individuals tried repeatedly to convince the Rav to add his signature to the responsum. The Rav consistently refused to do so.
247.Conversation with R. Brander. For the sake of accuracy, Rabbi Brander emphasizes that due to health considerations, the Rav did not review the pesak, and therefore neither expressly accepted nor rejected its specific arguments.
248.It was for this reason that the Rabbinical Council of America, as well, refrained from adopting the responsum of the RIETS Rashei Yeshiva as official halakhic policy of the organization—despite the fact that the RIETS responsum was addressed to the then president of the R.C.A., R. Louis Bernstein. Approximately a year or so prior to the appearance of the responsum, during R. Gilbert Klaperman’s tenure as R.C.A. President, R. Binyamin Walfish, in his capacity as Executive Director of the R.C.A., met with the Rav in order to receive guidance on a variety of issues relating to women and halakha. During this very important conversation, R. Soloveitchik indicated—as he had on numerous other occasions with other people—that there were few serious halakhic problems with women’s prayer groups, provided they refrain from devarim she-bi-kdusha. Nonetheless, the Rav expressed to R. Walfish his strong feeling that such groups should be discouraged. The Rav emphasized, though, that his considerations were not strictly halakhic, but more in the realm of public policy. (See also ; R. Zvi (Hershel) Schachter, miPeninei haRav supra, end of note 235.) The Rabbinical Council of America believed that it could not adopt a halakhic view, such as that articulated in the RIETS responsum, which was clearly contrary to the Rav’s own position. See supra, note 59.
248*.See R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, “Nos’ei haTsits ve-haHoshen,” in Divrei Hagut veHa’arakha (Jerusalem: Department for Torah Education and Culture in the Diaspora of the World Zionist Organization, 1981), pp. 187-194.
249.The initial conversation with the Rav regarding the Maimonides women’s tefilla was held with R. Oscar Wachstock (R. Abraham Etzion). The essence of that conversation is found in R. Wachstock’s notes dated Emor 1972, which corresponds to the week of 9 Iyyar 5732—April 23, 1972. (R. Wachstock does not recall, however, the precise date of his meeting with the Rav, though it occurred several months earlier—presumably at the very end of 1971.) R. Wachstock sent a copy of his notes to his close friend, R. Saul Berman. We are very grateful to R. Berman for providing us with a copy of these valuable notes. These notes—with certain critical deviations regarding birkhot haTorah prior to the pseudo keriat haTorah—provided the framework for the women’s prayer