01. Women are Exempt from All Prayers That Follow the Amida

Women are exempt from all the passages that men customarily recite after the Amida: Taĥanun, Ashrei, La-menatze’aĥ, Kedusha De-sidra (U-va Le-Tziyon), Shir shel Yom (The Psalm of the Day), Pitum Ha-ketoret (the mixture of the incense), and Aleinu. This is because not even men have an absolute obligation to recite them; rather, customarily recited them for several important reasons, and the custom eventually became obligatory. But women never took on this custom, and hence they are certainly not obligated. Women are only obligated to recite the Amida, not the subsequent customary prayers; however, women who wish to enhance the mitzva may recite those passages. 1

Nevertheless, it is worth studying the laws of these passages in order to complete our study of the laws of prayer and so that one who wishes to enhance the mitzva will know how to do so properly.

  1. Halikhot Beitah §7 and Halikhot Bat Yisrael 2:12-13 rule that women must recite Aleinu and that there is uncertainty about whether they must recite Pitum Ha-ketoret. However, since not even men have an absolute obligation to recite Aleinu, rather their obligation originates in custom, women, who were not accustomed to recite this prayer, cannot be required to do so. So states Maĥazeh Eliyahu §20. Women who wish to enhance their prayer may recite all the prayers like men do, as written in Kaf Ha-ĥayim 70:1.