וּמִן הַתְּפִילִּין, וְחַיָּיבִין בִּתְפִילָּה וּבִמְזוּזָה וּבְבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן. and from phylacteries, but they are obligated in the mitzvot of prayer, mezuza, and Grace after Meals. The Gemara explains the rationale for these exemptions and obligations.
גְּמָ׳ קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע: פְּשִׁיטָא! מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא הוּא, וְכׇל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא נָשִׁים פְּטוּרוֹת? GEMARA With regard to the mishna’s statement that women are exempt from the recitation of Shema, the Gemara asks: That is obvious, as Shema is a time-bound, positive mitzva, and the halakhic principle is: Women are exempt from any time-bound, positive mitzva, i.e., any mitzva whose performance is only in effect at a particular time. Shema falls into that category as its recitation is restricted to the morning and the evening. Why then did the mishna need to mention it specifically?
מַהוּ דְתֵימָא: הוֹאִיל וְאִית בַּהּ מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם, קָמַשְׁמַע לַן. The Gemara replies: Lest you say: Since Shema includes the acceptance of the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven, perhaps women are obligated in its recitation despite the fact that it is a time-bound, positive mitzva. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that, nevertheless, women are exempt.
וּמִן הַתְּפִלִּין. פְּשִׁיטָא! מַהוּ דְתֵימָא: הוֹאִיל וְאִתַּקַּשׁ לִמְזוּזָה — קָמַשְׁמַע לַן. We also learned in the mishna that women are exempt from phylacteries. The Gemara asks: That is obvious as well. The donning of phylacteries is only in effect at particular times; during the day but not at night, on weekdays but not on Shabbat or Festivals. The Gemara replies: Lest you say: Since the mitzva of phylacteries is juxtaposed in the Torah to the mitzva of mezuza, as it is written: “And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hands and they shall be frontlets between your eyes” (Deuteronomy 6:8), followed by: “And you shall write them upon the door posts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:9), just as women are obligated in the mitzva of mezuza, so too they are obligated in the mitzva of phylacteries. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that nevertheless, women are exempt.
וְחַיָּיבִין בִּתְפִלָּה. דְּרַחֲמֵי נִינְהוּ. מַהוּ דְתֵימָא: הוֹאִיל וּכְתִיב בַּהּ ״עֶרֶב וָבֹקֶר וְצָהֳרַיִם״, כְּמִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא דָּמֵי — קָמַשְׁמַע לַן. We also learned in the mishna that women, slaves, and children are obligated in prayer. The Gemara explains that, although the mitzva of prayer is only in effect at particular times, which would lead to the conclusion that women are exempt, nevertheless, since prayer is supplication for mercy and women also require divine mercy, they are obligated. However, lest you say: Since regarding prayer it is written: “Evening and morning and afternoon I pray and cry aloud and He hears my voice” (Psalms 55:18), perhaps prayer should be considered a time-bound, positive mitzva and women would be exempt, the mishna teaches us that, fundamentally, the mitzva of prayer is not time-bound and, therefore, everyone is obligated.
וּבִמְזוּזָה. פְּשִׁיטָא! מַהוּ דְתֵימָא: הוֹאִיל וְאִתַּקַּשׁ לְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה — קָמַשְׁמַע לַן. We also learned in the mishna that women are obligated in the mitzva of mezuza. The Gemara asks: That too is obvious. Why would they be exempt from fulfilling this obligation, it is a positive mitzva that is not time-bound? The Gemara replies: Lest you say: Since the mitzva of mezuza is juxtaposed in the Torah to the mitzva of Torah study (Deuteronomy 11:19–20), just as women are exempt from Torah study, so too they are exempt from the mitzva of mezuza. Therefore, the mishna explicitly teaches us that they are obligated.
וּבְבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן. פְּשִׁיטָא! מַהוּ דְתֵימָא הוֹאִיל וּכְתִיב ״בְּתֵת ה׳ לָכֶם בָּעֶרֶב בָּשָׂר לֶאֱכֹל וְלֶחֶם בַּבֹּקֶר לִשְׂבֹּעַ״, כְּמִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא דָּמֵי — קָמַשְׁמַע לַן. We also learned in the mishna that women are obligated to recite the Grace after Meals. The Gemara asks: That too is obvious. The Gemara replies: Lest you say: Since it is written: “When the Lord shall give you meat to eat in the evening and bread in the morning to the full” (Exodus 16:8), one might conclude that the Torah established fixed times for the meals and, consequently, for the mitzva of Grace after Meals and, therefore, it is considered a time-bound, positive mitzva, exempting women from its recitation. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that women are obligated.
אָמַר רַב אַדָּא בַּר אַהֲבָה: נָשִׁים חַיָּיבוֹת בְּקִדּוּשׁ הַיּוֹם דְּבַר תּוֹרָה. אַמַּאי? מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא הוּא, וְכׇל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא נָשִׁים פְּטוּרוֹת! אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: מִדְּרַבָּנַן. Rav Adda bar Ahava said: Women are obligated to recite the sanctification of the Shabbat day [kiddush]by Torah law. The Gemara asks: Why? Kiddush is a time-bound, positive mitzva, and women are exempt from all time-bound, positive mitzvot. Abaye said: Indeed, women are obligated to recite kiddush by rabbinic, but not by Torah law.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבָא: וְהָא ״דְּבַר תּוֹרָה״ קָאָמַר. וְעוֹד, כׇּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה נְחַיְּיבִינְהוּ מִדְּרַבָּנַן! Rava said to Abaye: There are two refutations to your explanation. First, Rav Adda bar Ahava said that women are obligated to recite kiddush by Torah law, and, furthermore, the very explanation is difficult to understand. If the Sages do indeed institute ordinances in these circumstances, let us obligate them to fulfill all time-bound, positive mitzvot by rabbinic law, even though they are exempt by Torah law.
אֶלָּא אָמַר רָבָא: אָמַר קְרָא ״זָכוֹר וְשָׁמוֹר״ — כׇּל שֶׁיֶּשְׁנוֹ בִּשְׁמִירָה יֶשְׁנוֹ בִּזְכִירָה. וְהָנֵי נְשֵׁי הוֹאִיל וְאִיתַנְהוּ בִּשְׁמִירָה, אִיתַנְהוּ בִּזְכִירָה. Rather, Rava said: This has a unique explanation. In the Ten Commandments in the book of Exodus, the verse said: “Remember Shabbat and sanctify it” (Exodus 20:8), while in the book of Deuteronomy it is said: “Observe Shabbat and sanctify it” (Deuteronomy 5:12). From these two variants we can deduce that anyone included in the obligation to observe Shabbat by avoiding its desecration, is also included in the mitzva to remember Shabbat by reciting kiddush. Since these women are included in the mitzva to observe Shabbat, as there is no distinction between men and women in the obligation to observe prohibitions in general and to refrain from the desecration of Shabbat in particular, so too are they included in the mitzva of remembering Shabbat.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבִינָא לְרָבָא: נָשִׁים בְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן, דְאוֹרָיְיתָא אוֹ דְּרַבָּנַן? לְמַאי נָפְקָא מִינַּהּ — לְאַפּוֹקֵי רַבִּים יְדֵי חוֹבָתָן. אִי אָמְרַתְּ בִּשְׁלָמָא דְאוֹרָיְיתָא, אָתֵי דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא וּמַפֵּיק דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא. אֶלָּא אִי אָמְרַתְּ דְּרַבָּנַן, הָוֵי ״שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְחוּיָּיב בַּדָּבָר״, וְכׇל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְחוּיָּיב בַּדָּבָר אֵינוֹ מוֹצִיא אֶת הָרַבִּים יְדֵי חוֹבָתָן. מַאי? Ravina said to Rava: We learned in the mishna that women are obligated in the mitzva of Grace after Meals. However, are they obligated by Torah law or merely by rabbinic law? What difference does it make whether it is by Torah or rabbinic law? The difference is regarding her ability to fulfill the obligation of others when reciting the blessing on their behalf. Granted, if you say that their obligation is by Torah law, one whose obligation is by Torah law can come and fulfill the obligation of others who are obligated by Torah law. However, if you say that their obligation is by rabbinic law, then from the perspective of Torah law, women are considered to be one who is not obligated, and the general principle is that one who is not obligated to fulfill a particular mitzva cannot fulfill the obligations of the many in that mitzva. Therefore, it is important to know what is the resolution of this dilemma.
