Jerusalem – Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak: Driver’s Seat Is For “Men Only”

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    Reuters FIle - Female driver Jerusalem – Using the analogy that the modern day automobile is simply a replacement for the horse-drawn carriage, which men alone were allowed to drive, Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak said last week that, likewise, women of today should not be allowed to drive.

    THE TIMES OF ISRAEL (http://bit.ly/1i92pRX) reports that Yitzhak made his comments at a recent lecture, and cited past rulings by rabbis as validity for his stance.

    Calling women driving “immodest,” Yitzhak said, “none of the wisest rabbis allow women drivers. After all, what is a car? It is a replacement for the carriage. There were never any female carriage drivers.”

    In response to a question from a woman in the audience who asked if women driving for a “good cause” was acceptable, Yitzhak said no, and equated such and act to someone stealing in order to donate to charity.

    Knesset Committee on the Status of Women chair, MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), immediately gave Yitzhak’s comments two thumbs down, saying, “From the comparison that Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak made between cars and the carriages of the past we can see that if it were up to him, things would still be like they were in the Middle Ages. If that’s Rabbi Yitzhak’s preference, then he can go right ahead and turn in his luxury car for a carriage.”

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    64 COMMENTS

    1. He has no issue using an iPhone for himself (no one else should necessitate one though) He was photographed with one about a year ago. A car driver or passenger seat is the same. Riding a horse requires physical strength and skill and the woman riding on the saddle may perhaps be a turn on for men whereas turning a steering wheel— not so much.

    2. Forbes Israel just published a list of Israel’s richest Rabbis, and he’s in the top 10. Maybe he SHOULD trade in his riches for a horse & buggy, and then “drive” to Saudi Arabia, where they preach the same nonsense as he does…

    3. First – their certainly were female carriage drivers. Second- why do Rabbis think that we are supposed to regress in life. I think it is the height of disrespect to think it is more modest to send women with 5, 7, 10 kids on a bus to do their grocery shopping and other errands. The bending, lifting and shlepping involved in that would be way more immodest than driving in an enclosed car. Get real.

    4. Umm, no female carriage drivers had nothing to do with modesty. There weren’t any female carriage drivers by goyim either. It was a very physically demanding and dirty job that women didn’t do.
      There aren’t any women carriage drivers nowadays either, just go look at all the tourist carriages by Central Park. 100% of the drivers are men, it has nothing to do with modesty.

    5. With all respect to the Rav…

      Why does he not take the same stance on women and voting. After all, women have been voting for less time than they have been driving. Voting was something traditionaly reserved for men. Rav Kook ZT’L was against women voting in mandate Palestine. Yet all the Rabbonim in E.Y. and in the US encourage women to vote, (certainly for their candidate Aguda, Shas , degel haTorah).

      The problem is that a lot of Rabbonim Like Rav Yitzchak feel insecure and intimidated by our Muslim cousins. They appear modest and pious in their prohibiting of women’s right to drive or expose their face. That is why from time time you have Rabbonim advocate veils, or banning sheitels or not allowing women to drive. All in an effort to ‘prove’ or show that Yiddishkeit is the front runner in modesty and piety…
      וַתָּקָם רִבְקָה וְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ, וַתִּרְכַּבְנָה עַל-הַגְּמַלִּים, וַתֵּלַכְנָה, אַחֲרֵי הָאִישׁ; וַיִּקַּח הָעֶבֶד אֶת-רִבְקָה, וַיֵּלַךְ.

      וְהָיָה הִיא רֹכֶבֶת עַל-הַחֲמוֹר, וְיֹרֶדֶת בְּסֵתֶר הָהָר, וְהִנֵּה דָוִד וַאֲנָשָׁיו, יֹרְדִים לִקְרָאתָהּ; וַתִּפְגֹשׁ, אֹתָם

    6. I had to break it to you guys but all cahsidim believe the same thing. Which chasidim let women drive offically?

      (you may get some chasidim to say that if a women has to transport children and do her duties OK. But only some allow that. And they will tell you its only a bdieved.)

      • Sorry to break it to you. Besides in Willy, KJ and Skver….Chassidishe women drive in most other communities. You’ll see Chassidish women driving in Monsey, BP, London etc. Some Kehillos don’t allow but it is definitely acceptable by others. I’m Chassidish, send my kids to Chassidishe mosdos and drive. Most mothers in our school drive.

