In his new Cross Currents post Yitzhak Alderstein inadvertently declares his opposition to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, accountants, and bookkeepers.
Because just as he would never "entrust a nidah question to someome who could not independently study a Chavos Daas, or a Sidrei Taharah" Alderstein should be unwilling to let anyone aside from an M.D diagnose and treat his strep throat. Also, he should be unwilling to allow anyone other than a highly trained tax attorney from a big firm to sign off on his annual return.
However, if he agrees that insisting on a superbly-qualified expert for every single case is overkill in medical and financial situations, perhaps it's time for him to wrap his head around the idea that it might also be overkill in certain halachick situations.
Do I need smikha to confirm that pig is treif? Of course not. In the same way, a yoetzet halacha does not need smikha and years of training to properly handle the abundance of rote, mundane nidda questions she will encounter. And just as the PA brings the unusual issues he encounters to a supervising MD, the Yoetzek can bring unusual issues to a Rabbi.
Read: Yoatzot: An Exchange
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