How do you define "rabbi", Fayge? Jase, I like your definition too... and then when I think about leaders in other religions, I wonder how the definition changes. Even within the different sects of Judaism, do you think the definition changes?
It is another instance in Judaism where I have to believe the dilemma is there for a reason... all part of the Plan.
There are many rabbis who never lead a congregation - that wasn't their intent when seeking smicha. But they all have to have some element of offering halachic advice, no?
I'd have to think that all rabbis are comfortable with halachic decisions. Their beliefs may differ on Jewish Law, but they've got to be comfortable with "their sect's rules", right? (for lack of a better way of stating that)
Truthfully, I'm not exactly sure where the decision that women cannot be rabbis originates from. I'm still looking for an answer from the Torah or Talmud(before I go to my rabbi and ask him).
What I've found has been very vague and not necessarily ruling women OUT but just indicating that men SHOULD.