«"A lot of the discussion has not been about the halachic merits of women doing this, but about tradition. Rav Schachter's voice is very important. He's a big gaon" — a genius. "Let's hear his arguments and discuss them.
"When a chasidic rebbe says something, you don't argue with him. When a rav" — that is, a non-chasidic rabbi, a Talmud scholar —"says something, you argue, you look at the sources," he said. "I hope that when there is change there are people who shry gevalt against it, because change should not be undertaken lightly. It needs to stand up to challenge.
Rabbi Lopatin's praise for Rabbi Schachter actually conceals a sharp dissent, because Rabbi Schachter rejects the idea that his rulings can be debated. In a ruling published this winter opposing "partnership minyans" — prayer groups that call women to the Torah and allow them to lead certain prayers — Rabbi Schachter began with a lengthy discussion of how only rare Torah giants should be allowed to rule on weighty matters, and he implied that even one of his best-known colleagues on the RIETS faculty did not pass muster in his eyes.»
As head of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, Rabbi Asher Lopatin wants conversation amid controversy.