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Question:
I saw that someone asked the Rav about using an app for Maros. This caused me to think about other new phenomenons which people use to ask their Tahars Hamishpacha Shailos. What about asking a Yoetzet? I know the Gemara does discuss a woman who would Pasken regarding Maros. Is there anything wrong with turning to a woman for help in this area if a person is more comfortable doing so?

Answer:

The Rav’s opinion is that the system of training women to be poskei halacha is incorrect. The role of paskening shailos should remain exclusively with Rabbanim.

However, a mentor or Rebetzin figure could and should be sought after for advice and guidance, even in areas of Taharas Hamishpacha. For maaros and other halachic shailos a Rav should be consulted.

Comments (2)

  • micha berger

    Is the rav under the impression that a yo’etzet is someone trained to pasqen? In other words, did R’ Osher Weiss believe he was answering the question in the reisha (“training women to be poskei halacha is incorrect”) or the seifa (“a mentor or Rebetzin figure could and should be sought after for advice and guidance”)?

    R’ Yehuda Herzl Henkin is available on line. His wife, Rn Chana, is the founder and Dean of NISHMAT, and the institution runs on R’ Henkin’s pesaqim. (R YH Henkin is also the author of a series of sifrei shu”t under the title “Benei Banim”.) I emailed him a link to this page.

    I learned from email exchanges with R Henkin (over a forum called Avodah http://www.aishdas.org/lists/avodah ) that a yo’etzet is trained to be that mentor available for advice and guidance.

    R’ Henkin taught me something a number of years back that helps illustrate how firmly the idea is built into their program. And since the beginning may help kavannah during one line of Shemoneh Esrei, I’ll share it here:

    R’ Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel zt”l (1880-1953) said about “Hashiva shofeteinu … veyo’atzeinu…” that the tefillah mentions both separately because the shofeit and the yo’eitz are different kinds of roles. Our rabbis today inherited the role of shofetim. And their job is to provide binding halachic answers. Yo’atzim provide eitzos. They’re the people who help us find meaningful questions and to come to an understanding of the answers.

    The very title “yo’etzet” was chosen to emphasize that their role is being defined as not being posqos.

    Reply

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