Yitshak, sec. 12; R. Yehuda Lavi ben-David, Shevet miYehuda, Part 1, p. 155; R. Elijah Schlesinger, Resp. Sho’alin veDorshin, IV, sec. 61; and Halikhot Beitah, sec. 24, note 23, subsec. 15. Halikhot Beitah, sec. 24, end of no. 12, R. Moshe HaLevi Steinberg, Hilkhot Nashim, sec. 15, no. 2, and R. Avraham Weiss, “Women and the Reading of the Megillah,” The Torah U-Madda Journal, 8 (1998-1999), pp. 295-317, suggest that the view of the Marheshet school can be relied on in practice. R. Aaron Cohen, “Women Reading Megillah for Men: A Rejoinder,” The Torah U-Madda Journal, 9 (2000), pp. 248-263, argues at length that such a leniency cannot to be relied upon in practice for the following reasons: (1) it was stated only in theory but not in practice (halakha le-ma’ase); (2) it was never mentioned by the rishonim or the codes, despite their extensive discussion of the topic of women reading for men; (3) it resulted as an offshoot of a possible explanation of Behag – yet many other explanations are possible and have been proposed. See also A.A. Frimer, supra, end of note 220 and Resp. Beit Avi, V, sec. 47.
222.R. Immanuel Jakobovits, L’Eyla 28 (Rosh haShana 5750, September 1989) pp. 21-22, reprinted in Dear Chief Rabbi, Jeffrey M. Cohen, ed., (Hoboken, N.J.: Ktav Publishing House, Inc., 1996), pp. 90-91. In February 1993, his successor, R. Jonathan Sacks, published a similar lenient ruling on the propriety of women’s prayer groups, provided these services were held outside the synagogue premises. In addition, a sefer Torah could not used for this purpose. See Jewish Chronicle, February 18, 1994, pp. 1, 6 and 18.
223.The issue of berakhot at a women’s keriat haTorah will be discussed at length in Part II of this paper. Suffice it to say that the following leading posekim explicitly forbid the recitation of birkhot keriat haTorah at a women’s Torah reading: R. Ovadiah Yosef, Yom haShishi, 14 Shevat 5750 (February 9, 1990), p. 30; R. Isaac Yosef, Yalkut Yosef, II, sec. 143, Keriat haTorah baAsara, no. 4 and note 6; Kitsur Shulhan Arukh Yalkut Yosef, O.H. sec. 143, no. 5; R. Joseph Kafah, HaIsha veHinukha (Kefar Saba: Amana, 5740) p. 35, nos. 9 and 10; R. Efraim Greenblatt, Rivevot Ephrayyim, VI, sec. 153, no. 12; Minhat Yitshak, supra, note 5; R. Feinstein, infra, text following note 217; R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, infra, text at note 251; British Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits and the London Bet Din, supra, text at note 222; R Mordechai Eliyahu, supra, note 20; R. Abraham Shapira, supra, end of note 36; R. Shlomo Goren, supra, notes 57; R. Sha’ul Yisraeli, supra, note 66*; R. Shlomo Aviner, supra, note 66**; R. Haim David Halevi, supra, note 66***; and R. Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Tradition 26:3 (Spring 1992), pp. 97-99. We note in addition R. Feinstein’s insistence that no Torah benedictions—not even