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Israel - Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Women May Chant Megillat Esther for Men

Published on: March 1, 2009 08:14 PM
By: Haaretz
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Israel - Women are allowed to chant the Scroll of Esther on behalf of men if no competent men are available, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardi community, ruled in a landmark decision liable to outrage many of his Ashkenazi counterparts.

Esther is traditionally read in synagogue on the holiday of Purim, which this year falls next week. And while some rabbis have long permitted women to read the megillah, or scroll, for other women, most do not allow women to read on behalf of men.

In his Torah class, Yosef discussed the rules of reading the megillah and ruled that not only may women read it in front of men, but the men will thereby have fulfilled their obligation to hear the scroll read.

“It is permissible for a woman to fulfill this obligation on behalf of men,” he said, because the obligation to hear the megillah falls equally on men and women.

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Yosef said that most rabbis forbid women to read the megillah on the grounds that men are forbidden to listen to women sing.
However, he said, he does not agree that a woman chanting a sacred text is the kind of singing that’s forbidden.
The analogy rabbis have drawn between singing and chanting sacred texts has “no value,” he declared.

Rabbi Yosef said women should not read for men if there are men capable of doing the reading. But in a “small community” where there are no men capable of chanting the text properly, it is permissible to bring a woman to read, he ruled.

Yosef also said that women could write a kosher Scroll of Esther - another task that most rabbis say can be done only by men. He said that ancient megillahs written by women have been found in Yemen, and it would be permissible for women to do so today as well, “to earn a living for their household,” since women “were part of the miracle” that the megillah describes.

However, he admitted wryly, it is an open question “whether anyone would buy it.”

In both cases, Yosef’s rulings were specific to Megillat Esther and do not necessarily apply to other sacred texts, such as the Torah.


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Read Comments (86)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 01, 2009 at 07:23 PM Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

2

 Mar 01, 2009 at 07:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Kol hakovod to Rav Yossef for this historic ruling.....it is my understanding that the Belzer rebbe and perhaps other chasidic rabbonim may decide to adopt a similiar posek, maybe not in time for purim this year.....such a decision is a consistent with the intent of the issur on listening to "kol ishah" since there can be no illicit ourcomes or wrong thoughts related to hearing the megillah

3

 Mar 01, 2009 at 07:24 PM Anonymous Says:

This is really strange!! Perhaps the great of the gadolim alive today says approves listening to a woman singing the megillah but the heilege rabbonim of Lakewood say we should not listen to Lipa. Whats wrong with this picture??

4

 Mar 01, 2009 at 07:43 PM Al tehi feminist harbei Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

Women have no mitzvah to hear Zachor - neither d'oraisa nor d'rabbanan.

Unlike Megillas Esther, which they are mechuyav to hear because they were included in the miracle of Purim, women are not commanded to erase the name of Amalek (which implies going to war against that nation), because women do not participate in warfare.

5

 Mar 01, 2009 at 07:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

This is really strange!! Perhaps the great of the gadolim alive today says approves listening to a woman singing the megillah but the heilege rabbonim of Lakewood say we should not listen to Lipa. Whats wrong with this picture??

Personally if you are the same person commenting on Lipa 24/7 please get a life. It is to a point that is sickening to see. Lipa has 0 to do with this psak. Aman can sing for woman any time any place and it won't matter. A woman is not suppose to siing for men. The rav say she should sing the megillah he said she should read it. I agree a man should not hear a woman sing. Nor even daven out loud. For the sake of Tznius and other issues. ( However as far as you concerned get your self a life and stop living lipa 24/7 this needs help)

6

 Mar 01, 2009 at 07:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Is this decision binding on the non-Sephardic rabbonim since it came from the Chief Rabbi? Also, under the logic of his decision, why would there be more concern about "chanting the torah" or "chanting the megillah" since in BOTH cases, the reading is from a holy text and does does not raise the fears that men might somehow engage in illicit thoughts if they hear a woman who is not their wife.

7

 Mar 01, 2009 at 07:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

with regard to kiddush, there is no posek or noseh keilim on the shulchan oruch that says otherwise. The Mogen Avraham and the Mishna Brura following him say that it's not appropriate for a women to say kiddush for a man who is not from her house, but they certainly don't think that she isn't motzi him and they don't seem to care about kol isha in that case either.