        • Most chasidim as a whole don’t endorse women drivers. Even the more moderate ones in BP I. E. Bobov, Belz, Klausenberg etc don’t offically allow it. What they will say is if a mother needs to juggle her children and daily life OK so bdieved you can drive. You surly won’t find too many single girl drivers who are chasidish. (unless they just wear the shtreimel but have no allegance to thier chassidus)

    7. Off the top of my head I can think of two highly respected Rabbonim, one a major posek, whose wives drive. One of them doesn’t drive himself so his wife does all of the driving.

    8. No ‘black-orthodox’ rabbis condone a woman driving except in extreme circumstances. That said, this site is not meant for them, and people visiting this site will generally not even have heard of those rabbis. ‘Rabbi’ yitzchok was speaking from the ‘black-orthodox’ position, not to readers of this site or readers of the Times of Israel. Problem solved. Why was it quoted in the first place. It’s hardly news?Just another excuse to bash the backwards retards that take Judaism seriously and literally. Nothing really. It happens all the time.

      • What’s a “black orthodox Rabbi”?
        If you mean yeshivish or “black hatted” then I will have to vehemently disagree. There are many who have no issues with women driving. It is much more tzniyus for a woman to pack everything in a single vehicle and drive than to wait around bus stops, climb onto busses, end up standing on those buses (and falling over-I’ve seen it), gathering everything up and exiting the bus only to repeat it all multiple times if they have to transfer buses.

    9. Amnon Yitchak is one of the most dangerous thing that ever happened to the Jewish people in modern times
      although he credits himself with creating a Tshuva movement of sort, in reality the people he was able to bring in to his twisted version of the religion are for the most part doing so under fear of the hellish punishments he threatens them with and for the most part they do not hold on to it
      He is nothing but an entertainer of sort like any other televangelist here in the US
      My hope is that he will one day soon be investigated for fraud or something that will keep him low key for a while till he becomes irrelevant and insignificant as he should be

    10. Since they like to report half stories, perhaps the other part of the story is where he said the reason?

      I would venture to guess that the reason is because far too many women hike up their skirts when they get into the car THAT IT JUST IS NOT TZNIUS.

      It’s that simple.

      • He does say the reason (read the article if you don’t believe me). he says its because supposedly there were no women carriage drivers. That in itself is ridiculous -how in heaven’s name would he know? Suddenly he’s a historian? His family is from Arabic countries where the main form of transport was camels anyway. Plus as others have pointed out being a carriage driver was very difficult and women dressed in petticoats probably couldn’t regularly manage it. Maybe Hashem had the car invented so that women COULD manage driving even when dressed tzniusdikly, which brings me to your equally ridiculous point. If women hike up their skirts when they get into the car what difference would it make which seat they were getting into? Maybe you are right, women should not get into cars at all. Let men do all the errands.

      • If a woman hikes up her skirt when she gets in to a car to drive she’ll do the same as a passenger or are you saying that women shouldn’t be passengers either? Climbing the steps onto a bus isn’t tzniusdik either. I guess women will have to walk wherever they go. Yes, that’s the answer to your simpleness.

    11. I’m stunned. I was such a fan of his when he began years ago. Over the years, his edicts have become strange, divisive and oppressive. I’m sad. Mashehu lo b’seder kan.

    12. With all due respect to Rav Yitzchok, the comparison to carriages are totally off, as the nature of the old Ba’al Agalah was of a totally diff character,as neither did any respectable person drive the old buggy, or any woman Jewish or non, hence, automatically rendering it as an act of Lo Silbash’.
      Furthermore, the only mention in Halacha pertaining any of the above, is only upon specifically riding a donkey etc. NOT a wagon and a specific reason is given in the Talmud, see Pesachim 3a in Rashi and R Chanal, giving the reason of the very nature of Pisuk ragalayim’, which clearly indicates, given the nature of nowadays cars is indeed no reason to doubt it is permitted.
      Unless someone decides to be Holier than the Talmud …go ahead!

      • “Unless someone decides to be Holier than the Talmud …go ahead!”

        That’s the problem, each of these so-called Rabbis are bending over backwards trying to outdo each other in their proclamations. Unfortunately they have followers and what was once considered outrageous slowly finds it’s way into mainstream Charedeism and then regular frum folk. What’s even more disgraceful is that these ‘Rabbis’ don’t think any of these bans apply to them personally.

