Chapter: Chapter 02: The Mitzva of Prayer for Women

01. A Brief Outline of Women’s Obligation

According to most poskim, women and men are equal regarding the obligation to pray, and therefore women are obligated to recite Shemoneh Esrei of Shaĥarit and Minĥa, while Ma’ariv remains voluntary. Others maintain that women are only obligated to recite … Continue reading

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02. According to Most Poskim Women Are Obligated to Pray Shaĥarit and Minĥa

The Sages of the Mishna say that women are obligated in the mitzva of prayer (Berakhot 20b). According to most poskim, this mishna means the prayers instituted by the Sages apply to men and women alike. Of the three daily … Continue reading

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03. The Poskim Who Maintain that Women Are Obligated to Pray One Daily Prayer

Some poskim say that according to Rambam, women are only obligated to pray once daily because in Rambam’s opinion, the mitzva of prayer is rooted in the biblical commandment to turn to God in prayer daily. Since this mitzva is … Continue reading

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04. The Poskim Who Maintain that Women Fulfill Their Obligation with Birkhot Ha-shaĥar and Birkhot Ha-Torah

There are lenient poskim who maintain that according to Rambam’s opinion women are only bound by the biblical command, that is, they are required to recite some sort of prayer every day. They fulfill this mitzva with any petition to … Continue reading

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05. The Practical Halakha

Le- khatĥila it is best for women to recite the Amida of both Shaĥarit and Minĥa every day. If they pray only once a day, they have fulfilled their obligation. Even though, according to most poskim, women are obligated to … Continue reading

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06. Women Occupied with the Care of Their Children

Women who are busy tending to their young children and occupied with managing the household are permitted le-khatĥila to fulfill the mitzva of prayer by reciting only Birkhot Ha-shaĥar and Birkhot Ha-Torah. As we learned (section 4 above), some poskim … Continue reading

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07. The Rules Governing Which Mitzvot are Incumbent upon Women

As a rule, women and men are equally obligated to perform the mitzvot, with the exception of time-bound positive mitzvot, from most of which women are exempt, as the Sages say in the Mishna (Kiddushin 29a), “Concerning all positive time-bound … Continue reading

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08. Are Women Permitted to Recite Blessings on Time-Bound Mitzvot?

A woman who wishes to voluntarily fulfill the positive time-bound mitzvot receives reward for doing so, although it is not the same as a man’s reward. As R. Ĥanina states, “Greater is the [reward for] one who is commanded to … Continue reading

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09. Musaf and Hallel

It is a biblical commandment to bring additional communal korbanot (sacrificial offerings) on specific special occasions to honor the sanctity of those times. These offerings are called “musafim” (additions). To correspond to these offerings, the Sages instituted the recitation of … Continue reading

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10. Torah Reading

All agree that women are exempt from Torah reading on weekdays and holidays; however, on Shabbat, according to MA 282:6, women must hear the Torah reading, for the Sages instituted that the whole Torah must be heard through the course … Continue reading

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