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Yehuda Henkin

Yehuda Henkin

Yehuda Henkin
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Rabbi
Is Rabbi
From Israel United States of America
Type Religion
Gender male
Birth 1945, Pennsylvania, USA
Age 76 years
Children: Yagil HenkinEitam Henkin
The details (from wikipedia)


Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin (born 1945), author of the responsa Benei Vanim, is a modern orthodox posek.

Henkin was born in Pennsylvania in 1945 and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. His father was Hillel Henkin, a Jewish educator in New Haven, Connecticut. After graduating from the Yeshivah of Flatbush High School in 1962, he studied six years with his famous grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, from whom he received semichah, and served as the Rabbi of the Beit She'an valley before moving to Jerusalem.

He lives in Jerusalem, with his wife, Chana Henkin [he], founder and head of Nishmat, the Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies for Women. His son, Rabbi Eitam Henkin, and his daughter-in-law were murdered by Palestinian terrorists on 1 October 2015.


R. Yehuda Henkin discusses whether those who believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is the messiah are considered to be heretics, ruling that they are not.

He cites his grandfather R. Yosef Eliyahu Henkin that hearing Shofar and Megillah cannot be done by radio, and that therefore Kol Isha does not apply over the radio. R. Yehudah Henkin was unsure whether this applies to hearing a woman’s voice on television.

He allows women studying Talmud.

He permits dancing on the Sabbath.

He permits a man to shake a woman's hand when offered, and vice versa.

Deferring to the Arukh HaShulkan

He cites his grandfather R. Yosef Eliyahu Henkin as considering the Aruch HaShulchan as more definitive than the Mishnah Berurah.

  • It is a more recent authority relative to the Mishnah Brurah. Although Aruch haShulchan on Choshen Mishpat preceded the Mishnah Berurah, the part on Orach Chayim was published up to 10 years after Mishnah Berurah.
  • He covers all of the Shulkhan Arukh
  • More importantly, the Arukh HaShulchan reflects the minhagim of the time, while the Mishna Berurah is much more precedent/text-based.

Partnership Minyan

He has written the major objection to the concept of a partnership minyan, particularly the issue of calling women to the Torah. In an article in the EDAH journal article on the subject, he provided point-by-point halakhic counterarguments, and also said:

Regardless of the arguments that can be proffered to permit women’s aliyot [Torah-reading] today— that kevod ha-tsibbur can be waived, that it does not apply today when everyone is literate, that it does not apply when the olim rely on the (male) ba`al qeri’ah and do not themselves read—women’s aliyot remain outside the consensus, and a congregation that institutes them is not Orthodox in name and will not long remain Orthodox in practice. In my judgment, this is an accurate statement now and for the foreseeable future, and I see no point in arguing about it.
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 14 Jun 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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