Women in Hatzalah: Are We Allowed to Be Skeptical?


bp-hatzolahBy Orthodox Pundit

A second, of the supposedly 200 women wanting to join Hatzalah, is out in public, as part of what seems to be a renewed push in their campaign against Hatzalah. In a recent AP article, Lawyer Freir maintains that it “has nothing to do with feminism.” What I find interesting is, that the other lady who went public on the issue is someone going in Forward by two surnames, “Lerner-Miller.”

I don’t know her situation and why and when she uses her family hyphen maiden name, or why in the AP she uses only her maiden name. But I am aware of a feminist movement to keep Maiden and slash names after marriage. Here is a recent article on that. So, we have a frum woman Lawyerand surnamed woman as the Tznius Champions.

Are we allowed to be skeptical?

{Orthodox Pundit/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Sure you have every right to be skeptical. But in these times there is active suppression of womanhood in the public sphere and the excision of women’s faces from mass print media, the call in some circles to end women’s only entertainments, all in the name of protecting the standards of our camp. Is it any surprise that some talented and frum women might push back against all this new nonsense? There is a difference between a healthy desire to self actualize and a political agenda.

  2. What’s better: your male neighbor hatzoloh person who sits next to you in shul, who your wife sees everyday – delivering your wifes baby in an emergency, or a woman hatzoloh member delivering your wifes baby?

  3. I think that depending on the nature of the call, it would be appropriate to have women Hatzolah members assist other women, such as when a woman is in labor.
    I don’t think that women should be riding around in the Hatzolah ambulances with other men, they should just be on calls for women.

  4. REALLY?
    you are basing an entire ‘article’ on the fact that a woman has two surnames? Maybe she had a professional career before she got married and wanteed/needed for people to recognize her by her maiden name.
    AND what’s wrong with being a frum woman lawyer?
    An entire article based on conjecture of otherwise hollow facts.
    So, we have a narrow minded and witless author as the orthodox pundit

  5. Give me a break. I went to law school with lots of frum women who were not feminist at all.
    The woman with the double surname, that I agree is reason to raise eyebrows.

  6. They retained a LAWYER??? If their issue is znius, and respecting the feelings of women in certain types of emergency situations who would prefer female volunteers, then why the lawyer?

    Let them retain a Toein Rabbani sympathetic to their cause, and bring the issue in front of a Beis Din Yisrael.

    Also, why the need to go to the goyishe press?

    Something doesn’t smell quite right. Their actions reveal perhaps a Not-Sso-Kosher motive.

  7. I say let them do it.

    If they are Lishmah, then they will continue working in Hatzalah. If it’s for femmeroid reasons, then they drop out after they made their point and the thrill wears off.

  8. 1) My ponint is not if they’re entitled to be fminists. I don’t think that there is much place to debate in Jewish forum. You basically agree they are feminist, which the lawyer wants to deny.

    3) The Karuim went only by Psikim in the torah. Tznius we can learn from a cat, Chazal say, and using the husband’s name is well understood as minmal family value, as doscussed in the article I linked.

    5) Re name: I wrote that I don’t know her situation, but it’s highly doutbful that this the case.
    5&6) Re women laywers: Even if its the norm – and it is certainly not for Bobuv women – they are the least likely to champion Tznius issues. This put their motive into question, and this is my point.

  9. Hatzalah is not a democracy. It has rules. If the governing Rabbinic Board disallowed in the past and disallows now the membership of women,
    then so be it. If you can convince them of the merits to allow women, then kol hakovod. otherwise whats to stop women from trying to overturn ALL rabbinic rules in the guise of Tznius?

  10. Let them start a female Hatzalah.If they were so Lishmah they would of advocated the idea quietly.How did the media find out about it?

  11. I say there is nothing wrong with a woman on hatzala for calls pertaining to a woman but there is somthing very wrong and fishy about going to non jewish press

  12. I am really not sure what this writer has a problem with…feminism? women wanting to volunteer for Hatzalah?….or is it that a frum women actually went vocal and is in the public eye? So I ask…. would this writer have a problem with a frum female nurse being part of HIS medical care in a hospital?

