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Rabbinic Ordination Process


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Iyyar 25, 5777
Shalom Rabbi, I would like to make Aliyah and begin studies to become a rabbi. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what the process is. Will you set me on the right path by explaining what the process is and where to begin? Toda Raba! Noam
Shalom! It’s very hard to give personal advice without knowing you. I could only suggest that, being there are thousands of Yeshivas in Israel, the first question you should ask yourself is: are you looking for a religious-zionist yeshiva or not, because there are significant philosophic and atmospheric differences. In general, the religious-zionist yeshivas are much broader in their outlook (regarding the State of Israel, the Israeli army, modernism, etc.), and study not just halacha and Talmud but also Tanach, philosophy, ethics, chassidut, etc. Secondly, another question which can limit your choices significantly is: do you know Hebrew well or are you interested in an English program? In addition, there are great advantages in being in Y’rushalayim, but if you think that the distractions may affect your study, maybe it’s better to learn outside of Y’rushalayim (and public transportation makes everything accessible). A fourth consideration is that many yeshivas also contain teacher’s seminaries where you may be interested in also getting a teacher’s degree. Regarding the process, there are yeshivas which will give ordination for Yoreh De’ah, while the Chief Rabbinate ordination also includes tests on Shabbat, Taharat HaMishpacha, and several minor tests on arranging chupa’s etc. Because their standards are very high, their smicha is especially respected. If you have more specific questions, I’d be happy to help. All the best in your forthcoming Aliya!!
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