8

 Mar 01, 2009 at 08:20 PM Anonymous Says:

i don't understand, according to this logic a woman should be able to lein the Torah, and daven for the amud (starting to sound like a reform temple).

9

 Mar 01, 2009 at 08:23 PM Anonymous Says:

This issur of "kol isha" has been taken considerably too far by the same questionable poskim who seem to get off on being a greater "machmir" than the next guy. Rav Yechiel Weinberg (Teshuvot Seridei Eish 2:8) noted that for many generations, yiddeshe women in Europe traditionally refrained from singing Zemirot when there were males who were not family members sitting at the Shabbos table. However, he also noted that this practice changed, beginning in Poland and Germany where weomen increasingly began to sing Zemirot in the company of unrelated men. Rav Weinberg records that Rav Azriel Hildesheimer and Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, the two greatest Gadolim of the 19th century approved of such singing. Rav Weinberg reports that they based their poseks on the Talmudic rule (Megila 21b) that “Trei Kali Lo Mishtamai,” two voices cannot be heard simultaneously. Subsequently, the chasidshe gadolim also went further and said that women can sing zemirot at the Rebbe's tish as long as the proper seating arrangements were in place.

10

 Mar 01, 2009 at 08:40 PM Anonymous Says:

How could there be a situation where there is not even one "competent" man availale in the shul for megillah reading...its no big deal to read Megillas Ester so how could one argue that all the men have the wrong nusach but we can find a woman in the varbeshe section and have her read the megilla on the other side of the mechitzah

11

 Mar 01, 2009 at 08:50 PM The Governor Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

Who said women are mechuav to hear Parshas Zachor?

12

 Mar 01, 2009 at 08:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

i don't understand, according to this logic a woman should be able to lein the Torah, and daven for the amud (starting to sound like a reform temple).

I agree completely...there is no reason why women with good voices and who know the traap cannot lain the torah on shabos...I'm not sure,however, I would agree with you as far a women being a shaliach tzibur for the davening...

13

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

I agree completely...there is no reason why women with good voices and who know the traap cannot lain the torah on shabos...I'm not sure,however, I would agree with you as far a women being a shaliach tzibur for the davening...

How could a woman be a ba'al koreh without coming up to the amud for the kariah? Aren't there issues of "negiah"? I don't think most rabbonim would encourage women to lain, even on a weekday, much less on shabbos or yom tov. Rav's yosef is a Gadol but on this point there is no logical difference betweeen reading torah and reading megillah.

14

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:18 PM Anonymous Says:

"However as far as you concerned get your self a life and stop living lipa 24/7 this needs help"

Living Lipa 24/7 heist geleibt.

15

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

This issur of "kol isha" has been taken considerably too far by the same questionable poskim who seem to get off on being a greater "machmir" than the next guy. Rav Yechiel Weinberg (Teshuvot Seridei Eish 2:8) noted that for many generations, yiddeshe women in Europe traditionally refrained from singing Zemirot when there were males who were not family members sitting at the Shabbos table. However, he also noted that this practice changed, beginning in Poland and Germany where weomen increasingly began to sing Zemirot in the company of unrelated men. Rav Weinberg records that Rav Azriel Hildesheimer and Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, the two greatest Gadolim of the 19th century approved of such singing. Rav Weinberg reports that they based their poseks on the Talmudic rule (Megila 21b) that “Trei Kali Lo Mishtamai,” two voices cannot be heard simultaneously. Subsequently, the chasidshe gadolim also went further and said that women can sing zemirot at the Rebbe's tish as long as the proper seating arrangements were in place.

You made a mistake Women may sing/chant only at a rebbetzens tish

16

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:15 PM Anonymous Says:

I would prefer women stick to cooking gefilte fish and potato kigel and good kishka in the chulent .

17

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:07 PM Rebitzen Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

How could there be a situation where there is not even one "competent" man availale in the shul for megillah reading...its no big deal to read Megillas Ester so how could one argue that all the men have the wrong nusach but we can find a woman in the varbeshe section and have her read the megilla on the other side of the mechitzah

You should come to my shul, noone,not even my husband (the Rebbe) knows how to read the megila. It's a pathetic scene. I am quite capable of reading the megila but my husband wont allow me to. This year I will show him this psak and see what he says. But knowing what a male chauvinist he is I'm sure it wont help.

