web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Why Women Can Recite Birchas HaTorah


Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The Rambam begins hilchos talmud Torah with the following halacha: Women and slaves are exempt from talmud Torah. A man is obligated to teach his son Torah, as it says, “velimadetem osam es beneichem ledaber bam.” However, a woman is not obligated to teach her son Torah because whoever is obligated to learn is obligated to teach – and since a woman is not obligated to learn, she is not obligated to teach.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 47:14) says that women should recite birchas haTorah. There is a machlokes Rishonim whether women can recite a berachah on a mitzvah from which they are exempt from performing. According to the Rishonim who opine that they can recite a berachah, we understand that they can recite the berachah on Torah as well. But the Mechaber (of the Shulchan Aruch) rules in favor of those Rishonim who do not permit women to recite a berachah on a mitzvah from which they are exempt. How then can he rule that they should recite a berachah on the mitzvah of learning Torah, since they are exempt from it?

The Magen Avraham quotes the Beis Yosef, in the name of the Agur, and explains that women are obligated to learn the halachos that pertain to them and are obligated to say korbanos, just as they are obligated to daven. Thus they may recite the berachah on Torah. The Magen Avraham also explains that it is for this reason that women can mention in the second berachah of bentching, “v’al Torasecha she’limaditanu,” since they are obligated to learn the halachos that pertain to them.

The Vilna Gaon does not agree with the Magen Avraham’s suggested answer, since the Gemara derives from the pasuk, “velimadetem osam es beneichem” – v’lo benoseichem – that women are exempt from the mitzvah entirely. This even regards learning about the mitzvos that they are obligated to perform.

Reb Shach, in his sefer on the Rambam, explains that there are two obligations to learn Torah. One is the general mitzvah to learn the entire Torah. This mitzvah is derived from the pasukim of “veshinantam” or “velimadetam.” It is from this obligation that women are exempt. However, there is another obligation to learn Torah that is a component of every mitzvah individually, demanding that one learn how to perform that particular mitzvah. Included in the commandment to perform each mitzvah is an obligation to learn how to properly perform that mitzvah. The obligation to learn how to perform the mitzvos is also a mitzvah of learning Torah.

Women are only exempt from the general mitzvah of learning the entire Torah. But they are obligated to learn how to perform the mitzvos for which they are obligated to perform, and that too is a mitzvah of talmud Torah. Hence they can recite the berachah on the mitzvah of talmud Torah, even according to the opinion that women may not recite a berachah on a mitzvah for which they are exempt.

Reb Shach brings a proof from a Tosafos in Avodah Zarah 3a that this obligation (to learn how to perform the mitzvos that you are obligated in) is a mitzvah of talmud Torah. The Gemara there says that a non-Jew who learns Torah is comparable to a kohen gadol, and he is rewarded just as one who is not obligated to perform the mitzvah (which is a lesser reward than one who performs a mitzvah that he was obligated to carry out). Tosafos explains that the Gemara is referring to a non-Jew who learns Torah that pertains to the seven obligatory mitzvos that non-Jews are required to perform. (A non-Jew is not allowed to learn any of the other parts of the Torah.) If learning the halachos of how to properly perform a mitzvah is not considered a mitzvah of talmud Torah, why does the Gemara make reference to a non-Jew who learns Torah? The Gemara should have said this: a non-Jew who is involved in preparing for a mitzvah that he is obligated to do (i.e. he kills an animal so that it is not eiver min ha’chai.) One can infer from this that there is an obligation to learn the halachos of each mitzvah, and that that is a mitzvah of talmud Torah.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why Women Can Recite Birchas HaTorah”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Judaism Stories
PTI-103114

People love their GPS; just type in the address and it tells you exactly how to get to where you want to go.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

In the same way as a married woman is precluded from marrying another man without a get, so too is this widow prohibited from marrying another man without chalitzah.

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Ban Of The Communities
‘Impaired Chalitzah’
(Yevamos 26b)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

“My mother raised us to independence, all of us,” Rivka says, which certainly plays itself out in the fact that all three children have taken a different path.

“ ‘We’re almost out of stamps,’ I said. ‘I’ll be happy to run over to the post office and pick up a supply.’ ”

Bris Bein Habesarim affirmed that Hashem gave the land to Avraham’s children. It does not specify for how long. It did not guarantee the Jewish people eternal ownership of the land

According to the Raavad if one who is uncircumcised breaks something he will be exempt from paying for it since he was chayav kares at the same time as he was obligated to repay for the item he broke.

Why does Hebrew refer to mothers-in-law as “sunshine” when society often calls them the opposite?

Having herself been victimized by Pharoah, Sarah should have been more sensitive to Hagar.

Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.

How do the stories in Lech Lecha help us understand the central tension of Abraham’s life, legacy?

Abraham did not govern society but instead was the representative of God’s kingdom on earth.

Hagar grossly miscalculated her own merits and demonstrated a serious lack of gratitude for Sarai.

Noach was the lonely man of faith living in a depraved world, full of wickedness.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

According to the Raavad if one who is uncircumcised breaks something he will be exempt from paying for it since he was chayav kares at the same time as he was obligated to repay for the item he broke.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Others suggest that one cannot separate Shabbos from Yom Kippur by accepting Shabbos early.

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

They ask, how can Rabbeinu Gershom forbid marrying more than one wife, when the Torah explicitly permits it in this parshah?

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/why-women-can-recite-birchas-hatorah/2012/05/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: