Rabbi Yosef Kelner
Prominent rabbi: Women’s spiritual abilities are limited
On the heels of statements emanating from the Bnei David pre-military academy against women in the IDF, more controversial statements are revealed, this time by lecturer Yosef Kelner who has spoken out against gay people in the past.

Women’s spiritual abilities are limited, they are mediocre and will not attain many accomplishments, a prominent national-religious rabbi said recently during a lecture at the Eli pre-military academy titled “The benefits of female intuition and daily routine.”



The filmed lecture by Rabbi Yosef Kelner, released by Channel 2 Wednesday, took place half a year ago during a series of lectures aimed at preparing young men for married life. The academy has already become notorious for such proclamations.


In the past, harsh statements were made against the LGBTQ community and women who choose to serve in the IDF at the institution headed by Rabbis Eli Sadan and Yigal Levinstein.


Rabbi Kelner. 'Women’s spiritual abilities are limited'
Rabbi Kelner. 'Women’s spiritual abilities are limited'


The lesson by Rabbi Kelner began with a quote by the Jewish sages regarding women having an added measure of understanding which, the rabbi explained, refers to intuition and not spiritual capacity.


“Novel breakthroughs in human history and winners of Nobel prizes are not women,” declared Kelner. “Men totally dominate (those spheres) until women will soon take over and say we need political correctness. I am not saying that no women received Nobel Prizes, but look at the scale. Women are sent to university and suddenly they become big geniuses? No. there are some female CEOs here and there,” he said using a derogative term.


When asked by a student regarding spirituality attributed to women, Kelner responded: “Today, people say that women have split attention spans, but it is false. Statistically, they cause car accidents. They say that a woman can mix the pot while talking on the phone as well as taking care of a child simultaneously. In fact, she allows the child to cry, mixing the pot is easy and talking on the phone is her specialty.”


Kelner, who taught at a girls' school in the past, related: “They would sit in the lectures and knit. A girl not knitting, better she should not come to class at all. She should at least do something positive while wasting her time,” he said.


In light of Kelner’s remarks, Knesset Member Mossi Raz (Meretz) and the Secular Forum demanded that Education Minister Naftali Bennet and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman cease their recognition and funding for the Eli academy.


“The law regarding pre-military academies is clear,” said Attorney Yair Nehorai, representing the Secular Forum. “The goal is to prepare cadets for civilian and military life, and I do not see how a religious-messianic-Zionist worldview which denigrates women answers that call.”


Following the publication, Rabbi Kelner expressed regret. “Today I would not say those things, definitely not using those words," he said. "Fundamentally, much of it is erroneous.”


The Eli academy offered the following response: “More than 40 teachers lecture every week at the Bnei david Academy, and both teachers and students have freedom of speech, each according to their own perception. This is especially true in cases, such as this, in which the words of Rabbi Kelner do not represent the spirit of Bnei David and the academy administration disagrees with the sentiments.”


פרסום ראשון: 02.08.18, 12:28
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