Women Rabbis

[First half of Responsa translated by Aaron Zvi]

Question: Is it permissible for a woman to serve as a community rabbi? There's presently an upheaval in the US regarding this issue. Perhaps the Rabbi could provide his guidance, so that "the wise may hear and reap benefit." And if the honored Rabbi is inclined to demur, since he is located in the East [Israel] and this debate is in the far corners of the West -- [recall that] the words of the Rabbi-professor who granted rabbinic ordination to a woman also came forth from Jerusalem...
Answer: It is not a good idea, because: what's the purpose? Is the goal that women should be capable of providing guidance? If that's the objective, women throughout every the generations have already been providing guidance. Under the law, anyone who knows the Halachah can issue a halachic decision, and they have no need for rabbinic ordination (Rama on Yoreh Deah 242:17). There are many Rabbis who don't have formal ordination. As you know, the Chafetz Chaim never had ordination until he required it in order to obtain a visa, so
the Gaon, Ha-Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, granted it to him.
It is written in Pitchei Teshuvah (Choshen Mishpat 7:5) citing the book "Bri Af" that even though a woman is by default ineligible to [serve as a] judge, there is no question that a woman of wisdom may indeed issue decisions. That is to say: a woman who knows the Halachah may provide guidance -- which is how it has been done through the ages. It is written in Baba Batra (119b): "The daughters of Tzelofchad were [notably] wise." And in the Gemara, Bruria and Yalta were wise scholars. And it is the same way in our day. Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef stated in Shut Yechaveh Daat (3:72) that it is a mitzvah to stand in the presence of a woman who is wise with the wisdom of the Torah. One should rise in the presence of a scholar's wife, and there are halachic opinions that one should rise for any wise and learned woman (see all the sources cited ibid.).
How do people know whether to direct questions to such women (i.e. that they should come to such wise women with halachic/Torah inquiries)? In a natural way. The world just knew, naturally, that it was fitting to ask halachic questions of the Gaonim Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein and Ha-Rav Aharon Kotler. In the same way, a woman is capable of issuing a halachic decision. The majority of questions that Rabbis receive these days are not on new topics, but have already been decided in the earlier texts. In every girls' school, there are wise, scholarly women who teach Halachah to the students. This is nothing new.
Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein writes in Shut Igrot Moshe (Orach Chaim 4:49) that in principle a woman can fulfill the mitzvah of Tzitzit but it is entirely dependent on her motive: "However clearly this only applies when the woman desires to observe the mitzvah although she was not commanded, but when it is not due to this intention, but rather stems from her resentment toward G-d and His Torah, then it is not a mitzvah at all. On the contrary, it is a forbidden act of denial when she thinks that there will be any change in the laws of Torah that she took on, which is even more severe."
This is similar to what Ha-Rav Feinstein wrote regarding appointing a woman to serve as a Kashrut supervisor (ibid. Yoreh Deah 2:45). It is entirely dependent on her motive and the essence is if it strengthens the Torah. And even for the purpose of a mitzvah, one needs proper intentions. The Nation of Israel wanted a king, and appointing a king is a mitzvah, but they did not have proper intentions and wanted to be like the other nations (Shmuel I 8:20 and Sanhedrin 20b). There is therefore no need for a woman to serve as the Rabbi of a community. The intention is to equate the genders. "Every person at his camp, and every person at his banner" (see Bemidbar 1:52).
It is possible that there are women with proper intentions but they already have where to go. At Midreshet Nishmat, there is a program for Yoatzot Halachah. They do not receive Semichah but learn and teach Halachah.

In brief: There have been knowledgeable women through all generations who taught Torah but did not need the title "Rav" and did not act like the Reform Jews. And I should add that I am answering what I am answering if people had asked me in Israel but the Rabbis of America need to answer in America.