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I have heard many stories about people receiving private semichah from rabbanim, even into the 20th century, under such figures as the Chofetz Chaim, R' Moshe Feinstein, and R' Isser Zalman Meltzer; a current example would be R' Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, although I'm not sure how it compares.

While all of these names belong to particularly renowned [Ashkenazi] rabbanim, what general criteria would one consider for rabbanim to grant their own private semichah to their talmidim ?*


*This is not referring to the content of the bechinot, only to the criteria on the rav granting the semichah

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    What other kind of Semikha is there besides a rabbi approving of his student's ability? – Double AA Feb 5 at 18:57
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    What's the alternative, which you seen to be fine with? – robev Feb 5 at 18:57
  • I think anybody can say that he's giving someone semicha. It all comes down to what that semicha means to a third party. I could give you semicha, but it's not going to impress anybody. – Daniel Feb 5 at 19:22
  • Are you comparing this with the formal exams of the Israeli rabbanut? If yes you might want to say so. But I think it is a fairly unique model due to the quantity of candidates in Israel. I'm not aware that the US for instance has anything else than the traditional semichah from rav to talmid. – mbloch Feb 5 at 19:25
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I think you are asking too late in the game, how about what gives the authority of a rav to make any halachic decisions or anything else a rav does? Once we have this basis I would imagine, that answer would apply to letting him pass on semicha.

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