Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz Issues Psak On Using Bills With Depictions Of Women On Them

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Last year, the Bank of Israel issued new bills, the new NIS 20 bill bears the portrait of the poet Rachel Blauwstein, and the new bill bears the portrait of the poet Leah Goldberg.

Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz raised a fascinating halachic argument whether these bills are permitted or if perhaps one should be concerned about the prohibition of looking at women.

Rav Gamliel concluded that these bills may be used, but that it is preferable to print banknotes with pictures of tzaddikim, as had previously been done with a bill printed with the image of the Rambam.

Rav Gamliel raised five reasons in the name of Rav Baruch Dadon:

A. In most cases, the world does not look at the figures on the coins and bills, but it is done in a moment by giving the note or currency to the seller or the payer.

B. Most of the people who use banknotes are busy depositing or withdrawing money from the bank, and paying and buying.

C. The women who are printed on the banknotes do not know them at all in their lives and did not see their image in their height, nor did they think of it as a reflection at all, and extended it in Responsa Yabia Omer, Ch.

D. The women printed on the notes mentioned had long since died, which leaves room to be mekel

E. These images were made in a dull, inconspicuous manner, with weak colors that are not colored and attractive to the eye.

As an example he brought up a book about the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who allowed the publisher to print the picture of his wife, provided that they printed in black and white, so that there would be no colorful clothes.

Rabbi Rabinovitch states that “according to all the above, there is no fear of using these bills even though they are printed on the form of a woman, and we have already seen the great sages of Israel who used the bills with the Queen of Britain and do not speak out against it.



  1. What would be in England, Canada, Australia, where the image of the living queen is on the banknotes and coins? What has been the halacha over the last thousand years, when female rulers, alive and well, at the time, were ALWAYS portrayed on the currency? How about, and far worse, when the coins were literally covered with crosses?

  2. “Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz raised a fascinating halachic argument whether these bills are permitted or if perhaps one should be concerned about the prohibition of looking at women.”

    There’s no halachic prohibition against merely glancing at a woman’s face without wrong intentions. I don’t understand how all of a sudden it became Halacha to not see women’s faces. And people wonder why there are frum women wearing burqas! This extremism is getting out of control.

  3. By the way I think the Rabbi Gamliel Rabinowitz who writes these tshuvos is not the famous mikubal….rather someone from bnay brak

  4. Anyone out there who feels the need to be machmer and not use all these bills please feel free to pass them on to me I will do very good things with it and it will be a gevaldege zechus.
    I promise that I will not focus on the pictures, however I certainly will focus on the value

  5. “the prohibition of looking at women.”

    good old fashioned am haaratzos.
    There is no such prohibition
    (histaklus doesn’t mean looking)

  6. I offer a very reliable service to dispose of all unwanted currency, I will make sure that only females look at the bills, which won’t be for long anyway, as money will be quickly spent 🙂

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