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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
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Why Women Can Recite Birchas HaTorah


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I have one question concerning this proof. Why does the Gemara say that a non-Jew who learns the halachos regarding the mitzvos for which he is obligated is rewarded just as one who is not obligated to perform a mitzvah? According to Reb Shach he should be obligated to learn those halachos and be rewarded accordingly – just as one who is obligated.

The Brisker Rav, in his sefer on the Rambam (Hilchos Berachos), quotes his father, Reb Chaim Soloveitchik, who suggests an alternative p’shat. He explains that the berachah that is recited on the Torah is different than the berachos that are recited on all other mitzvos. By all other mitzvos the berachah is on the fulfillment of the mitzvah, while the berachah on the Torah is not recited on the fulfillment of the mitzvah but rather on the Torah itself. That is to say that the actual learning requires a berachah regardless of any mitzvah to learn. Therefore women who are not commanded to learn may recite a berachah, since when they learn it is Torah that is being learned – even though it is lacking the mitzvah.

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