Bet: Private Smicha, or, Why Rabbi School is like a Colt 45

A long long time ago in the Wild West (not in the shtetl), if you were big enough to beat people up, you had all the power. Even using a gun* required a lot of brute strength, because they were all shotguns, and apparently shotguns are really unwieldy if you don’t have lots of muscles. Then they invented a little pistol, the Colt 45. The Colt 45 could be used by someone small, but it could still pack a punch. They called it the “great equalizer” because it changed the game entirely; little people could be as powerful as big people. (I have really complicated feelings about guns, but the idea of little people being as powerful as big people is a good one, so just go with me here.)
After six years of Suzie’s classes and many thousands of dollars, I have learned a thing or two about rabbinical school. I have learned that private smicha (ordination) seems a lot faster and cheaper than rabbinical school, and I’ve learned that private smicha apparently confers the same degree upon the individual as rabbinical schools do. It seems very convenient.
I have also learned that rabbinical school seems to accept a lot more women than private smicha does. Also, rabbinical school seems to accept a lot more queer people and Jews by choice. I don’t know why this is, but most people I know who have gotten private smicha are white cismen.
So, rabbinical school is changing the game. The people who have been historically disenfranchised are getting their chance, and they are becoming powerful themselves. Now that women and trans folks and queer people and Jews by choice are rabbis too, the world will never go back to the way it was–and that’s a good thing. So long as there are enough scholarships out there, rabbinical school will succeed in changing the world just as much as the Colt 45 did. Rabbinical school–the great equalizer.
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*Guns are bad. Please don’t ever use them. We don’t live in the Wild West or the Shtetl anymore. If you are mad at someone, you should just tell them why you’re mad and then patch things up. Don’t use pistols, don’t use shotguns, don’t use any of those other horrible weapons they have out there. Thus concludes my complicated feelings on guns.