Aug 6, 2018

Female influence in the beis din on the rise

Behadrei is reporting on an historic decision taken yesterday regarding the appointment of a woman to a legal, rather than administrative, position in the rabbinical court system.

the decision was to appoint a woman, Shira Ben Eli, a lawyer by trade, to the position of a legal assistant to the judges of the beis din.

This position will involve Ben Eli in the issues of Ivri law (law based on Hebrew tradition) and on court decisions affecting family and females, giving her unprecedented influence in forming legal decisions in beis din on these matters.

I am not familiar with the different positions and what level of responsibility and involvement they bear, but this is a clear win for the groups that petitioned the court to do away with the discrimination against women. The question is where it will go from here. Will they next fight for female judges? What's the next step and at what point does it become problematic? Technically, I think women should be able (from a halachic and therefore public perspective)  to do anything that the halacha allows them to do, even if it is something that was never done until now, so if the halacha only does noo allow them to be judges, they should be able to do everything else. If there are other positions the halacha does not permit to be filled by women, then those too, but they should not be limited just because someone is worried what might happen next or that it gives them influence they never before had.

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