May 20, 2014 3:37 am at 3:37 am #612826PulsingFlowerMember
Story: One of my relatives is currently in Nishmat seminary, which teaches the girls Gemora and such. Before everybody throws themselves into a frenzy, let me explain who my sister is. She is literally up until at least 2:00 AM every night learning, and is almost always the one to lock the bait midrash. She is also the only American who wants to stay next year for a shana bet.(It is a program that integrates Israelis and Americans, and as such there are a few Israelis who also want to stay). The director of her program also is trying to convince her to eventually become a yoetzet halacha (For those who don’t what that is, look it up).
I happen to be quite proud of her accomplishments, and believe that it is also very justifiable halachikally. R’ Moshe told a woman physicist that she is allowed to study gemara because it is not tiflus for her. I believe the same to be true about this relative of mine. If/When she goes to college, she has already expressed tremendous academic potential and accomplishment in many disciplines. I think Klal Yisrael would be well served with others like her.May 20, 2014 5:50 am at 5:50 am #1015998SaysMeMember
n u shared this because? Other than wanting to start a CR disputeMay 20, 2014 6:49 am at 6:49 am #1015999👑RebYidd23Participant
If you truly believe in what you say, why are you so defensive?May 20, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am #1016000
Is she your relative or your sister?
In any event: so let her learn. I certainly have no problem if she wants to learn privately. But becoming a (conservative) rabbi is quite different than just learning privately.
People don’t become rabbis because they are “very smart and academic.” Some become rabbis because they want to serve klal yisroel. Some become “rabbis” because they want to destroy klal yisroel. Some become maharats because they want to push a social agenda on klal yisroel which is against the Torah.
So that’s the relevant question. Not why she likes learning.May 20, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm #1016001
Popa, a Yoetzet is not a rabbi, Conservative or otherwise. Nor do they claim to be. This is not the same thing as the maharat situation. The Yoatzot are women who are specifically trained in hilchos niddah, to help women with niddah shailos. In any questionable circumstance, they confer with a Rov to get a p’sak.
Many women are extremely uncomfortable and hesitant to go to a Rov regarding certain niddah issues, and considering how much emphasis we put on Tznius, is that such a surprise to you? Some women can barely bring themselves to discuss their personal issues with their DOCTOR, much less their Rov. It is a GOOD thing that these women are trained in this area (and only this area, as far as I know). They always consult with a Rov when it is warranted. Believe it or not, many “shailos” are NOT shailos at all, and do not require a p’sak Halacha. I could give you several examples, but for tzniusdig reasons will refrain from doing so here.May 20, 2014 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #1016002
Im not gonna bring up the political agenda here although popa fid state it pretty clearly.
I dont understand why so many people today have to try to change the purpose of jewish women. We as women have a beautiful and purposeful job, to keep the jewish nation going. It was never in our mesorah to be people who paskan halacha and people who try to become mashgichim. Im not saying we arent good enough, im saying were too good and that isnt our purpose. That being said, hats not to say every lady needs to be home having a new kid every year. Some ladies should work, and they should do something to bring in parnassa or to use their talents Hashem blessed them with. But we also shouldnt focus so much on not doing what we should be as jewish women, which is tryig to do things against our mesorah. We should try to be like sarah imeinu and rivka imeinu and rebetzin kanievsky and other moros gedolos in our mesorah. Obviously we are not meant to be them, we live in a different time with a different tafkid, but if iur goals are to try to become men, where are the women!?!?!?!? Who are the female role models for our future girls?! We need women, not more men!!!May 20, 2014 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #1016003rationalfrummieMember
Not convinced this woman wants to push a social agenda. If her motives are pure, let her do all she can to service klal yisroel lihagdil Torah ulihadirah. If that means being a person whom women can look to for nidah questions (which is what a yoetzet is I think), beracha and hatzlachah.May 20, 2014 1:41 pm at 1:41 pm #1016004
PBA: A Yoetzet is not a Maharat. In fact, I would think that one of the basic differences between a Yoetzet and a Maharat is that a large Rov of people wanting to be a Yoetzet will be doing it to serve Klal Yisroel and a large Rov in Yeshivat Maharat want to destroy Klal Yisrael (by pushing a social agenda).
