web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Of Yoatzot and Shtenders

Some have argued that the advent of Yoatzot is a slippery slope towards the ordination of female rabbis.
woman with shtender

What about giving these learned women a title? Is that appropriate?

Why would anyone have a problem with that? Shouldn’t those who study Torah and achieve a level of expertise in a given field be given a title that recognizes it?  More importantly why not have a standardized level of competence that an earned title represents.

One of the arguments raised against Yoatzot is that they do not add anything to observance of family purity laws. The advanatge that a woman with shailos of a personal nature would feel more comfortable speaking to a woman than a man – was already taken care of by the Rebbetzin – who was the wife of a Posek. These Rebbetzins were already advising women with embarrassing Shailos and forwarding difficult Shailos to their husbands.

While it is true that this was – and probably still  is going on, these Rebbetzins had no formal or  standardized education on this subject. It was all based on the personal experience of being married to a Posek. That there now exists women who have studied the material directly and know it well… is an improvement on that.

What about the idea that changing tradition that have been in existence for milleina is a bad idea? I don’t buy that as an absolute. And neither do some of the greatest Poskim in Jewish history.  When the time was right they supported change even in the face of much right wing opposition.

This is in fact what happened in Europe in the early 20th century when Sara Shenierer founded the Beis Yaakov schools.  The rabbinic objections were strong and went along the following lines: Women got along fine for 3000 years being religiously educated in their homes by their mothers without a Beis Yaakov.  Now suddenly they need a formal school?! And yet no less a Posek than the Chofetz Chaim supported this new and somewhat radical innovation. He felt the times required it. The same is true for Yoatzot. The advent of Yoatzot is a response to a current need. If they are feminists, so too was Sara Sheneirer.

Which is why I am pleased to see an article in the 5 Towns Jewish Times reporting that the rabbinate of that community enthusiastically endorses Lisa Septimus as its official Yoetzet. Rabbi Kenneth Hain who is quoted in the article said:

“I firmly believe that the addition of Rebbetzan Septimus as a Yoetzet Halakhah will be a wonderful asset to enhance observance and understanding of one of the most sacred areas of Jewish life.  I heartily welcome this important development in the Five Towns Community.”

Rabbi Heshie Billet another rabbi in 5 Towns added:

“The Yoetzet is not intended to replace the halachic and personal relationship between local rabbanim and rebbetzens and their congregants on this very sensitive area of religious life. Rather, it is our expectation that the Yoetzet will support that relationship, complement it, and enhance the observance of taharat-ha-mishpachah in our community.”

Ken Yirbu! I wonder whether Rabbi Feitman who is a member of this community is on board with this. Did he change his mind? I certainy hope so.
Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Of Yoatzot and Shtenders”

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Pelosi turns her back on Netanyahu and Congress.
Netanyahu Says Israel Can Stand Alone – and Pelosi Turns her Back [video]
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

Why is it necessary to be accountable in business and in life? And how does it differ from guilt?

Americans have a more favorable view of Netanyahu than they do of Obama.

I’d rather you label me a concerned Jew, an Israeli. Someone who cares about the future of my nation

Jeffrey Goldberg

Goldberg chose to believe two impossible things before I had breakfast this morning.

bibi's speech

The State Department claims Bibi revealing details of the bad Iranian deal to Americans would be a “betrayal”.

“Please stop shushing me” They kept shushing! Shushing seems to be how Leftists do Israeli politics!

Labor-Livni post-Zionist party’s campaign based on their claim they know how to keep the US happy

Mentioning genocide in the same breath as Susan Rice crosses a redline about Obama’s foreign policy

What are the ramifications of giving up your US citizenship? Would it effect your visiting the US?

Chasidim believe that Metzitza B’Peh (MbP) is an essential part of the circumcision ritual.

AMERICAN INTERFERENCE in ISRAELI ELECTIONS is IMMORAL and 1000% CHUTZPADIK!

Extremism from Jews is considered a “danger;” Arab extremism and anti-Jewish terror is “legitimate”

It was in fact Israel, not Palestinians or journalists, who began spreading the older photos, in order to generate credibility for the “slander” angle.

Next week we celebrate Purim, more relevant and illuminating in light of current events than ever

“They all attack each other” is how David described campaign tactics. “Welcome to politics, my son,”

Most Israelis think kowtowing to US demands to get on Obama’s “good side” won’t work and isn’t right

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Mentioning genocide in the same breath as Susan Rice crosses a redline about Obama’s foreign policy

brit mila at French jewish community

Chasidim believe that Metzitza B’Peh (MbP) is an essential part of the circumcision ritual.

Lapid is not anti-Haredi; He’s pro-Haredi in his way, wanting them to flourish. and join society

If Bibi is in the US already Pres. Obama MUST meet with the leader of America’s closest ally!

Sherut Leumi is the national service many women choose in lieu of military service-

My understanding of Footsteps is that they have no religious – or anti-religious agenda.

A violent confrontation between 2 groups erupted at the Ponevezh Yeshiva; dozens injured

There should be more information about intimacy disseminated to young people before they get married

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/of-yoatzot-and-shtenders/2013/09/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: