Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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The Truth about Yoatzot Halacha: Responses and Reflections

By Tova Warburg Sinensky
The Times of Israel: The Blogs | December 2, 2015

From the trenches, an educated perspective on Orthodox women being legal advisers for the family purity laws


The group Chochmat Nashim has issued a fairly compelling statement authored by Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll, Rachel Stomel, Tamar Weissman and Anne Gordon advocating for more widespread acceptance of yoatzot halacha (women advisors on Jewish law) given their role in increasing the observance of taharat hamishpacha (the Laws of Family Purity) over the past fifteen years.

In the name of honest discourse about the matter, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein has published a post on Cross-Currents in which he quotes their statement and offers several possible responses with the caveat, “to the likely chagrin of some of my friends, I have to say that this man’s inner jury is still out on the question.”

I take this opportunity to respond to Rabbi Adlerstein’s list of objections to yoatzot halacha. After that response, although I am largely in agreement with the perspective of Chochmat Nashim, I will share a few significant reservations I have regarding their statement.


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