PF: Yasher Koach to your relative. Protests against Yoatzot nowadays are mostly political and, for the most part, the Halachic consensus is that there is no issue. She should just know the gravity of the job she is getting into.May 20, 2014 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #1016005charliehallParticipant
“I think Klal Yisrael would be well served with others like her.”
And you are correct. The Yoetzet Halachah program is overseen by Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin and run by his wife Rabbanat Chana Henkin. He is the grandson of the late American gedol Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin z’tz’l and ought to be considered a gedol in his own right.
“a large Rov in Yeshivat Maharat want to destroy Klal Yisrael”
You clearly have never met any of the Yeshiva Maharat students.May 20, 2014 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #1016006
You clearly have never met any of the Yeshiva Maharat students.
But I have. I know one of the graduates quite well.May 20, 2014 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #1016007
I dont understand why so many people today have to try to change the purpose of jewish women. We as women have a beautiful and purposeful job, to keep the jewish nation going. It was never in our mesorah to be people who paskan halacha and people who try to become mashgichim”
It was never in our mesorah that the women should be the CHIEF breadwinners while their husbands sit in Yeshivah all day, either, or be supported for years and years by their fathers instead of their spouses. They were supposed to raise their family and provide a proper Jewish home, the Eishes Chayil Mi Yimtzah, notwithstanding.May 20, 2014 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #1016008nishtdayngesheftParticipant
“He is the grandson of the late American gedol Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin z’tz’l”
But as anyone can tell you, he is not at all his grandfather, not in psak and not in hashkafah.
Generally, the crowd services by Yoatzot are not the ones heeding to the calls for tznius, so that claim is utterly bogus.
However, this is probably a good program because otherwise many of these feminists would completely abandon taharas hamishpacha. Desperate times call for desperate measures.May 20, 2014 6:35 pm at 6:35 pm #1016009
charlie: I know several, actually. They are well-meaning, certainly. I don’t think they wake up each morning saying, “How can I destroy Torah”. I do think, however, that even the most well-meaning of them wants to change Judaism because they feel it is too paternalistic, oppressive, homophobic, etc. I think they have a great love and appreciation for the Jewish community and what they think Torah is. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be in any Yeshivah at all. But the fact is, because of their distorted notions of right and wrong, what they have set out to do is to change Judaism from a Torah way of life-i.e. destroying Judaism.May 20, 2014 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #1016010golferParticipant
Interesting point you made, oomis.
A point that answers a few questions.
And raises even more.May 20, 2014 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #1016011Veltz MeshugenerMember
I hardly think that simply because one’s motivations are pure and abilities strong, that we ought to lose our right to amuse ourselves by mocking and denigrating.May 20, 2014 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #1016012
“However, this is probably a good program because otherwise many of these feminists would completely abandon taharas hamishpacha. Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
It bothers me alot that we have to come to these conclusions. Jews should not be making their own kulos to force their rebeim to produce real kulos for them. Its just not right. Obviously we want them to keep taharas hamishpacha, but whats going to be next “oh because all these kids text on shabbos, so well make it a maykil thing to text on shabbos, but at least they are keeping shabbos!”
Yeah they are doing whatever they want, not keeping shabbos.
I dont undertsnad, this takes the whole JEW out of JUDASIM!?!?May 20, 2014 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #1016013
oomis- yes I agree, but that is us changing to the economical society, not the political society. Women today feel second class because no one explains to them their real role in judiasm. We have a different purpose than men do, and I really think women today see that as a threat more than a blessing.
Ever since the suffrigates and ladies beginning to have power in the world, we as jews have also decided to take a stand and say “they did that, so can we”
Its another way of us being sucked into societys sheker and pitfalls.
Dont take sheker the wrong way, women should be empowered (i am currently in a university going for BH a good degree). but the concept of women needing to be in a position of power, where her abilities to do things she acctualy needs to as diminished, just makes no sense to me.May 20, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm #1016014
OURTorah: You are not saying things that are false, but they are misplaced. Something tells me that you don’t really know what a Yoetzet is.May 21, 2014 12:06 am at 12:06 am #1016015
sam- your right, i could be wrong about a yoetzet. please tell me what it is!May 21, 2014 12:12 am at 12:12 am #1016016the plumberMember
I’ll tell you one thing. She’ll have a very hard time getting a shidduch.No good learning husband wants their wife to “out learn” them.May 21, 2014 12:15 am at 12:15 am #1016017golferParticipant
Brave but true,
(Anyone wishing to move that post to the poetry thread, is welcome.)May 21, 2014 12:24 am at 12:24 am #1016018
Ah yes, everyone. I was thinking of maharats more than yoatzot. I don’t know as much about yoatzot, and I don’t know any personally.May 21, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am #1016019
OURTorah: A Yoetzet Halachah is a woman who spends several years learning Hilchos Niddah and has a broad knowledge of all the relevant Halachos and Sugyos. They do not Pasken debatable Shailos (they have a Rav/Posek they forward those on to) but anything that is black and white they can answer. The reason for this is that many women feel very uncomfortable asking detailed Niddah Shailos from a man and showing them Maros issues.