    13. ״ותחבש האתון ותאמר אל נערה״
      מל ב ד:כד
      כבוד הרב however I don’t see how that’s applicable nowadays. Also I’ve never heard any gadol come out with such a psak. Moreover the derech today is for woman to drive.

    14. .Another silly comment by a “Rabbi”
      A question to VIN. why publish such shtoos? To what end?
      Do we really need more proof that this sect of judaisim is off the derech.
      and the leadership is related to the captain of the Titanic

    15. After all, what is a car? It is a replacement for the carriage. There were never any female carriage drivers.”

      does that mean they cant use electricity either??? after all, women never used electricity 400 yrs ago either…

    16. Why are we all commenting about a phony selling snake oil medications from the back of his covered wagon? He was created to shepherd camels and we are relating to him as a Rov?!?!

    17. Look in Oz Nidberi from a previous posek volume 13 Teshuva Pai (80) where he states that woman should drive rather than men. Much more tzinius for a woman in a car than walking streets. Anyway all these guys that force their wives to take goyishe and sometimes unfortunately yiddishe taxis and car services check the DNA of your children. Rabbi Yitz I used to admire you till the last election in Israel.

      • zeide said: “Anyway all these guys that force their wives to take goyishe and sometimes unfortunately yiddishe taxis and car services check the DNA of your children.”

        What?!!! I think my head just exploded.

    18. It’s so incredible that one major charedie Rabbi after another just keeps on repeating what all the other Rabbi’s are saying. They are terrified not to toe the Chareidi party line, they are just puppets of each other, there are no independent thoughts.

    19. What may be good for a small community that agrees to such an odd way of looking at a woman driving a car is unacceptable regarding a country in general. Mr. Yitzhak has made a fool of himself & a great chillul haShem & chillul Judaism in general. I’d say that this clearly indicates that he is more about himself than God & Torah, which has major rabbinic differences about which he seems not to care.

    20. He does good, and is a little cracked!
      No different then R Shlomo Carlebach, R Avi Wiess (& the whole YCT movement) and the chabbad and breslov movements.
      Should we stop them all? They do some good. Or should we ignore the bad and crazy stuff they say or do, because of the good they do?
      There is never any person or group that will fix all the holes in Judaism, but as a whole we are complete.
      He has no right to say what you and your wife can’t do, nor can you tell him what he can and can not say. You also have the right and possibly the obligation to tell people that his views are not by any stretch the halachik truth and that he is a little of a kook. But to tell him to stop talking is not something you can do.

      • Unfortunately, there is a small, albeit loud, group of wackos in Chabad (learn how to spell), but you choose to cast all of us in a bad light.
        I could say the same about people who live in Monsey or Lakewood. But I won’t because I know that there there are a few bad apples in every bunch, so stop generalizing & maybe do some good in this world yourself.

      • Thank you for your astute comment.

        How refreshing to read a comment that is fair, unbiased, and not insulting to anyone’s beliefs.

        You are a rare commodity on VIN. Kol Hakavod.

        • Yes, he is mamash as much of an idiot as the Mullahs in Riyadh and Kabul. But yes, he is also lucky to live in EY, where he is entitled to distort daas torah and the reasons why there weren’t women driving wagons in the alte heim, without fear of being jailed. The so called “gadolei hador” are rapidly self-destructing with the positions on such issues as reporting sexual abuse, women’s rights etc. There are fortunately a younger generation of more enlighted and progressive rabbonim who will replace them.

          • “… to distort daas torah…”

            A distortion of Daas Torah would be a pronouncement that was actually logical AND in tune with what the Torah actually says. The weird and backwards statements such as this article are about are actually par for the course in Daas Torah-land.

    21. I think Rav Yitzchak is being a bit machmir. I personally think it is OK for a woman to drive as long as she covers the windshield and side windows with shmattes.

      • Great idea but it creates many new shailos.

        How thick do the shmattes have to be? Are they allowed to be any color or only black? And how tight against the glass is too tight?

    22. Driving is a necessary skill in today’s world. Every person should learn how to drive a vehicle, it can literally save a life. Many chareidi and Sefardic women in Israel drive. Is it possible that this portion of his speech was quoted out of context? This rav surely knows that anything he is going to say will be recorded, and he is very savvy.

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