According to Halacha, are women obligated to recite Birkat Hachama? Or no, are they exempt from reciting it as a positive time bound commandment?

  • Why is it time bound? Whenever the sun happens to be in a particular spot you say it. Just like a rainbow. It's even the same siman in shulchan aruch.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 26 at 12:41
  • @doubleaa hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1133&st=&pgnum=150 (no. 26)
    – Joel K
    Commented Mar 26 at 13:02
  • @JoelK he should say stronger that kiddush levana isn't either: whenever you see a waxing moon you bless. (And then even stronger is that time bound doesn't actually mean women are exempt since we don't paskin that's a rule but a mnemonic for the 6 or so biblical laws that women happen to be exempt from.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 26 at 13:42
  • @DoubleAA re: Kiddush Levana hebrewbooks.org/… (no 193)
    – Joel K
    Commented Mar 26 at 13:45
  • @JoelK indeed, igros moshe has a similar analysis. In the end since it's not remotely clear either is time bound or that time boundedness ought exempt, the obvious thing to do is follow the pashtus of all rishonim that women are obviously obligated if they see it (and there's nothing to lose by doing so besides extra mitzvos)
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 26 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


Take a look at the Yein HaTov, OC 44 by Rav Yitzchak Nissim who rules like your latter assertion:

ובתשובת חתם סופר (אורח חיים נ"ו) מביא שהנשים אין מברכות ברכת החמה יעויין שם, דאע"פ דתמה שם דאמאי לא נהגו נשים לברך ברכה זו, על כרחך כוונתו דהיינו דאע"פ דפטורי מכל מקום הרי כבר נהגו לקיים גם מצות שלא נתחייבו בהן, אבל מעיקר הדין משמע דפטירי משום מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא. ועיין או"ח ס' רצ"ו סעיף ח' דדעת הרמ"א דנשים לא יבדילו לעצמן, וכתב המגן אברהם: "דוקא במצוה שיש בה עשיה רשאין לעשות ולברך, אבל בדבר שאין בה אלא הברכה כגון כאן אין רשאין

And in the Teshuvos Chasam Sofer OC 56, he brings that women do not make the brocho on Birkas HaChamah see over there, since even though he asks there why are women not accustomed to make this brocho, as the intention is that even though they are exempt, even still they are accustomed to fulfil also mitzvos that they are not obligated in, however, as far as the main halachic standpoint, the implication is that they are exempt because it is a positive time bound mitzvah. And refer to Orach Chaim 296:8 where the Rema rules that women do not make Havdalah for themselves. And the Magen Avraham writes that this is "specifically in a mitzvah where there is permission for them to make and bless, but in a matter where there is only brocho in it like here (i.e. havdallah) they are not permitted...

I also saw here that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo Vol. 1 2:6) likewise ruled women do not say it. However, in the Yalkut Yosef, Hilchos Brochos, Siman 229, laws of Birkas Hachamah, Halacha 3 it says women do say it.

Needless to say, check with your LOR.

  • 2
    Check with your LOR, sometime during the next 13 years…
    – Joel K
    Commented Mar 26 at 10:48
  • 3
    @JoelK or in the next few months, if your competent halakhic authority happens to agree with the Rasag and Rabbenu Bahaya ;) Commented Mar 26 at 14:58

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