18

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Rav Yosef has also been a progressive regarding to listening to women on the radio For example, some rabbonim (e.g. Rav Breisch in Teshuvot Chelkat Yaakov)forbid a men to listen to women singing on the radio. They disagree that the issur of kol isha from Sanhedrin applies only when there could be some form of connection with the woman. Rav Breisch argues that a man’s yetzer hara is stimulated whenever he only hears a woman’s voice, regardless of any relationship or visual fantasy. He rules strictly even in case where the listener is not acquainted with the singer. Rav Shmuel Wosner and Rav Binyamin Silber also poskin very strictly on this question. However, their views are no longer binding since the posek of Rav Yosef who says it is allowed to listen to a women's voice on the radio if the male listener does not have a personal relationship with the woman singer.

19

 Mar 01, 2009 at 08:50 PM Anonymous Says:

What is the burning need for this kind of ruling? Are there people who can hardly wait to have a woman chant the megilla in public? Well, judging by the photo at the top with the magen david in the background one can understand why........

20

 Mar 01, 2009 at 08:44 PM Anonymous Says:

A friend of mine went to a Shabbatton in Riverdale and the shule had the bimah halm in the men section and half in the womens section. When the Torah came out they passed it to a woman who walked up and down the isle for the woman to kiss it. The anouncements in the shul was delivered by a woman. This is an Orthodox shul I belive the Rabbi is Rabbi Weiss

21

 Mar 01, 2009 at 08:41 PM v`hivdeelunuu min hatioyim Says:

Once somebody asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe Z"ATZAL. Can ten woman have there own miyan etc? The Rebbe answerd "go find out how The Reform and Conservative movement`s started" v`hamaivin yovin

22

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

I agree completely...there is no reason why women with good voices and who know the traap cannot lain the torah on shabos...I'm not sure,however, I would agree with you as far a women being a shaliach tzibur for the davening...

That is simply not true. Since they are not M'chuyav in K'rias Hatorah, they therefore cannot be Motzi anyone. Please learn some Halacha. Please also note that Rav Yosef ruled in a case where there is *NO* competent man to read and that the Mishna B'rura rules that a woman reading the M'gilah for a congregation of women is a "Zilzul".

23

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

No, according to sefardim they are not obligated in hearing parshas zachor

24

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

That is simply not true. Since they are not M'chuyav in K'rias Hatorah, they therefore cannot be Motzi anyone. Please learn some Halacha. Please also note that Rav Yosef ruled in a case where there is *NO* competent man to read and that the Mishna B'rura rules that a woman reading the M'gilah for a congregation of women is a "Zilzul".

You are a bit of an am'haoretz... your are saying that a woman can be yotzer mitzvas K'rias megillah for men but not for women...maybe you should go back and take a refresher course in Yiddeshkeit 101...

25

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:55 PM Morning Sleeper Says:

its a mitzvas asei shezman grama which means woman are not obligated and surely not able 2 be yotze 4 other ppl!

26

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:56 PM Moish Says:

The key term here is IF NO MEN ARE AVAILABLE..this psak is bediavad..feminists will distort it and allow it lechatchilah though, obviously

28

 Mar 01, 2009 at 09:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

A friend of mine went to a Shabbatton in Riverdale and the shule had the bimah halm in the men section and half in the womens section. When the Torah came out they passed it to a woman who walked up and down the isle for the woman to kiss it. The anouncements in the shul was delivered by a woman. This is an Orthodox shul I belive the Rabbi is Rabbi Weiss

Yes...this is the shule established by H'Rav Avi Weiss Z'l...he was a great talmid chachom and tzadik and had very progressive views on the role of women..what you describe is a very elegant solution to a problem that conforms to halacha and doesn't disenfranchise yiddeshe women.

29

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

"However as far as you concerned get your self a life and stop living lipa 24/7 this needs help"

Living Lipa 24/7 heist geleibt.

No it is living it is an addiction and addictions are sickness. That is for sure.

30

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Vat are you saying. When a man has difficulty doing certain mitzvos because of sickness or physical handicap, many gadolim hav paskined that his wife can do the mitzvah on his behalf...for example Rav Naftali Gehrshener's posek on lighting chanukah lecht...

