Template:Bracha on Mitzvot Aseh Shehazman Grama

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There is a major dispute surrounding women and the recitation of a beracha upon performing the mitzvot that are time bound, which they are exempt from. The Rambam (Hilchot Tzitzit 3:9) holds that since women are exempt from the Mitzvah of Tzitzit they can't make a Bracha on it (see also Hilchot Shofar Sukkah Vilulav 6:13 about sitting in a Sukkah). On the other hand, the Raavad (Hilchot Tzitzit 3:9) and Tosfot (Eruvin 96a, Rosh Hashanah 33a, Kiddshin 31a s.v. lo mifkadana) quoting Rabbenu Tam argue that even if women are exempt from a mitzvah they may recite the bracha if they opt to perform the mitzvah. The Maggid Mishna Hilhot Sukkah 6:13 explains the Rambam as saying that it is impossible to say VeTzivanu if a person is exempt from the mitzvah. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 589:6 follows the Rambam, while the Rama Orach Chaim 17:2 accepts the Rabbenu Tam.

  • What emerges from the halacha is that Ashkenazim hold that women may recite the bracha upon a mitzvah that they are volunteering to do, while according to Sepharadim they may not.
  • Chacham Ovadia Yosef (Shu"t Yabea Omer 2:OC 6, Shu"t Yechave Daat 1:68, Chazon Ovadia Sukkot 149-151) very strongly encourages following Shulchan Aruch that women do not say the beracha.
  • However, See Chida (Birkei Yosef 654:2) who opines that even Sephardim have what to rely upon to follow Rabbenu Tam and Kaf Hachaim Orach Chaim 17:4 who quotes this. Similarly, given the dozens of Poskim who rule that a Sephardic woman may recite the beracha and that that was the custom in their communities, Rav Mordechai Lebhar (Magen Avot, Orach Chaim 589:6) writes that women from those communities may continue with their traditions, but others may not, as the Shulchan Aruch rules stringently and we would say Safek Berachot Lehakel.