Was the original process of semicha merely intended to provide reliable decisors of halacha only?

Nowadays can a Rav get semicha in Tanach or Talmud (for example)? Since, perhaps, these days the title 'Rabbi' is more symbolic of status, why wouldn't this be the case?

  • 1
    There is again no such thing as semichah to give a psak. Anyone can do it without semicha as long as he knows the subject. For certain things semicha was necessary in the olden times non of which I think apply today. The reason for semicha is only because one is not allowed to give a psak where one rebbi lives and some say even further afield. The semicha gives one permission for this.
    – user2800
    May 17, 2013 at 4:19

1 Answer 1


Smiche is needed to write anything about Yore Dea (specifically Kashrus). I heard that was actually one of the reasons the Chofetz Chaim never wrote about it. Also to be a Rov means that people can ask you about practical details, something a Maggid Shiur won't answer (I saw it quite often actually that important Roshei Yeshive never answered Haloche)

  • 1
    user2721, are you enamored with that number? :) Also, there are other many subjects in Yoreh De'ah that are complex; why would Kashruth be the one that requires Semichah? Do you have a source for the C"C story? I can also think of other reasons why Roshei Yeshivah might be hesitant to answer practical questions of Halachah.
    – Seth J
    May 17, 2013 at 14:55
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    An interesting idea but without any source it sounds more like an urban legend.
    – Yirmeyahu
    May 17, 2013 at 15:22
  • If i remember correctly I heart the C'C part from Rabbi Braun, the Menahel of Ohr Somayach in Monsey.
    – jekishboy
    May 21, 2013 at 11:04
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    Did Rav Elyashiv ztzl never pasken on kashrus?
    – yoel
    Oct 14, 2013 at 19:27

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