam Sofer a lesson on Achdus.
    The din is that one is not allowed to be Mehapech B’zchus for a Maysis & Maydiach. Avi Weiss is a certified Maysis & Maydiach. This man has done no good. He’s a BAD person. A Rasha Merusha. He’s a cancer that us Torah Yidden need to make sure doesn’t spread. Open Orthodoxy must be amputated from the rest of Klal Yisroel.

  8. “What’s the big deal? What do you mean “It won’t be a real semichah.” And now it is a real Semichah????? What makes them now REAL!!! What is the Oye Vey!!! If Weiss would come out and say a PIG is Kosher, will that make you run out and buy & eat PIG??? Like #2 said “The main thing is to concentrate on what keeps us together”. Just add this distortion of OPEN……….like Reform, Conservative, Humanistic, etc. These people will be judged a ???? ?? ?????. We can’t be ignorant to what is happening around us, but the less coverage, the better.

  9. While yes, it is definitely important to promote ahavas yisrael and to act on it too, when someone perpetrates an evil (yes this is evil) deed it is necessary to take a strong stand against it.
    I call this evil because the Hashem, His Torah, Halacha and Mesorah are the source of all good. When someone deviates from the Mesorah he veers away from good, and in addition to bad, evil is the opposite of good.
    This creates a trap for the misguided and the unguided who do not know what is correct and who are liable to stumble by following someone who claims to subscribe to Orthodoxy which is by definition a group which practices a religion (or process) the way it’s always been.
    Avi Weiss has left this exclusive group. Perhaps it’s mere semantics but I don’t know whether such a person or movement can’t be deemed Orthodox. Wile there have been female leaders in the past Devora Haneviah), never before has a woman made halacha decision that are not spoken about already in Halacha seforim. There is a reason for this. It is not just a result of a close-minded, restrictive, and discriminant mindset. The reason is that Hashem has decided that this is not the woman’s purpose and place in Judaism. To act otherwise is to go against His will-something that can only have disastrous results.
    It is for this reason that it is imperative that at this crucial time we focus on the evil rather than the good that Avi Weiss has committed. While not forgetting his positive contributions, and not forgetting to ‘hate the sin not the sinner’, we must unify to take a strong stance against this evildoer. May Mashiach come soon and redeem us all.

  10. if this wasn’t true, it would sound like purim play. Which role with Rabbi Weiss, and Rabbi Sperber and the other fellow play? And where would Dov Lipman fit in?

  11. This is not a true Smicha Yoreh Yoreh,this is what someone who couldn’t hack a full smicha program gets as a consulation prize. A Moreh Horaah.

  12. This is all about Avi Weiss. He was a strong voice on behalf of Soviet Jewry, but that cause is long gone. He started a Yeshiva which was supposed become an international movement, but that kind of went flat.

    So now he has a cause which has redirected the spotlight back on him, and he has become a darling in the secular Jewish media, which is what Avi Weiss has been pining for all along.

    If he has to take advantage of innocent, sincere women, to further his agenda, so be it. If he has to violate normative Halachic, so be it. If he has to sing and cry and pretend that he has liberated the Jewish people from the clutches of oppressive rabbinics, so be it.

    The main issue for Avi Weiss, is and has always been that Avi Weiss has to be famous. Mission accomplished. Too bad he duped nice, sincere people along the way.

  13. One can disagree with the Maharat program is doing, but to use inflammatory rhetoric such as Churban is disgusting.

    The term Chruban is used to describe the Holocaust (Churban Europe) and the Beit Hamidsah being destroyed.

  14. Both phrases exist and are used. My impression is that l’asukei shmayta aliba d’hilchesa is more of a description of the style of learning. This alternative turn of phrase refers to paskening using according to the accepted approach of the gemara and poskim.
    For example, from R. Uziel,

    R’ Uziel used this phrase also in his letter of smicha to R’ Avraham Hafuta
    ????? ???? ???? ?? ????? ????? ????? ?? ????, ????? ???? ??????? ??????, ?????? ????? ????? ??????, ????? ???? ??? ????? ??????, ???? ????? ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ??????.

    I found these with a simple google search of the phrase. Maybe that’s where this usage came from.