תָּא שְׁמַע: בֶּאֱמֶת אָמְרוּ בֵּן מְבָרֵךְ לְאָבִיו וְעֶבֶד מְבָרֵךְ לְרַבּוֹ וְאִשָּׁה מְבָרֶכֶת לְבַעֲלָהּ, אֲבָל אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים: תָּבֹא מְאֵרָה לְאָדָם שֶׁאִשְׁתּוֹ וּבָנָיו מְבָרְכִין לוֹ. Come and hear from what was taught in a baraita: Actually they said that a son may recite a blessing on behalf of his father, and a slave may recite a blessing on behalf of his master, and a woman may recite a blessing on behalf of her husband, but the Sages said: May a curse come to a man who, due to his ignorance, requires his wife and children to recite a blessing on his behalf.
אִי אָמְרַתְּ בִּשְׁלָמָא דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא, אָתֵי דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא וּמַפֵּיק דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא. אֶלָּא אִי אָמְרַתְּ דְּרַבָּנַן, אָתֵי דְּרַבָּנַן וּמַפֵּיק דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא?! From here we may infer: Granted, if you say that their obligation is by Torah law, one whose obligation is by Torah law can come and fulfill the obligation of others who are obligated by Torah law. However, if you say that their obligation is by rabbinic law, can one who is obligated by rabbinic law, come and fulfill the obligation of one whose obligation is by Torah law?
וּלְטַעְמָיךְ קָטָן בַּר חִיּוּבָא הוּא? אֶלָּא הָכָא בְּמַאי עָסְקִינַן — כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָכַל שִׁיעוּרָא דְרַבָּנַן, דְּאָתֵי דְּרַבָּנַן וּמַפֵּיק דְּרַבָּנַן. The Gemara challenges this proof: And according to your reasoning, is a minor obligated by Torah law to perform mitzvot? Everyone agrees that a minor is exempt by Torah law, yet here the baraita said that he may recite a blessing on behalf of his father. There must be another way to explain the baraita. With what we are dealing here? With a case where his father ate a quantity of food that did not satisfy his hunger, a measure for which one is only obligated by rabbinic law to recite Grace after Meals. In that case, one whose obligation is by rabbinic law can come and fulfill the obligation of another whose obligation is by rabbinic law.
דָּרֵשׁ רַב עַוִּירָא, זִמְנִין אָמַר לַהּ מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי אַמֵּי וְזִמְנִין אָמַר לַהּ מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי אַסִּי: אָמְרוּ מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, כָּתוּב בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ ״אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשָּׂא פָנִים וְלֹא יִקַּח שֹׁחַד״, וַהֲלֹא אַתָּה נוֹשֵׂא פָּנִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, דִּכְתִיב: ״יִשָּׂא ה׳ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ״?! אָמַר לָהֶם: וְכִי לֹא אֶשָּׂא פָּנִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁכָּתַבְתִּי לָהֶם בַּתּוֹרָה ״וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת ה׳ אֱלֹהֶיךָ״, וְהֵם מְדַקְדְּקִים [עַל] עַצְמָם עַד כְּזַיִת וְעַד כְּבֵיצָה. After citing the halakha that one who eats a quantity of food that does not satisfy his hunger is obligated by rabbinic law to recite Grace after Meals, the Gemara cites a related homiletic interpretation. Rav Avira taught, sometimes he said it in the name of Rabbi Ami, and sometimes he said it in the name of Rabbi Asi: The ministering angels said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, in Your Torah it is written: “The great, mighty and awesome God who favors no one and takes no bribe” (Deuteronomy 10:17), yet You, nevertheless, show favor to Israel, as it is written: “The Lord shall show favor to you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:26). He replied to them: And how can I not show favor to Israel, as I wrote for them in the Torah: “And you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:10), meaning that there is no obligation to bless the Lord until one is satiated; yet they are exacting with themselves to recite Grace after Meals even if they have eaten as much as an olive-bulk or an egg-bulk. Since they go beyond the requirements of the law, they are worthy of favor.