It also happens that, since Yoatzot are among the more knowledgeable women in a community, they will become teachers and lead classes for other women. However, that is not part and parcel of the job. It’s just a side-effect of being more knowledgeable.
The purpose is not to Pasken or be Rabbis. It’s to provide a more sensitive and Tznius alternative to a situation that is uncomfortable for many women (not to say that asking Niddah Shailos isn’t Tznius, but it certainly is in the eyes of many). There are many women who would just be Machmir on everything and make Taharas HaMishpacha an unbearable proposition because they are too uncomfortable to ask Shailos to a male Rav (or who would be incorrectly Meikil because they would guess because they’re too uncomfortable). Yoatzot provide a tremendous service to their communities by being available to answer such questions in a much less uncomfortable way.May 21, 2014 1:22 am at 1:22 am #1016020
sam- thanks for explaing. I clearly didnt understand the job of a yoetzet before. It is somthing quite new and i have to ingest the idea, but I can definitly see why it can be goodMay 21, 2014 1:42 am at 1:42 am #1016021YeL61320Member
Like actually because this helps people from being Machmir on things that are dangerous to be machmir on.May 21, 2014 2:13 am at 2:13 am #1016022
The need for yoatzot halachah was created by feminism. Those who aren’t afflicted by feminism get along just fine with the old system of relying on real poskim.May 21, 2014 2:38 am at 2:38 am #1016023LogicianParticipant
As is any area of halacha, there isn’t as much black and white as people would believe. While learning, you may have a clear decision how to deal with many issues, but when a shailah is presented you need to make complicated decisions – because many factors interact, and because you need to be able to pick up from the shailah whats really involved – and that entails a broad knowledge of halacha. That’s why the concept of a posek for specific areas doesn’t make too much sense by men either – unless it means that he has a fine knowledge of halacha in general, and happens to ‘really’ know certain areas better.
And a great deal of the black and white issues which do exist should be known to a couple, with a minimal investment of studying time, from any of several excellent works available.
And why is there such a great need for the women to discuss halacha with a Rav, and can’t forward the majority of their shailos through their husbands ?May 21, 2014 2:47 am at 2:47 am #1016024the plumberMember
Logician. You are 100 percent right. There is no need, just somes women need to feel important, because they think they’d purpose in life is too learn, sui ther have to make a “halachic”position for them to feel good. It’s not about the embarrassment.May 21, 2014 2:50 am at 2:50 am #1016025
Like actually because this helps people from being Machmir on things that are dangerous to be machmir on.
No it doesn’t. Am haaratzus can (and has) caused problems both ways.
I don’t want to get into details (same sensitivity as Oomis), but I know a case where a yoetzet halachah was machmir based on blatant am haaratzus and stupidity (US story). Of course, Sam says they’re not supposed to pasken, but that didn’t stop this woman.May 21, 2014 5:44 am at 5:44 am #1016026
DY: Not every Yoetzet is perfect, or even good. Neither is every Rav. I’ve seen many Ravs Pasken based on Amaratzus. It’s sad but a part of life. That’s why it would be good if the girl described in the OP is a Yoetzet. Hopefully she would be a good one. And your assumption a few posts ago is wrong. There are plenty of Chareidi women who feel uncomfortable forwarding certain Shailas through their husbands. In fact, if I’m informed correctly, the first proposed Yoatzot were for the Chareidi community. There are also many husbands who feel uncomfortable asking these Shailas because it’s already secondhand and, as much as they try to avoid it, the husband has a certain bias involved. And the least bias there is in presenting any Shaila the better.