  15. The conservative and reform movements must be loving this – figuring orthodoxy has finally seen the light.
    This was inevitable- with orthodoxy constantly going more and more right wing and Conservstive movement going more and more to the left, the middle ground- the centrist – modern orthodox was left with a void. I predicted many years ago if this trend was to continue , a new ” conservative ” movement would be formed. This is it’s start. The old Conservative movement no longer considers themselves a branch of Halachic Judaism– this movement is going to try to fill the void. I wonder how they will figure out how to have women as Chazzanim.

  16. detestable
    they make reform look frum
    these people are worse than reform because they make beleive they are following torah.
    let’s see how many of their progeny will actually be religious.

  17. I agree with #2 and #4. I am so upset by this whole matter, but we have core values that should override all of the blatant negativity.

    Please. The three weeks are close.

  18. #4
    What you say is typical for someone who doesn’t follow the Toiruh. This is not a difference of Minhagim, this is a difference of following the Halachah or not, there is no room to maneuver and allow “other opinions” in. We have to stick to the Halacha or we go straight down the slippery slope and we end up like the reform Rachmana Litzlun.

  19. But, it’s our fault…

    First came – someone reading the kesuba by phone from JAIL,
    and it was accepted (no mecha’a).

    Then came – a female reading the kesubah under the chupa,
    and it was accepted.

    Then came – a woman giving a hesped,
    and it was accepted.

    All this from the ‘Orthodox’ chevra.
    It was ‘OPEN’ a long, long time ago.
    So what do you expect?

  20. Interesting the ktav horaah spells her name Fraida with an Ayin but if one checks the Poskim they will see that a name cannot end with an Ayin only Alef or Heh, But you have to know the Poskim!

  21. Notice it doesn’t say anywhere in the certificate the words “Yoreh Yoreh” like all other semichos which are based on the gemarra. That’s because it would have had to say it the feminine way “Toreh Toreh.” That would have been most appropriate as the kinah on Tisha B’Av says: “Toreh, Toreh, chigri sak.” (The Torah, so to speak, is wearing sackclothe (a sign of mourning) because of this deviation. Notice also that in the Hebrew certificate, her mother’s name is mentioned and it comes before her father’s name! Feminism run amok.

  22. to “Achdus please?”

    I don’t recalling any of the previous Gedolim being worried about achdus when the reform & conservatives came out.

  23. It’s done. It’s over. Open Orthodoxy is not Torah-true Judaism. It is sliding into the dustbin of Jewish history together with Reform, Conservative, Tzedokim, Beisusim, Notzrim, and Korach.

    And to all you people crying “achdus”, check your Hallachah: it’s a mitzvah to revile the clerics of this cult.

    You’d think after 3300 years, we’d figure it out.

  24. 4. Positive this was the man that claimed
    As a student of the rav he would approve. No that was corrected
    Avi has actually begun believing his own PR
    There is nothing positive to say to someone that has been told by every leader not to do this. And yet his ego is to big

  25. #4, sorry but we’re Jews… Even if we can sacrifice Emes for the sake of shalom, we can never do the same with kavod Shamayim. This man is a rasha and will be treated accordingly.

  26. #1 is right. A real circus! It is only because the Jews of today are so lacking of any Yiddishkeit, that movements such as this hypocracy have moved forward and made any headway. The assimilation of American Jews (guess Jews everywhere since WWII) has been no less than a spiritual holocaust for the Jewish people. Rabbi Weiss and his whole chilul H’ movement and their participants should be put in cherem.

  27. To address some of the posts above:

    1) Torah-observant Jews do not have Achdus with Torah-violators.

    2) There’s nothing wrong with using the word “Churban” to describe what’s going on here. The Holocaust and the destruction of the Bais HaMikdosh were physical Churbans. What’s happening here is R”L a spiritual Churban, which is worse. A physical Churban destroys the body, but the soul lives on. A spiritual Churban destroys the soul.

    3) Protesting a public violation of the Torah and the Mesorah from Sinai is NOT Loshon Hora. Pick up a book on the laws of Shmiras HaLoshon.

    4)”How about we quit bashing every other group of yidden who doesn’t agree with 100% of our hashkafos.”

    This is not a matter of a different Hashkafa. Weiss and his cohorts are producing a twisted, corrupt form of Judaism.

  28. I don’t understand why we pay any attention. Forget about them their far gone. Don’t loose sleep over it. There are plenty of freye around no one is screaming about them. If we talk about them we chatzei legitimize them.

  29. Could someone please tell me what the smicha paper reads that R’ Weiss bestowed on the toeiva rabbis, which he ordained?