31

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:19 PM weener shnitzel Says:

whats more important is why rav ovadyah yoseph came to the decision to say this is okay,not to say anything bad about the rav but im wondering what kind of pressure he was on

32

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:18 PM lou bob Says:

u are posul le'eydus. mamish an apikoires. women are allowed to be yotzeh mem with kiddush!

33

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:14 PM rabbi jenifer Says:

woman have right to be like men in a society like this we should abide by the way the world acts

34

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

kidush you are right, but zochor is a mahlokos if they are mechuyev mdoriesa.

35

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #31  
weener shnitzel Says:

whats more important is why rav ovadyah yoseph came to the decision to say this is okay,not to say anything bad about the rav but im wondering what kind of pressure he was on

Rav Yosef has always been on the cutting edge of more inclusive poseks regarding the role of women among torah observant yiddin...this is a well thought out decision with mega-ramifications for all yiddim. Women should be celebrating this opportunity to play a greater role in shul and hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg.

36

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:28 PM weener shnitzel Says:

Reply to #33  
rabbi jenifer Says:

woman have right to be like men in a society like this we should abide by the way the world acts

are you crazy if you really are a rabbi name where its okay for you to be a rabbi REBITZEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

37

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:26 PM 1 Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

How could a woman be a ba'al koreh without coming up to the amud for the kariah? Aren't there issues of "negiah"? I don't think most rabbonim would encourage women to lain, even on a weekday, much less on shabbos or yom tov. Rav's yosef is a Gadol but on this point there is no logical difference betweeen reading torah and reading megillah.

there sure is! a very BIG difference. you are just stupid.

38

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:25 PM esther Says:

Reply to #28  
Anonymous Says:

Yes...this is the shule established by H'Rav Avi Weiss Z'l...he was a great talmid chachom and tzadik and had very progressive views on the role of women..what you describe is a very elegant solution to a problem that conforms to halacha and doesn't disenfranchise yiddeshe women.

it's sad that frum women have to take on the man's role so as not to feel dis enfranchised.what some might call very elegant i think of as sexist.i don't have to act like a man to have chashivus;women are the foundation of the jewish home and therefore of am yisroel that's why the mother's status determines if a child is jewish or not.

39

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

I would prefer women stick to cooking gefilte fish and potato kigel and good kishka in the chulent .

i pity the women in your daled amos.

40

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Kiddush, Havdalah, Hamotzi....

41

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #28  
Anonymous Says:

Yes...this is the shule established by H'Rav Avi Weiss Z'l...he was a great talmid chachom and tzadik and had very progressive views on the role of women..what you describe is a very elegant solution to a problem that conforms to halacha and doesn't disenfranchise yiddeshe women.

Avi Weiss is very much alive and well BH.

42

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:21 PM rabbi sally Says:

that is the most absurd halacha i hav ever heard and besides u r arguing with Harav Ovadia Yosef-the posek hadar 4 the sfardim!!!

43

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

i wish my wife would read th emegila at home, wouldnt drive me crazy.

44

 Mar 01, 2009 at 11:17 PM Anonymous Says:

i'm a litveshe yungeman learniing in kolllell for six years im kearning daf yomi with my wife for six years i love my wife on a intelectual and a sensual leval for ix years my ife introduced me to chasidus. for me its the best friend i never met......i thank g-d everybday for my wife,,,,,,there is so much more then....??

45

 Mar 01, 2009 at 11:17 PM oiberchuchem Says:

all you poskim check out the MB if woman may hav aliya you will be shocked

46

 Mar 01, 2009 at 10:52 PM Anonymous Says:

ill be listening to megilla this year at congregation *ayshes ish*

47

 Mar 02, 2009 at 06:27 AM Shaul in Monsey Says:

While the article calls this a psak, it is in fact merely a recitation of halacha. No news here.

48

 Mar 02, 2009 at 06:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #25  
Morning Sleeper Says:

its a mitzvas asei shezman grama which means woman are not obligated and surely not able 2 be yotze 4 other ppl!

Mitzvas Assei Shezman Gramma is nullified by the participation of the women in the event that triggered the mitzvah, I.E Esther saving all Jews from destruction by the persians.

49

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:25 AM Porets geder Says:

The rabbi is a "porets geder", whats next, mixed dancing with gloves?