מַתְנִי׳ בַּעַל קֶרִי — מְהַרְהֵר בְּלִבּוֹ, וְאֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ, לֹא לְפָנֶיהָ וְלֹא לְאַחֲרֶיהָ. וְעַל הַמָּזוֹן מְבָרֵךְ לְאַחֲרָיו וְאֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ לְפָנָיו. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר: מְבָרֵךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם וּלְאַחֲרֵיהֶם. MISHNA: Ezra the Scribe decreed that one who is ritually impure because of a seminal emission may not engage in matters of Torah until he has immersed in a ritual bath and purified himself. This halakha was accepted over the course of many generations; however, many disputes arose with regard to the Torah matters to which it applies. Regarding this, the mishna says: If the time for the recitation of Shema arrived and one is impure due to a seminal emission, he may contemplate Shema in his heart, but neither recites the blessings preceding Shema, nor the blessings following it. Over food which, after partaking, one is obligated by Torah law to recite a blessing, one recites a blessing afterward, but one does not recite a blessing beforehand, because the blessing recited prior to eating is a requirement by rabbinic law. And in all of these instances Rabbi Yehuda says: He recites a blessing beforehand and thereafter in both the case of Shema and in the case of food.
גְּמָ׳ אָמַר רָבִינָא: זֹאת אוֹמֶרֶת הִרְהוּר כְּדִבּוּר דָּמֵי. דְּאִי סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ לָאו כְּדִבּוּר דָּמֵי — לָמָּה מְהַרְהֵר? GEMARA: Ravina said: That is to say, from the mishna that contemplation is tantamount to speech. As if it would enter your mind that it is not tantamount to speech, then why does one who is impure because of a seminal emission contemplate? It must be that it is tantamount to speech.
אֶלָּא מַאי — הִרְהוּר כְּדִבּוּר דָּמֵי, יוֹצִיא בִּשְׂפָתָיו? The Gemara rejects this: But what are you saying, that contemplation is tantamount to speech? Then, if one who is impure because of a seminal emission is permitted to contemplate, why does he not utter the words with his lips?
כִּדְאַשְׁכְּחַן בְּסִינַי. The Gemara answers: As we found at Mount Sinai. There one who had sexual relations with a woman was required to immerse himself before receiving the Torah, which was spoken and not merely contemplated. Here, too, it was decreed that one who was impure due to a seminal emission may not recite matters of Torah out loud until he immerses himself.
וְרַב חִסְדָּא אָמַר, הִרְהוּר לָאו כְּדִבּוּר דָּמֵי, דְּאִי סָלְקָא דַעְתָּךְ הִרְהוּר כְּדִבּוּר דָּמֵי — יוֹצִיא בִּשְׂפָתָיו. And Rav Ḥisda said that the opposite conclusion should be drawn from the mishna: Contemplation is not tantamount to speech, as if it would enter your mind that contemplation is tantamount to speech, then one who is impure because of a seminal emission should ab initio, utter Shema with his lips.
אֶלָּא מַאי הִרְהוּר לָאו כְּדִבּוּר דָּמֵי, לָמָּה מְהַרְהֵר? אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר: כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְהוּ כׇּל הָעוֹלָם עוֹסְקִין בּוֹ וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב וּבָטֵל. The Gemara challenges this argument: But what are you saying, that contemplation is not tantamount to speech? If so, why does he contemplate? Rabbi Elazar said: So that a situation will not arise where everyone is engaged in reciting Shema and he sits idly by.
וְנִגְרוֹס בְּפִרְקָא אַחֲרִינָא! אָמַר רַב אַדָּא בַּר אַהֲבָה: בְּדָבָר שֶׁהַצִּבּוּר עוֹסְקִין בּוֹ. The Gemara asks: If that is the only purpose, let him study another chapter and not specifically Shema or one of the blessings. Rav Adda bar Ahava said: It is fitting that one engage in a matter in which the community is engaged.