Audio: Rav Eli Boruch Shulman on “What’s Wrong With Giving Women Semichah?”

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rav-eli-boruch-shulman[Audio below.] This past Sunday morning, Sara Hurwitz – the woman whom Rabbi Avi Weiss wished to crown as a “Maharat” or “Rabba” – addressed the controversy surrounding her desire – which she expresses openly – to join the rabbinical world and be crowned as clergy. Her remarks were delivered at the JOFA conference in New York City.

We present the audio of her speech below.

We also present remarks from Rav Eli Boruch Shulman shlit”a of Yeshiva University, who spoke on the topic of “What’s Wrong With Giving Women Semichah?” Rav Shulman’s speech was given last Tuesday, March 9. Rav Shulman is a rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchanan, rov of the Young Israel of Midwood, and an author and editor of a number of volumes of the ArtScroll Schottenstein Shas. He is also the author of several seforim, including Binyan Av and Yesamach Av. Rav Shulman received semichah from Rav Yaakov Joffen of Novardok and learned under Rav Nachum Partzovitz at Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim and under Rav Shneur Kotler at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ.

 Click below to listen to Miss Hurwitz’s remarks:

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Click below to Rav Shulman on What’s Wrong With Giving Women Semichah?”:

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{Dovid Newscenter/Rav Shulman audio courtesy of}


  1. Regarding the connection with Artscroll Shas, are you perhaps mixing this Rabbi up with Rabbi Yakov Shulman, also Rav of a different YI in Midwood, or has Rabbi E.B. Shulman also edited for Artscroll?

  2. i believe rabbi Shulman hails from a rabbinic family originating Lithuania his great grandfather moved to SouthAfrica [Johannesburg]and wasthe famed Rav kosofsky

  3. This is Rabbi Eli Baruch Shulman from YI of Midwood & he edited for Artscroll & is a Hugh Talmid chucham & is a Rosh Yeshivah at YU.

    In addition he is a very frum perosn & against all the modern changes in orthodoxy.

  4. Rabbi Yaakov Shulman is the High School General Studies principal of Chaim Berlin and the Rov of the Talmud Torah on Coney Island and I.’s information about Rabbi Eli Shulman in the post above is correct.

  5. When Reb. Soro Shenirur saw that we were in a terrible spiritual crisis, she went to the Rabonim, she was the inovator for a solution.
    The Rabbonim were not convinced that it is right to break the long-held tradition of Klal Yisroel.
    She kept on going again and again to various Rabbonim to change their Shitah.
    Even while she was already opening the Schools, the vast majority of Gedolim were still against them.
    As time went on more and more Rabbonim started agreeeing with her inovation.
    Today, if you don’t send your Daughter to a Bais Yaakov, You are looked at, as being wrong.

  6. Horav EB Shulman is a “adom godol”. You can hear him shiurim and learn how to be a lamdon.
    He not only knows how to learn, ha also acually sits and learns (he also is a great masmid).

  7. Rabbi Yaakov Shulman is also talmud chucham who tranlate shekalim in english, on his own.He learned in Mir in N.Y,Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, [were he was ordain by Rav Ruderman Z’L and very close talmid to the Rosh Hayeshiva Z’L]and then he went to learn in Lakewood. He is the son the famous Gaon Harav Shimiyahu Shulman of Queens,N.Y. who is consider Rav Ruderman Z”L biggest talamid,also mechaber of many seforim.

  8. How is Hurwitz different than the other rabbits around the country within the reform movement? Why are we even discussing her?

  9. moreinu harav shulman and moreinu harav twersky have both recently opened the yeshivishe velt’s eyes to the gadlus of our rabbeim and torah here at yeshivas rabbeinu yitzchok elchonon. kein yirbu

  10. Sheindy #7:

    Rav Shulman actually spoke in shiur a couple of days ago (it’s not on yet) directly on the topic of Soro Shenirur and Beis Yaakov and why it was vastly, vastly different than what Sara Hurwitz is trying to do.

    Your historical account is simply incorrect; it’s a common misconception.

  11. To Shaindy (commenter no. 7)

    As yourself, many commenters all over the Jewish blogosphere are bringing up the history surrounding Sarah Schenirer’s founding of the Bais Yaakov movement, including which gedolim came on board and when, etc. etc. It’s all very interesting…BUT…what relevance does it have to the present situation?

    As you admitted, l’chatchila, Sarah Schenirer went to the gedolim of her generation for support. I ask you, which GEDOLIM did R. Avi Weiss go to, before plunging headlong into his innovative venture? Having no connection to chareidi gedolim, we understand that he would never go to them. BUT, he didn’t even have the anivus to seek the advise of those whom Modern Orthodoxy consider gedolim. R. Weiss held himself to be big enough to make such a drastic change in the mesorah all by himself, with the backing of not a single gadol b’yisrael by anybody’s standard, including his own movement’s.

  12. To:
    March 17, 2010 at 2:29 PM
    There is a LOT MORE then those two.
    “V’ain kaan mekomo l’haarich”.

  13. Shua – His followers will say he did consult leaders of the MO world – the one’s who wrote “teshuvot” for him. I think he’ll probably tell people he aligns most closely hashkafically with R’ Sperber.

  14. I’ll leave out the halacha aspect here and just mention a simple point. Sara Schnerir saw a void in the girls’ knowledge of Yiddishkeit and knew that that void will be filled with treifa hashakaos.Her will and ideas were totaly L’shem Shmayim.
    But here comes a woman “feminist” (they are not the real feminists as real feminists do not attempt to fill mens’ roles) and SHE “wants” to be a rabbi, SHE wants to have fulfilment through that job, SHE wants the title rabbah. It’s all about the ME, ME, ME.

    And that’s the differance. Lshem Smayim v. the Me, Myself and I.
    When it comes to Yiddishkeit, there is no room for the Me, Myself and I. There is only room for Hashem’s will.
    If Yiddishkeit is self serving, you end up with skewed hashkofos and it’s all downhill from there.


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