50

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:23 AM Avrohom Abba Says:

Great! I like this psak very much! We our not Moslem. Our women are full people not half of a man.

51

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:12 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

A friend of mine went to a Shabbatton in Riverdale and the shule had the bimah halm in the men section and half in the womens section. When the Torah came out they passed it to a woman who walked up and down the isle for the woman to kiss it. The anouncements in the shul was delivered by a woman. This is an Orthodox shul I belive the Rabbi is Rabbi Weiss

Shlomo Carlebach once paskened that women can carry a sefer torah, as well, since if they are allowed to carry our children for nine months who will be learning torah (and according to medrash, are now learning torah in their mother's womb), then al achas kamah vkamah they can carry the sefer torah itself.

Similar to gemara Mipaneha kamin, mipnei lomdeha al achas kamah vkamah.

52

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

A friend of mine went to a Shabbatton in Riverdale and the shule had the bimah halm in the men section and half in the womens section. When the Torah came out they passed it to a woman who walked up and down the isle for the woman to kiss it. The anouncements in the shul was delivered by a woman. This is an Orthodox shul I belive the Rabbi is Rabbi Weiss

The Rambam paskens that a nida or any other tamei can touch and learn from a sefer torah, if I recall, since divrei torah ein mekablin tumah.

53

 Mar 02, 2009 at 01:37 AM PulpitRabbi Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Is this decision binding on the non-Sephardic rabbonim since it came from the Chief Rabbi? Also, under the logic of his decision, why would there be more concern about "chanting the torah" or "chanting the megillah" since in BOTH cases, the reading is from a holy text and does does not raise the fears that men might somehow engage in illicit thoughts if they hear a woman who is not their wife.

????? Why should the title Chief Rabbi make his piskei din binding on others? We don't have a Sanhedrin, and therefore no one can impose a psak. No difference between Rav Eliashiv and Rav Ovadia Yossef here.

One becomes bound to a psak by asking, not by merely hearing it. It is possible, though, that whoever is elected as a rav can issue binding piskei din to the tzibbur that elected him. Since the Chief Rabbis of Israel are not popularly elected, and since the entire country does not equal a kehillah, the applicability of such a concept is most debatable.

54

 Mar 02, 2009 at 01:30 AM yaak Says:

This is by no means a new psak, as was pointed out by the Arutz Sheva article on this.

Here's what the Yalkut Yosef (Rav Ovadia's son) writes:
י"א שאע"פ שהנשים חייבות במקרא מגילה, אינן מוציאות את האנשים ידי חובתם. ויש חולקים ואומרים שהנשים יכולות להוציא את האנשים ידי חובה. ואע"פ שהעיקר כדעה אחרונה, נכון לחוש לסברא ראשונה, אלא אם כן בשעת הדחק. ומכל מקום אין לאסור משום "קול באשה ערוה". ע"כ

55

 Mar 02, 2009 at 01:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
v`hivdeelunuu min hatioyim Says:

Once somebody asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe Z"ATZAL. Can ten woman have there own miyan etc? The Rebbe answerd "go find out how The Reform and Conservative movement`s started" v`hamaivin yovin

And in reality, what happened was not that the Reform/Conservative movement gave a crap about women's rights (a secret they like to hide now), but just that they wanted to emulate the goyim in everything they did.

Why did the Reform movement originally want the women to pray with men? Because Women were considered too stupid to be capable of praying on their own! This is the original reason, stemming from a time when women were seen as worthless airheads in much of the world.

The difference between the Reformers and R' Ovadia Yosef is very clear, and such comparisons are disrespectful.

56

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Is this decision binding on the non-Sephardic rabbonim since it came from the Chief Rabbi? Also, under the logic of his decision, why would there be more concern about "chanting the torah" or "chanting the megillah" since in BOTH cases, the reading is from a holy text and does does not raise the fears that men might somehow engage in illicit thoughts if they hear a woman who is not their wife.

rabbi yosef is not chief rabbi for years already. and kol esho doesn't go in to detail of one will have toughts on women or not, and if the esho is an 80 year old its still in the esur.

57

 Mar 02, 2009 at 06:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

women do not have to hear zochar. only megilla....

58

 Mar 02, 2009 at 07:11 AM That's the Problem Says:

Reply to #41  
Anonymous Says:

Avi Weiss is very much alive and well BH.

