VIDEO: Maran Rav Ovadia Shlita: When A Woman May Read Megilla


ovadia1.jpgVIDEO LINK BELOW: Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef in his motzei Shabbos shiur addressed Purim, speaking about various questions, including one hearing megilla via a microphone or on the radio, which is said is not permitted according to poskim.

What attracted the secular media in Israel however was Rav Ovadia’s comments pertaining to a woman reading megilla, and even being motzei a man in certain limited circumstances. Rav Ovadia quoted a rashi which speaks of a woman being motzei two women. The rav added if there is a situation where there is a woman “who learned in a Beis Yaakov and knows how to read megilla” and a male who does not, she can read and be motzei them both.

Regarding those who would respond stating a woman’s voice is ‘erva’ (shameful, prohibited) he stated it would not apply in this case. Rav Ovadia emphasized this is not permitted as an ideal situation, but only in a situation where one finds oneself without any alterative and must hear the megilla.

The Rav used an example of a small community which lacks men who might know how to read megilla. In such a case he stated if a woman knows how to read, she should do so, but without using the melody explains Rav Aaron Butbul Shlita, who heads Rav Ovadia’s Yabia Omer Institute, but she should be meticulous in her pronunciation without the melody and thereby permit all to fulfill their obligation of megilla on Purim.

By not using the cantellation explains Rav Butbul, the erva problem is avoided. Rav Butbul stressed this is not an “ideal situation” but a solution to a problematic situation where the men are unable to read the Hebrew or unfamiliar with the megilla text and the woman is capable of providing the solution.

This portion of the rav’s weekly drasha was carried in the secular newspapers and radio. It elicited responses from feminists as well.

VIDEO LINK: Click HERE to watch a  video of this shiur.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. It could be I missed something but didn’t R’ Ovadya Shlita say (in this video) that he felt the melody of the trop is not a violation of kol isha. He compared it to speaking rather than singing, which the Rashba says is mutar. Maybe someone can clear that up for me.
    Also, since when does kol b’isha erva mean shameful?

  2. Similar discussions are related to kiddush on Shabbos. If a woman is chayevves mid’oraissa and then able to be motzi a male under bar mitzva or over ,etc

  3. I find it offensive that R’ Ovadiah Yosef shlitah is very specific in his psak that Trop is muttar for a woman by megillah, yet, you present R’ Butbuls statement as if it were ROY. This is how halacha loses its mesorah and becomes distorted. Please report the piskei halacha as they are stated. Any disagreements should be acknowledged as such.

    Also, his psak l’chatchila is even in a big city where men may be available, it is still muttar, just not preffered. This is important to remember as people are now going to assume, ONLY a small town can use this heter. Next we’ll have seforim being written on what is a “small town”……

  4. Rav Aaron Butbul Shlita is conveying Rav Ovadia Yosef’s Shlita’s shitta.

    In any event, Rav Ovadia Shlita’s psak is specific to Sephardim (who go by his Shitta.)