I was just looking through your website because I am writing a paper about Orthodox women's credentialing programs and I was very interested in your job as a Yoetzet. What sort of education did you receive in order to reach this position? Do you serve as a posek? Do you work primarily with women's issues? I guess I am essentially wondering what the differences are between you and a rabbi?
Thank you for your time!
Yoatzot Halacha are women certified by a panel of Orthodox rabbis to be a resource for women with questions regarding Taharat Hamishpachah (an area of Jewish Law that relates to marriage, sexuality and women's health). This role was devised to assist women who are more comfortable discussing very personal issues with another woman.
Women preparing to become Yoatzot Halacha devote two years (over 1000 hours) to intensive study with rabbinic authorities in Taharat Hamishpachah. In the program, halachic material regarding these laws is studied extensively -including gemarot, rishonim and acharonim, and earlier and contemporary poskim. Yoatzot also receive training from experts in modern medicine and psychology on topics including gynecology, infertility, women's health, family dynamics and sexuality.
Our goal is to provide information and enhance the understanding of issues in Jewish law related to taharat hamishpacha (the laws of marital life) and women's health only. We are halachic specialists in one area, hilchot niddah, and are not necessarily well-versed in other areas.
We are not certified to issue novel piskei halacha (halachic rulings) and we do not do so. In cases of established psak, we convey the halacha to the questioner. In new, complex, or doubtful cases we consult with our advising rabbi, Rav Yehuda Henkin, who reads and approves or edits every answer before it's sent out over the internet.
You can find additional information in the various articles in the About Us section of this website.
We wish you success with your research.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.