  13. #12,

    I would have a problem with a nurse, of any gender, running to the press to strong-arm themselves into a role they desire. I wouldn’t trust them to help me

  14. To orthopund
    Excellent point on the surname
    Your powers of deduction are matched only by journalism skills
    Thanks for nothing

  15. Also it’s great that you use these women as your yardstick- that really captures a broad spectrum of Torah yidden! Kudos again on your ability to see through the haze of facts and report based on your opinions

  16. To #14 Yes, My Friend asked a Ruv that is on the BP Hatzoloh board and he said that he is %100 against it. And that’s enough for me. sadly We live in a world that everything that a Rav says and we don’t like we don’t agree. Thats not Daas Torah.
    Shame on her for going public. Wanting to do the deliveries I could hear but the if the Rabbi’s say no is no. Again shame, thats what makes them think they are smarter then daas torah because she went to collage shame.

  17. Why don’t they start their own rescue/tznius moledes? Why do they have try to turn over an existing and highly successful organization?

  18. If these women are so sincere, why don’t they open their own ladies only Hatzalah? They’ll have their own phone #’s, dispatch, equipment, etc… They already have, women drivers only, car service. What’s wrong with that? This way, a woman can choose if she want’s to use the good old fashioned Hatzalah, or the new feminist one!

  19. To #17
    ….a nurse….”I wouldn’t trust them to help me”

    Then I hope for your sake, you are never a patient in a hospital, and in need of using the bathroom.

  20. #24,

    umm, you seem to be a bit confused. Which nurse has gone to the press in order to strong-arm themselves into a position they weren’t accepted into, in an organization that’s not for them?

  21. This is a no-brainer. It would be wonderful for women to volunteer for Hatzolah. Any woman who needs help (especially in the frum community) would much rather have a female being there for her. This is something that should be self-evident! Something is wrong if the men are against it. These women have nothing to do with the ‘feminist’ movement or their agenda – this is just plain old fashioned common sense to have a woman for a woman’s emergency needs and a man for men’s emergencies. Doesn’t take a genius to see that. Both genders are trained for the same purpose.

  22. #1, is there a middle way?

    Regarding her name, a married woman joins her husbands family so it stands to reason that she takes his family name. At one time it was fashionable for women to use their maiden names as middle names. There are also many Europeans, men and women, with double, hyphenated family names.

  23. I’m not going to debate this particular situation but the talk about how it’s more tznius to have a woman is just this side of disconcerting: we’re not the Taliban.

    OTOH I don’t live in a town with a Hatzalah so I don’t have to face the possibility of my frum neighbor the Hatzalah guy delivering my baby. BUT presumably, aren’t Hatzalah members professional? And I could also be dealing with the possibility of a frum EMT – I know a few.

  24. i love the comment about being in law school with frum women. did they ask shailos about going to law school or did they decide by themselves.(anyone ever hear of a psak “yaharog veal yaavor” maybe you will say it was a “kosher program” then how is it that men and ladies were together? we always know how to get righteous about a so called mitzva but are never willing to listen to any criticism about obvious shortcomings

  25. To 23, good idea!

    The only situation a woman would feel uncomfortable with a male hatzola member would be when giving birth. There isnt a need for women members for other scenarios.
    The solution would be to have a special woman-only staffed emergency squad for maternity/labor/birth situations with their own hotline number.

    Hatzalas advising rabbanim are right; men and women socializing, and riding ambulances together isnt a smart idea!

    Would you want your spouse working in close proximity under stressful situations? I think not.

  26. My wife is not a feminist, but she wanted to join Hatzalah when we lived in Brooklyn. She is a trained nurse with years of experience. She is a very tsanuah woman who bederech klal is uncomfortable with male doctors, and saw value in providing the community with access to a female hatzalah option when appropriate.

    Hatzalah does tremendous good. I understand not having men and women work closely together. And I also appreciate the sensitivity of a bas torah who was raised btznius wanting to assist others who are in her situation.

  27. There’s nothing wrong with having a double last name, or your mother’s last name. What a bunch of judgmental people you are. Being Jewish isn’t about what last name you go by.
    Next,why not have women hatzalah members? do frum Jews not get treatment from women nurses and doctors? I didn’t know that was a new “frumkeit.” How many frum men (including rabbis) are not treated by women when they are hospitalized? Must we be frummer than our bubies and zaydies?
    There’s nothing not tzanua about a man delivering a baby (and until about 100 years ago, ANY woman who had a doctor help at birth went to a man), or a woman treating a male heart attack victim.

  28. This lawyer is involved through her “Bederech” organization in a case of a 16 year old boy that wanted to join a NA NACH style of group. The parents disagreed therefore she instigated the bochur to go to COURT to take away the custody from his parents to a stranger!!