Askmoses-A Jews Resource
Who were the Macabbees?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

Can a woman recite a blessing on Mitzvahs she isn't obligated to fulfill?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Mitzvot » Blessings | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

Women are generally1 exempt from time-related Mitzvahs. However, although not obligated, if a woman does desire to, she may, in the vast majority of cases, perform these Mitzvahs.2

There is a disagreement between Halachic authorities whether a woman can make a blessing on those Mitzvahs which she is not obligated to perform. After all, the blessing stipulates that, "He has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to..." How can someone who is not commanded say this?

Ashkenazi custom is for women to say the blessing on these Mitzvahs since they also recieve merit for the fulfillment of the Mitzvah (albeit not the same as one who is commanded) they therefore also partake in the commandment even though it is not obligatory.3 Sephardim follow the opinion of Maimonides who rules that women should not recite the blessing on these Mitzvahs4 .

Footnotes

  • 1. This only applies to positive Mitzvot, and there are exceptions therein too.
  • 2. With the exceptions of Tefillin and Tallit (see http://www.askmoses.com/article/149,2095969/Why-cant-women-wear-Tefillin.html and http://www.askmoses.com/article/150,2396/Why-doesnt-a-woman-wear-a-tallit.html).
  • 3. Magen Avraham Orech Chaim 17:1.
  • 4. According to Sephardic tradition, if a woman did recite a blessing in such a case, this would be considered a 'blessing in vain' - brachah levatalah - which is prohibited to recite.

ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).

RELATED CATEGORIES

Women & Judaism » Women's Mitzvot » Obligations/ Exemptions

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Halachic
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
Maimonides
Moses son of Maimon, born in Spain in 1135, died in Egypt in 1204. Noted philosopher and authority on Jewish law. Also was an accomplished physician and was the personal doctor for members of the Egyptian royalty. Interred in Tiberius, Israel.
Ashkenazi
(pl. Ashkenazim). A Jew of Northern or Eastern European ancestry.
Sephardim
(Pl.: Sephardim) A Jew whose ancestors stem from Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa or the Arabian countries.