Israeli Rabbi Bans Women from Driving

A prominent Israeli rabbi has issued a religious decree forbidding Jewish women from driving or learning to drive unless absolutely necessary.

Press TV

The order by Rabbi Avraham Yosef prohibits women from driving, especially in Israeli cities predominantly inhabited by ultraorthodox Jews, Ahram Online news website reported.

Yosef is the chief rabbi in the city of Holon and is the son of Rabbi Afodia Yosef — Shas’ spiritual leader.

The Jewish figure justified the decree by saying that driving for women does not reflect modesty or chastity, especially in cities mostly inhabited by religious people.

Yosef is reportedly not the first Jewish rabbi to issue such an order.

Rabbi Shmuel Halevi issued a similar prohibition forbidding women from driving, arguing seductive appearance of women distracted men drivers and thus resulted in a large number of traffic accidents.

Member of Knesset and head of the house’s committee on the status of women Tzipi Hotovely criticized the order, saying it negatively affects the assimilation of Israeli women and described driving as a daily routine a woman must perform.

Hotovely said that taking into consideration religious Jewish families have a large number of children, driving becomes a necessity.



  • Nobody

    The only source for this is an Iranian news service. I don’t believe it until it is better sourced, especially the quote from “Rabbi Shmuel Halevi.” (Does it mean Vosner?)

  • Realy

    The rebbe spoke about lady taxi drivers for ladys ie it is more tsneus for ladies to drive ladies than men. More lady drivers = less yechud.

  • Thought...

    Following Rabbi Shmuel Halevi reasoning, it might as well be forbidden for Women to walk on street for that matter….

  • Stay off the Sidewalks

    My wife doesn’t drive. If she did you’d better stay off the sidewalks.

  • Yenta

    i think woman should stop breathing, men might find it attractive.
    Cooking and cleaning is OK though.
    These people make me happy that i live in CH

  • NewJew

    Beautiful. So I guess I’m off the hook when it comes to dropping my kids off at Jewish schools, rushing them for medical care, picking up food for the house…

  • Tipshim

    If you want to make money now is the time to start up a new company , making clothes for women. It’s just a matter of time before women will be wearing the same clothes that the Talibaneh are wearing. Them Burkehs or like my neighbor calls them Boorikes. It will probably need the Hashgocha of the Rabbonim. So Boruch Hashem a new Rav is coming to town. With the big demand you need as many Rabbonim as possible. I think that most peolple will move to another neighborhood. Not being able to see our beautiful girls, and women in their UNtziniusdikeh clothes, what sense does it make to stay in the neighborhood. Most people will be moving away. That will mean that housing prices will drop. Not being able to mingle by 770 will mean more room for our Mishichistim. More room in our Pizza shops. Eventually they will ban them from school. All problems start from the school. With no school for the girls, nobody has to worry about paychecks. Making the lives of a few individuals a lot easier. With less cars on the road, transilates more parking spaces. Now here is the problem. More parking spaces means less double parking tickets. This the precint will not stand for. So lets get back to allow our women to start driving again. We don’t want to upset our precint commanders. Stupid me, I shpould of thought of it before i started writing this essay.

  • To #6 and #7 (from shameful )

    Can’t work out what you’re worked up about… Maybe reread the comment?

    The Rebbe said that there SHOULD be women taxi drivers so that there shouldn’t be yichud. Is your problem with the Rebbe, Halocho, or just someone quoting the Rebbe’s opinion?

  • anonym

    these sefardi rabonnim are more and more starting to sound like the taliban…. scary!!!

  • Rabbi Gluckowsky has a story about this

    a man told the rebbe he thinks he had an accident cause he isnt giving enough tzedaka, the rebbe told him he went to far, its simply cause his wife is ignoring the local psak that women not drive

  • Andrea Schonberger

    If only Rabbi Josef could see how my husband drives! It’s a miracle that he hasn’t been in or caused an accident. Just 2 weeks ago my niece’s husband was in an accident where he completely demolished his vehicle–he admitted he “might” have been tailgating. For the record neither me or my niece have been in or caused a car accident though my husband refers to me as an “unadventerous driver”–so much for male drivers.

  • religous in spite of idiots

    if its true than I really question this mans intelligence and religiosity. I love the way “people” get something in their head and decide to make it “law”. and its a very poor way of expressing respect for women. its beyond me how people hide behind religion like deciding what is tznius etc… in order to keep woman from being able to be “grown ups”. if anything would turn me off from religion, it is these type of edicts. Its a good thing I am bigger than that and wouldn’t let that type of thing influence me. however, it does disgust me.

  • woman drivers

    if you look in the Rebbe’s letters or yechidusen you will find that thought about women not driving

  • DG770

    Rabbis should have no say in issues of tziyus for women. This is the job of rebitzins.

  • simple explanation

    Oh good I’m affraid to drive so now I have an excuse. a halachikal one wow thats great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The Men Don-t Know How to Drive Either

    The frim women can’t be any worse than the frim men…ever drive down 13th Avenue in Boro Park? Those guys drive like they got their licenses at the Kolel Store!!

  • go-d-s right hand man

    a woman is supposed to help her man fulfill his responsibilities and if it entails her having to drive then she can drive. Hence it can be understood that she should first have strength and bear and raise children, it is reasonably simple yet many people to date have lost their focus from living for and performing torah and mitzvot.
    Remember green has many levels and righteousness isn’t associated with wastefulness.

  • Judeo Fundamentalism

    This is sick. I love the Jewish faith and culture but these rabbis have GOT TO GO.