This source said that women are not obliged to daven maariv but may do if they wish.

He since revised his view - see the source quoted by @Double AA's comment 25 Mar 16. This question was posed on the basis of the original view.

Although the Shulchan Aruch (108:7) allows one to recite a Tefilat Nedava in a certain case, Halacha Berura (22nd question on this page) writes that one should not do so, because nowadays we do not allow reciting a Tefilat Nedava unnecessarily.

If a woman’s maariv is Tefilat Nedava, it seems that it should not be said?

Even if it is not Tefilat Nedava, davenning is not a simple thing. Various kavonnos are needed. I will mention HaShem’s names many times. Since women are not obligated to daven, perhaps they should not. Do we have sources for this issue to help me CMLOR?

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    Actually that source says that all agree women are not obligated to daven maariv. This is of course false. You should consider removing that website as a source.
    – Double AA
    May 13, 2014 at 5:00
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    @AvrohomYitzchok I don't believe you as I assume you've read my above comments. See too the Aruch Hashulchan which I quoted where you have in all likelihood seen before. The idea that women didn't "accept maariv" was made up 250 years ago against pshat in numerous rishonim and achronim. Most poskim just have a hard enough time getting women to daven shacharit and mincha...
    – Double AA
    May 13, 2014 at 20:23
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    Some Rishonim who think women and men have the same level of obligation: Shitta Mekubbetzet, Kol Bo, Ri, Rashba, Meiri, Or Zarua, Semag, Ritva. Some who think that women can* only skip Maariv if they have a great need or for a dvar mitzva: Rabbeinu Yerucham, Rabbeinu Yonah, Rosh, Agudah, Ran, Tur. (*This assumes without evidence that they think the traditions of acceptance of Maariv as obligatory by כל ישראל somehow exclude women without saying so.)
    – Double AA
    May 14, 2014 at 1:37
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    Here's another one for you: R Binyamin Zilber in Az Nidberu 12:65:8 says women must Daven Maariv just like men.
    – Double AA
    Nov 3, 2015 at 22:33
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    of course there's this slew of rishonim as well judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/49041/… like Tosfot, Tosfot Rosh, Tosfot Yeshanim, Ri, Rabbeinu Yonah, Mordechai, Agudah, Eshkol, Sefer HaMachkim, Sefer HaMeorot, Rashba, Ran, Sefer HaShulchan, Rikanti, Or Zarua, Semag, Orchot Chayim, Kol Bo, Avudirham, Rif, Rosh, Tur,
    – Double AA
    Dec 28, 2015 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


Yalkut Yosef (106:1) says that a woman's primary obligation for tefillah is to daven Shacharit. He permits women to daven Mincha or Arvit if they're unable to daven Shacharit. If a woman wants to daven all three tefillot, she is permitted to as well.

He mentions that the reason for permitting this is that davening is asking Hashem for mercy (תפילה בקשת רחמים היא). It seems to me we are not concerned that saying a tefillat nedavah would be a beracha she'ainah tzricha or beracha l'vatellah, even though today when we don't allow someone to daven a tefillat nedavah (except where the halacha recommends it as a technique to avoid a safek about a mistake in tefillah).

Yalkut Yosef mentions (106:3) that most Ashkenazi women daven Shacharit and Mincha, but not Arvit (because they never took on the obligation of Arvit). The Mishnah Berurah (106 s.k. 4) also rules this way. They doesn't discuss whether Ashkenazi women are permitted to daven Arvit despite being patur, but I've seen generally Ashkenazim are more permissive of women making berachot that only men are obligated in than Sefaradim are, so lacking evidence to the contrary, I'd assume that Ashkenazim also allow women to daven Arvit, even though they generally don't.

  • I'm afraid I don't see how this answers the question.
    – Double AA
    May 14, 2014 at 1:07

It is not a Nedavah; it is a Reshuth. There is a difference. What that difference is, I actually do not know well enough to articulate it.

I have also heard, in the name of RJB"S, that he felt both men and women ought to (how strong that "ought" is also unclear to me) Daven three times a day.

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    One difference is that you don't need to add something new into the tefillah like you would have to for a Tefillat Nedavah.
    – Double AA
    Jul 8, 2012 at 5:04
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16059/759
    – Double AA
    Aug 27, 2012 at 16:00
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    Another important difference is you can't do a Tefillat Nedava on Shabbat/YomTov. Yet we know there is such a thing as Maariv on those days.
    – Double AA
    May 14, 2014 at 0:38

there is no reason a woman can not daven maariv. halacha does not go according to rashi who says women may not to those things which they are not obligated to do b/c of spefic time requirements. perhaps when doing so it would be best not to consider it for themselves a fixed obligation b/c of the principle of maalin bakodesh vein moridin for the times they will not be able to or forget

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