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Are Women Obligated In The Mitzvah Of Sukkah?

The Daily Halacha Moment - Women And Sukkah ๐ŸŽช


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Question:

Are women obligated in eating in the Sukkah?

May a woman bless Lishev BaSukkah?


Answer:

Women and children below the age of bar and bat mitzvah are not obligated in the mitzvah of eating and sleeping in the sukkah. [1]


For Sephardim: If a woman wants to be stringent and eat in the sukkah, she may not recite the berachah of Lishev BaSukkah (Since it is a time bound mitzvah). [2]


According to Ashkenazim, who follow the ruling of the Rama in O.C. 589:6, may recite a Lishev BaSukkah since they hold a woman may recite a berachah on time-bound mitzvot.


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 640:1

[2]. Sepharadic women, however, refrain from making berachot on such mitzvot since they are not commanded to perform them and are therefore unable to recite vetzivanu in the blessing. Even though there are Sepharadic poskim, such as the Chida in Yosef Ometz ยง82 and the Kaf HaChaim in 589:6 & 640:4, who say that there is a custom even among Sepharadim for women to recite the berachah of Lishev BaSukkah, Maran Morenu Ovadia Yosef in Chazon Ovadia, Sukkot p. 339; Yabia Omer 1:39โ€“42, 4:50, & 9:26; and Yechaveh Daat 1:69 holds that because the Shulchan Aruch and many Rishonim rule that women should not recite such a berachah, there is room to question the basis of this custom. Therefore, women should refrain from reciting this berachah. Chazon Ovadia, Responsa ยง20 adds that women are not obligated in the mitzvah of sukkah even though they, too, were in the desert and experienced the miracle of the Ananei HaKavod. This is because women are only obligated in time-bound mitzvot in which a woman caused a miracle to take place, such as the mitzvah of Megillah, for which Esther HaMalkah played a crucial role in orchestrating the miracle that led to that mitzvah. See also Yalkut Yosef, Sukkah, p. 752 and Teshuvot HaRishon LeTzion 2:76.

In any case, Yafeh LaLev 2:1 states that one should bring his wife and children into the sukkah even though they are not obligated to eat in the sukkah, so that he may tell over the story of the miracles that happened to Bnei Yisrael in the desert after leaving Mitzrayim. See Kaf HaChaim ยง5.


(See Laws Of The Holidays - Nacson)


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