Can a man fulfill his obligation by listening to a woman's Birchos HaShachar (morning blessings)? What about vice-versa?

I suppose my question breaks down into three parts:

  1. Do women have a lesser obligation than men to say Birchos HaShachar? (If so, I presume a man can't fulfill his obligation to listen along.)
  2. If men and women have the same obligation, and if the woman says a bracha conjugated for feminine instead of masculine (which some do and some don't; let's assume for instance men vs women say שלא עשני נכרי/נכריה), does that pose a problem?
  3. And for a really fun question (if the above two have been answered): the common practice is that men say "shelo asani isha", women say "she'asani kirtzono." What happens when a person of the opposite gender listens to the bracha with intent to fulfill his/her obligation?

1 Answer 1

  1. The Mishna Berurah 70:2 leans toward interpreting the Shulchan Aruch in 46:4 as women having the same obligation. However, the Pri Megadim says (that the levush says) that a Baki cannot be yotzei the brachos from another except with a minyan (quoted by MB in 6:14), and then you have a kavod hatzibur problem for women to be Motzi others. Of course, the man is on his own for shelo asani isha. For Birchas HaTorah, see the Biur Halacha 47 "Nashim" who brings a machlokes between the Pri Megadim (yes) and the Gra (no). I can debate al netilas yadayim, so I'm not sure (I can expound on this if anyone requests).

  2. Although a person is not yotze a bracha when he changes from the format that the chachamim set (meshane matbeya), it isn't meshane matbeia to use a feminine language (even for him to say it). However, one should use the proper nusach lechatchila (in the same way many will only use a spice for havdala that is vadai borei minei besamim since their minhag is to make that beracha for all spices for havdala). Since we are talking about someone who is not baki, if no other man is around, it's probably better for her to use the masculine form for both of them since this is generic.

  3. According to the gemara, a man has an obligation to say shelo asani isha. This has nothing to do with sheasani kirtzono.

  • So "shelo asani isha" is incumbent only on men, "she'asani kirtzono" only on women, and they're two entirely different obligations?
    – Shalom
    Commented Jul 6, 2010 at 16:41
  • Sheasani Kirtzono is not midina d'gemara. Also, it could be it's not even the same nature of birchas shevach. The Aruch HaShulchan calls it "k'ain hatzdakas hadin shenivr'u kach".
    – YDK
    Commented Jul 6, 2010 at 17:03
  • Great research and explanations! You could improve this answer by explaining what some of the jargon terms (e.g. "meshane matbeia") mean.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jul 6, 2010 at 17:04

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