VIDEO 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)