Rachmana Litzlan me'hai gissa.

59

 Mar 02, 2009 at 07:09 AM Jenifer, learn Aleph Bais Says:

Reply to #33  
rabbi jenifer Says:

woman have right to be like men in a society like this we should abide by the way the world acts

In a Torah society, my dear Rabbit, women have NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to be like men, and men have NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to be like women. Their Creator gave them different Laws and rights, as He gave them different biologies.

Jews are told by the Torah NOT to abide by the way the world acts.

60

 Mar 02, 2009 at 07:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #49  
Porets geder Says:

The rabbi is a "porets geder", whats next, mixed dancing with gloves?

It will be very easy to institute this p'sak and help serious women advance in their yiddeskeit and practices. Let them strike in the bedroom. There will be a lot of cold Friday nights.

61

 Mar 02, 2009 at 08:44 AM Anonymous Says:

This is a wonderful decision by the greatest rebbe alive today. There have been several emails circulated by women in our Synagogue since last night pointing to this decision to allow greater participation by women in public tfilah in the shul and asking for a special meeting of the religious practices committee to discuss how this can be implemented for Purim now ans perhaps in the longer term for shabbos and other yom tovim. This reaffrims the belief of many frume women that the rabbonim would ultimately begin to find ways of greater participation by women in tfilah and public study of torah while strictly adhering to halacha.

62

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:37 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

according to that , with regard to zachor that women are also mechuyav dioraysa and if they cant go to shul on shabos they are upposed to hear it on purim then women shoulkd also be allowed to read and according to the opinion that they are mechuyav kiddush the same would apply

Interesting that you mention kiddush, since it is a clear and unanimous halacha that women can be motzi men in kiddush. Unlike megillah, where there is an obscure minority opinion that women can not read it, with kiddush there is no such opinion. Everyone agrees that women can make kiddush for men, and one who claims otherwise only displays his ignorance.

As for your other example, women coming to shul to hear parshas zochor is only a very recent minhag. 40 years ago it was unheard of. But ein hochi nami, al pi din a woman could read it too. Al pi din a woman could even read the regular krias hatorah betzibbur, but it's not done because of kovod hatzibur; but if there's a special reading of parshas zochor just to be yotze the mitzvah of zechiras Amolek then there's no issue of kovod hatzibur, so why shouldn't a woman read it?

63

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:51 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

Rav Yosef has also been a progressive regarding to listening to women on the radio For example, some rabbonim (e.g. Rav Breisch in Teshuvot Chelkat Yaakov)forbid a men to listen to women singing on the radio. They disagree that the issur of kol isha from Sanhedrin applies only when there could be some form of connection with the woman. Rav Breisch argues that a man’s yetzer hara is stimulated whenever he only hears a woman’s voice, regardless of any relationship or visual fantasy. He rules strictly even in case where the listener is not acquainted with the singer. Rav Shmuel Wosner and Rav Binyamin Silber also poskin very strictly on this question. However, their views are no longer binding since the posek of Rav Yosef who says it is allowed to listen to a women's voice on the radio if the male listener does not have a personal relationship with the woman singer.

What is "progressive" about such a psak? It's either correct or incorrect - that's for poskim to debate; but either way how is it more "progressive" to permit than to forbid? Maybe davka a psak to increase kedusha beyond what is strictly necessary is more progressive?

And what is this claim that "their views are no longer binding since the posek of Rav Yosef"? If their views were binding before ROY gave his psak, what made them less binding after? Does ROY have more halachic authority than them? Are they subject to his authority? Either their view was right and is still right, or it was never right and is still not right.

64

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:53 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #21  
v`hivdeelunuu min hatioyim Says:

Once somebody asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe Z"ATZAL. Can ten woman have there own miyan etc? The Rebbe answerd "go find out how The Reform and Conservative movement`s started" v`hamaivin yovin

Neither the Reform nor the Conservative movement started in anything like this way.

