Are Women obligated in Kerias Hatorah?

* This article is an excerpt from the above book

Are Women obligated in Kerias Hatorah:[1]

Some Poskim[2] rule that women are obligated in hearing Kerias Hatorah.[3] Other Poskim[4], however, rule that women are not obligated in hearing Kerias Hatorah. Practically, the widespread custom is for woman not to be particular to hear Kerias Hatorah.[5] Thus, they are permitted to leave Shul for Kerias Hatorah, or not come to Shul at all.[6] Nevertheless, a woman who remains in Shul is to concentrate on the reading and not talk or disturb.[7] [However, if she has not yet Davened and fears missing Zeman Tefilla, then she is to Daven quietly during Kerias Hatorah.[8] Women who are within their period of menstruation are not to look at the Sefer Torah.[9]]


[1] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:2; 282:6

[2] M”A 282:6 “It is implied from here that woman are obligated in Kerias Hatorah”, brought in M”B 282:12, based on Tosafos Rosh Hashanah 33a; Ran Megillah 13a; Miseches Sofrim 18:4; Tosefes Shabbos 282:6

[3] The reason: As although it was mainly established for the sake of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, nonetheless, it is a Mitzvah to hear it similar to the Mitzvah of Hakhel which is incumbent upon women and children to hear. [M”A ibid; See Miseches Sofrim 18:4]

[4] Implication of Admur 282:5 “Women may receive an Aliyah even though they are not obligated in it”; M”A ibid and M”B 282:12 that so is the custom; Maharsham 1:158 based on Ran Megillah; Hisorerrus Teshuvah 1:5; Beir Moshe 8:86; All Poskim who exempt women from Parshas Zachar and rule that the custom is for woman not to go to Shul on Shabbos: Chinuch 603; Avnei Nezer 509; Marcheshes 1:22; Aruch Hashulchan 282:11; 685:2; Arugas Habosem 205; Tzitz Hakodesh 1:51; Hisorerus Teshuvah 1:5; Divreiy Chaim 2:14; Kaf Hachaim 685:30; Toras Chesed [Lublin] 37: “Minhag Yisrael is Torah and we have never heard of women going to Shul for Parshas Zachor. One should not be Machmir in this”

[5] M”A ibid that the custom is for them to leave Shul for Kerias Hatorah; M”B ibid

[6] Kaf Hachaim 146:2

[7] Hisorerus Teshuvah ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid and ibid

[8] Koveitz Teshuvos [Rav Elyashiv] 3::48; Piskeiy Teshuvos 282:6

[9] Admur 88:2; M”A 88:2; Taz 88:2; Rashal; Binyamin Zev 153

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