A Jerusalem ceremony for 21 male and female students of modern Orthodox Rabbi Daniel Landes celebrates their alt-neu role in halacha while pushing the egalitarian envelope
According to Jerusalem lore, when the line at the city’s chief rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank’s home-based rabbinical court was too long, impatient petitioners would instead seek out his wife, Gita Malka, for her rulings.
As a girl in 1880s Kovno, Lithuania, Gita Malka did what was then considered impossible for a woman: She studied Judaism’s sacred texts with Rabbi Chayim Yaakov Shapira, who sat on the rabbinical court of one of the foremost Talmudic sages of the 19th century, Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Spektor. Later in life, Shapira moved to the Holy Land and became the head of the court of Jerusalem.
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