I've heard a lot of people talking about the two different semichahs that one might receive: יורה יורה ("Yoreh Yoreh") and ידין ידין ("Yadin Yadin").
What is the difference between them?

[Sourced answers preferred]

  • 2
    Can I use the "am-haaretz" tag for this one? :P – MTL May 30 '14 at 4:54
  • how long does it generally take to get semicha Yoreh Yoreh? Yadin Yadin? – Moshe Apr 19 '20 at 20:10

These two semicha 'tracks' cover different areas of halakah: Yoreh Yoreh covers areas that deal with the day to day questions that rabbis might receive, such as questions on kashrut or taharat hamishpacha. Most programs of Yoreh Yoreh also include study of the laws of Shabbat and Mourning. It's traditionally associated with the second section of Tur/Shulchan Arcuh, "Yoreh Deah".

Yadin Yadin covers the type of knowledge that one would need to adjudicate cases between individuals- either in monetary or marital laws. This is traditionally associated with "Choshen Mishpat" and "Even HaEzer", the areas of Shulchan Aruch that deals with monetary and marital laws, respectively.

See the Gemara, Sanhedrin 5a for the origin of the names of these types of סמיכה.

א"ל ר' חייא לרבי בר אחי יורד לבבל יורה יורה ידין ידין יתיר בכורות יתיר....יתיר בכורות אל יתיר

For more info, you can see the semicha requirements of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel or the Wikipedia page.

  • 2
    Don't forget about Yattir Yattir. – Double AA May 28 '14 at 13:55
  • Thanks for the answer....keep forgetting about Wikipedia as a source for Jewish info ;) – MTL May 28 '14 at 18:28
  • Btw, Wikipedia brings an earlier source for different types of semicha -- BT Sanhedrin 5b [I glanced at it, it appears to go from amud א to ב]; mentions also the third type יתיר בכורות יתיר that @DoubleAA mentioned – MTL May 28 '14 at 18:30
  • @DoubleAA I've searched many years for a yeshiva or program that would grant Yatir Bechoros semicha, to no avail... if you know of one I'd love to hear about it – הנער הזה May 28 '14 at 18:50
  • @Matt You got any later sources for classification of semicha? Sifrei halacha (Shulchan Aruch, Tur et al) in particular? – MTL May 29 '14 at 17:17

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