Recently, in certain segments of the modern orthodoxy there have been appointments of Yoetzet Halacha, a woman specially trained to assist woman with questions in Hilchos Neda. Is this permissible according to Halacha? Please give sources along with their reasoning. Please discuss possible issues according to the strict letter of the law and Hashkafa issues as well.

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    Why would you think it wouldn't be?
    – Aaron
    Jan 3, 2016 at 17:11
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    @TzafnasPaneach Your latter two comments contain information the inclusion of which in your question would strengthen it and make it more informative. Consider editing them in.
    – WAF
    Jan 3, 2016 at 18:24
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    @tza If you have any reason to think this is a problem you should include it in the question and explain it. I don't know why your citation to the rambam is relevant at all. Women have issued rulings on issues related to them for millennia. How to keep a kosher kitchen and most of hilchot nidda was taught to women by women. Yours is not a new phenomenon except in that the women they are asking get tested by rabbis first to know if they are qualified. It's no different than having a hashgacha on food.
    – Double AA
    Jan 3, 2016 at 18:42
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    @DoubleAA sounds like an answer
    – Isaac Moses
    Jan 5, 2016 at 18:32
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    @TzafnasPaneach It's hard to say I'm misunderstanding it. Perhaps I'm just different-understanding it. In any event, you should be editing into your question any sources that are relevant and what you are seeking based on what assumptions. BTW what is the title of authority of "Yoetzet"? I fail to see how that is an "authority" any more than a driver's licence is "authority" to drive.
    – Double AA
    Jan 6, 2016 at 1:21

2 Answers 2


R Binyamin Tabadi (in the context of a question whether women can be poskei halacha) brings a few sources showing women have been ruling on halachic decisions in the past (in the sense of applying codified rulings, not creating new ones).

He quotes Sefer Hakhinukh (mitzva 152 towards the end) who writes

And the prevention of giving a ruling [by those who drunk alcohool] is [practiced] in every place and at all times by males, and so [too,] by a sage woman who is fit to give a ruling.

As well as the Chida in Birkei Yosef (CM 7:12)

... that even if a woman cannot be a judge, she can rule (lehorot).

And finally R Yissachar Tamar (the author of Alei Tamar, a commentary on the Talmud Yerushalmi)

There are many women in the history of the Jewish people who were "talmidot hakhamim". The sages and great men of Israel recognized their virtue and corresponded with them in words of Torah - and of course praised and respected them properly.

I have now also seen that the Pitchei Tshuva on SA CM 7:5 cites a number of authorities who rule that a woman who is an expert in halachic matters is permitted to paskin (decide) halachic questions (brought by R Howard Jachter here).

  • ...except that yoatzot halacha do not pasken halacha (based on what I have heard from at least 2 Yoatzot, plus in this shiur podcast.headlinesbook.com/e/…) May 7, 2018 at 13:12
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    I agree with the second definition (to tell women when the ruling is clear...) and this is how I answered the question. I believe this is also called paskening and that it is how the OP asked his question. He asks if it is permissible and R Tabadi answers yes
    – mbloch
    May 7, 2018 at 13:20
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    @רבותמחשבות I think the point is that there's nothing new here. If a newly married girl cooking for the first time drops a piece of meat in a fairy pot and she asks her mother what to do would anyone have a problem? If the girl asks her mother how to go to the mikva would anyone have a problem? A yoetzet is essentially the girl's mother with certification that she actually knows what she is talking about.
    – Alex
    May 7, 2018 at 13:53
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    @רבותמחשבות While it may be unnecessary to address this question, if women can rule they can certainly non-rule.
    – Alex
    May 7, 2018 at 15:41
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    @alex that is true, but not a good answer to the question. To me, a good answer would address issues of נאמנות of women for halachic matters, which is essentially a discussion of what we are calling "non-ruling". An excellent answer would document cases where women are believed to correctly recount halachic rulings of Hilchos Niddah. May 7, 2018 at 18:05

The gemara in Niddah 13b actually brings such a woman who used to tell other women whether the blood was tamei or tahor.


חרשת איהי תבדוק לנפשה דתניא אמר רבי חרשת היתה בשכונתינו לא דיה שבודקת לעצמה אלא שחברותיה רואות ומראות לה

Seferia translation:

The mishna states that competent women must assist a deaf woman. The Gemara asks: Let her examine herself; as it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: There was a deaf woman in our neighborhood who was so proficient in these matters that not only did she examine herself, but when her friends would see stains similar to blood and were unsure whether or not the stains were ritually impure, they would show her the stains.

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