There are two time-bound positive mitzvot performed on Sukkot, the mitzva to sit in the sukka and the mitzva to take the lulav, and women are exempt from both. If they wish to perform them, they earn reward. According to Ashkenazic custom, they recite a berakha on the performance of these mitzvot, and according to Sephardic custom no blessing is recited on sitting in the sukka, though with regard to lulav, some recite a berakha and some do not. Every woman should continue following her custom. 1
It is a mitzva to rejoice on this festival through nice clothing and nice jewelry as well as through meat, wine, and other delicacies that bring joy (SA 529:2; Peninei Halakha: Mo’adim 1:10). It is a mitzva on Ĥol Ha-mo’ed as well to be happy, dress nicely, and eat good food (MT, Laws of Yom Tov 6:17 and 22; MB 530:1; Peninei Halakha: Mo’adim 10:3).
- According to Ĥida and Zekhor Le-Avraham (as cited in Kaf Ha-ĥayim 17:4 and 589:23), women recite a berakha when taking the lulav. This is also the position of Rav Pe’alim (vol. 1, Sod Yesharim 12) and R. Messas (Shemesh U-magen 2:72:3) regarding lulav, and this was the practice in the family of R. Ovadia Hadaya. In contrast, according to SA, they do not recite a blessing. Yeĥaveh Da’at 1:68 and Yabi’a Omer 1:38-42 and 5:43 strongly support the custom of SA not to recite a berakha and mention that some Ashkenazic poskim, including Ĥakham Tzvi and Divrei Ĥayim, ruled against reciting this berakha. See above, 2:8, and n. 9 and Peninei Halakha: Sukkot 5:6. ↩