Serara (also termed mesima) refers to the Halachik debate concerning the appointment of women to positions of leadership and authority.
"We may not appoint a woman as king. When describing the monarchy, the Torah employs the male form of the word king and not the female. This principle also applies to all other positions of authority within Israel. Only men should be appointed to fill them."
Devorah's leadership and Serara
The Radvaz clarifies the Rambam's ruling that the role of Devora the prophetess as leader did not violate Serara as Devorah was a teacher of Torah not a political leader or that Devorah's leadership was sanctioned by Hashem through Nevuah.
The Ritva presents a different approach concerning Devorah, and states that Devorah was only informally treated as a leader, or that the Nation of Israel chose Devorah as a leader despite there being no Halachik basis for Devorah's leadership.
According to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, there are instances (specifically in the context of Kashrus supervision) where leniency can be applied as not all Rishonim agree with the Rambam's pesak.
- Rambam, Yad Hachazakah, Hilchos Melachim 1:5.
- Radvaz, Hilchos Melachim 1:5.
- Chidushei Ritva, Shavuos 30a.
- Igros Moshe, Yoreh Deah, Vol. 2, Siman 45.