by R. Avi Shafran
Most of a rabbi’s roles can be halachically and effectively assumed by women, and have been for many years. A rabbi must be learned in Jewish texts and the practical laws pertaining to daily Jewish life — and Orthodox women’s seminaries teach thousands of young Jewish women those laws, and do a top-notch job of it (when I have had a Sabbath or kashrut-related question, I have often turned to my wife and daughters for the answer).
A rabbi should also be a good confidante and counselor, sensitive to the challenges people face in their personal and professional lives and able to listen well and give advice informed by wisdom and experience. Women in general excel in such things, and Jewish women have served as exemplary life coaches, not only to their husbands and children but to others who recognize the worth of their insights.
Read more at The Forward.