65

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:43 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

This issur of "kol isha" has been taken considerably too far by the same questionable poskim who seem to get off on being a greater "machmir" than the next guy. Rav Yechiel Weinberg (Teshuvot Seridei Eish 2:8) noted that for many generations, yiddeshe women in Europe traditionally refrained from singing Zemirot when there were males who were not family members sitting at the Shabbos table. However, he also noted that this practice changed, beginning in Poland and Germany where weomen increasingly began to sing Zemirot in the company of unrelated men. Rav Weinberg records that Rav Azriel Hildesheimer and Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, the two greatest Gadolim of the 19th century approved of such singing. Rav Weinberg reports that they based their poseks on the Talmudic rule (Megila 21b) that “Trei Kali Lo Mishtamai,” two voices cannot be heard simultaneously. Subsequently, the chasidshe gadolim also went further and said that women can sing zemirot at the Rebbe's tish as long as the proper seating arrangements were in place.

What rebbe's tish has ever had women at it?

66

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:57 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

That is simply not true. Since they are not M'chuyav in K'rias Hatorah, they therefore cannot be Motzi anyone. Please learn some Halacha. Please also note that Rav Yosef ruled in a case where there is *NO* competent man to read and that the Mishna B'rura rules that a woman reading the M'gilah for a congregation of women is a "Zilzul".

Look again, and you will find that it is unanimous that even though it's not done, in theory woman can read the Torah and count among the 7 olim.

67

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:54 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #25  
Morning Sleeper Says:

its a mitzvas asei shezman grama which means woman are not obligated and surely not able 2 be yotze 4 other ppl!

Oy vey. Go back to sleep. Everyone agrees that women are obligated in megillah.

68

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:42 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

i don't understand, according to this logic a woman should be able to lein the Torah, and daven for the amud (starting to sound like a reform temple).

How do you reach that conclusion?

69

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #49  
Porets geder Says:

The rabbi is a "porets geder", whats next, mixed dancing with gloves?

Please, even if you disagree, show some respect. You are talking about one of the gedolei hador.

70

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:41 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Is this decision binding on the non-Sephardic rabbonim since it came from the Chief Rabbi? Also, under the logic of his decision, why would there be more concern about "chanting the torah" or "chanting the megillah" since in BOTH cases, the reading is from a holy text and does does not raise the fears that men might somehow engage in illicit thoughts if they hear a woman who is not their wife.

What Chief Rabbi? ROY hasn't been Chief Rabbi for over 25 years!

71

 Mar 02, 2009 at 10:03 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

Shlomo Carlebach once paskened that women can carry a sefer torah, as well, since if they are allowed to carry our children for nine months who will be learning torah (and according to medrash, are now learning torah in their mother's womb), then al achas kamah vkamah they can carry the sefer torah itself.

Similar to gemara Mipaneha kamin, mipnei lomdeha al achas kamah vkamah.

That is very poor logic, and Shlomo Carlebach was hardly a reputable posek. Nevertheless, in this case the psak was correct, velav mitaameih.

72

 Mar 02, 2009 at 10:02 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #49  
Porets geder Says:

The rabbi is a "porets geder", whats next, mixed dancing with gloves?

"The rabbi is a porets geder"? Who do you think you're talking about? This is not some MO shnook fresh out of YCT. Agree or disagree, ROY is a world-class posek, and if he feels a particular fence needs breaking he's entitled to break it. Melech poretz geder laasos lo derech, and man malki rabbonon.

73

 Mar 02, 2009 at 11:32 AM oiberchuchem Says:

my wife filed to become a sfardia

74

 Mar 02, 2009 at 11:56 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #72  
Milhouse Says:

"The rabbi is a porets geder"? Who do you think you're talking about? This is not some MO shnook fresh out of YCT. Agree or disagree, ROY is a world-class posek, and if he feels a particular fence needs breaking he's entitled to break it. Melech poretz geder laasos lo derech, and man malki rabbonon.

what is a "MO shnook out of YCT" mean? Rav Yosef, Z'l, is one of the Gadolim of our generation and he should be treated with respect along with some of the other Gadolim like Rav Carlbach whose poseks also were inclusive of women in similiar matters.

75

 Mar 02, 2009 at 11:16 AM Anonymous Says:

milhouse, the concept of lo plug might apply to certain situations where women could technically read the torah because other criteria don't apply, and hence one would say that they still can't.

76

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #59  
Jenifer, learn Aleph Bais Says:

In a Torah society, my dear Rabbit, women have NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to be like men, and men have NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to be like women. Their Creator gave them different Laws and rights, as He gave them different biologies.