Logician: The point is, 90+% of the “Shailas” asked in Niddah situations have a clear Psak that is meant to be given. That is what these Yoatzot are taught to “Pasken”. For real Shailas that require a Shikul HaDa’as and not just pointing out a Mareh Makom (as my R”Y used to be Mechalek), Yoatzot have a Rav they are supposed to forward them to. No system is perfect, but there is certainly just as much room for Yoatzot to “Pasken” the issues that they do just like an average Shul Rav Paskens even though he’s not holding in Kol HaTorah.May 21, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am #1016027
I know a case where a woman called a yoetzet about a mareh during a couple weeks after the wedding, and the yoetzet assured it over the phone without even seeing it.
The husband at least had enough seichel to still bring it to a competent rav, who was mattir it.May 21, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm #1016028Avram in MDParticipant
There are also many husbands who feel uncomfortable asking these Shailas because it’s already secondhand and, as much as they try to avoid it, the husband has a certain bias involved. And the least bias there is in presenting any Shaila the better.
This doesn’t make sense to me. First, how can a case where physical evidence is brought be less clear than, e.g., kitchen shailos, where the rav is simply told what happened without seeing it for himself? Second, If someone has an accident in the kitchen that requires a shaila, s/he would have a bias towards kosher rather than treif, due to the waste of food and time kashering utensils. In fact, I would argue that there is bias in the majority of shailos asked, which is part of the reason we take things to a rav in the first place. Even if we know of opinions that can be relied on, by bringing the shaila to a rav, we give ourselves the opportunity to follow Hashem’s will rather than our own.May 21, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm #1016029
that’s why it would be good if the girl described in the OP is a Yoetzet. Hopefully she would be a good one.
The story in the OP describes nothing but her hasmadah, and doesn’t discuss her hashkafos, her character, or her sensibility.
There’s nothing in the story I related (which was similar to popa’s and is probably the same story) that indicted that the yoetzet was a lazy person. She might have been a big masmidah.
As Logician pointed out, the husbands are often involved, and of course there’s bias, but why should the husband be any more unconformable asking a rov than the wife asking a yoetzet? (Yes, I know you mentioned second hand, but that really makes little sense if you think about it.)
And yes, some male rabbonim are horrible. I shudder at the though of people relying on them for psak. It’s why I hesitate to post “AYLOR”; I’m afraid of to whom I may be referring, but why add an unnecessary layer of potential am haaratzus and bias?May 21, 2014 1:20 pm at 1:20 pm #1016030
the yoetzet assured it over the phone ”
I know a Rov who did the same thing. They were both wrong to do that. We can debate this all night. There are rabbanim who don’t do their job, and there are women who are trained to do a job who also mess up. Guess what, people in ALL walks of life overstep their bounds, screw up, make poor judgment calls,and cause trouble. The problem is extra sensitive because of the nature of the responsibility these women are being given, and the objections that many men have to their being given it, despite the fact that it is being accepted by many authoritative figures as halachically proper.
(By the way, this is a case where the Hebrew word for forbidden is better spelled phonetically as “assered,” because “assured” could lead one to believe the exact opposite of what one is trying to convey. Just sayin’)…May 21, 2014 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #1016032
I know a Rov who did the same thing.
If he did it under the same circumstances as the story I mentioned, I think you should post his name so we all know who not to ask shailas to.May 21, 2014 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1016033🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
DaasYochid- there are some women who are uncomfortable with their husbands going to the rav for them as well. This has been an issue for a long time- ever since mikva women stopped dealing with these questions in this past century. This is really a revamped concept, not a new concept. I think if done properly this can be a good thing.May 21, 2014 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #1016035
For the record, I made a long post about why there could still be a large amount of discomfort for the woman when the husband asked the Rav. I tried to use as much a Lashon Naki as possible, but apparently I couldn’t do a good enough job. But yes, it can be tremendously awkward for the woman knowing her Rav has answered her Maros Shailos.May 21, 2014 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #1016036🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
Sam2 – as someone who is uncomfortable about almost everything life has to offer, I disagree. He’s a Rav, not a friend. There should be nothing to be uncomfortable about. It is like the difference between discussing bathroom habits with a Gastroenterologist vs. a friend.
Now if I had to discuss relationship issues with him and discuss stupid things my husband and I may have said or done to each other that required intervention, well *that* would be uncomfortable because it would be personal.
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