Jews are told by the Torah NOT to abide by the way the world acts.

chyeck the shulachan aruch.

77

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #58  
That's the Problem Says:

Rachmana Litzlan me'hai gissa.

whats wrong with you? you indecent piece of sinas chinam

78

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #65  
Milhouse Says:

What rebbe's tish has ever had women at it?

Many shuls have a regular "rebbe's tish once a month where women are encouraged to attend...if you want to be hypertechnical, we can call it the "Mihouse Rebbizen's Tish" in your honor.

79

 Mar 02, 2009 at 01:37 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #78  
Anonymous Says:

Many shuls have a regular "rebbe's tish once a month where women are encouraged to attend...if you want to be hypertechnical, we can call it the "Mihouse Rebbizen's Tish" in your honor.

Name one rebbe who has women at his tish.

80

 Mar 02, 2009 at 01:36 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #74  
Anonymous Says:

what is a "MO shnook out of YCT" mean? Rav Yosef, Z'l, is one of the Gadolim of our generation and he should be treated with respect along with some of the other Gadolim like Rav Carlbach whose poseks also were inclusive of women in similiar matters.

Shlomo Carlebach? A "godol"? Bwahahahaha.

And what are "poseks"? Are they something "yiddim" do?

81

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:44 PM very bad move Says:

rav yosef enjoys attention by sporadicaly stating his views on contraversial topics

82

 Mar 02, 2009 at 07:35 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #81  
very bad move Says:

rav yosef enjoys attention by sporadicaly stating his views on contraversial topics

Maybe, but this one isn't in the least controversial. It's also not in the least new.

83

 Mar 03, 2009 at 04:39 AM Anonymous Says:

This psok is irresponsible for three reasons.

One, it's hard to imagine that someone living in Har Nof, Jerusalem is terribly troubled by potential communities which simply have no male to read a megilah.

Two, R' Ovadia has not infrequently 'issued' similar psokim as well as inflammatory statements. Is there no other way to gain attention?

Third, this is the best way to give non-Torah observant 'rabbis' (i.e. reform) ammunition for their women Torah reading practices.

Has this heter evaded G-d fearing poskim and Jews for three thousand years while it was held unthinkable?

84

 Mar 03, 2009 at 10:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #83  
Anonymous Says:

This psok is irresponsible for three reasons.

One, it's hard to imagine that someone living in Har Nof, Jerusalem is terribly troubled by potential communities which simply have no male to read a megilah.

Two, R' Ovadia has not infrequently 'issued' similar psokim as well as inflammatory statements. Is there no other way to gain attention?

Third, this is the best way to give non-Torah observant 'rabbis' (i.e. reform) ammunition for their women Torah reading practices.

Has this heter evaded G-d fearing poskim and Jews for three thousand years while it was held unthinkable?

they never held it unthinkable. its your sad education that taught you that

85

 Mar 03, 2009 at 10:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #83  
Anonymous Says:

This psok is irresponsible for three reasons.

One, it's hard to imagine that someone living in Har Nof, Jerusalem is terribly troubled by potential communities which simply have no male to read a megilah.

Two, R' Ovadia has not infrequently 'issued' similar psokim as well as inflammatory statements. Is there no other way to gain attention?

Third, this is the best way to give non-Torah observant 'rabbis' (i.e. reform) ammunition for their women Torah reading practices.

Has this heter evaded G-d fearing poskim and Jews for three thousand years while it was held unthinkable?

boy are you stupid. itsbfeirush, its known, its not new, its in our texts, its perfectly fine. see the shulchan aruch. get your head out of the sand/lakewood

86

 Mar 04, 2009 at 06:45 AM matzahlocal101 Says:

Reply to #4  
Al tehi feminist harbei Says:

Women have no mitzvah to hear Zachor - neither d'oraisa nor d'rabbanan.

Unlike Megillas Esther, which they are mechuyav to hear because they were included in the miracle of Purim, women are not commanded to erase the name of Amalek (which implies going to war against that nation), because women do not participate in warfare.

Milchemes amalek (and that already is a big question, only when there is a king? only when Israel is in their land? only in the time of moshiach?) Is a milchemes mitzva and a choson and Kallah go from their chupa to war in a milchemes mitzva. See the minchas chinuch and the commentaries on the Rambam z"l.

87

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