Women are exempt from some of the 613 mitzvot. How many of the 613 mitzvot apply to women? Is there a list (or lists)? Online? (To clarify: Ignore other factors, such as geographic location; include mitzvot that apply to men as well.)

  • Your question is complicated by the fact that a great many mitzvot don't apply nowadays anyhow. I remember hearing somewhere that there are only something like twelve mitzvot nowadays that don't apply to women, but I don't remember exactly, don't have a source, and don't know how reliable the person who said it was, and am therefore not providing it as an answer.
    – Yerushalmi
    Jun 9, 2015 at 11:25
  • @Yerushalmi I am looking for an answer without regard to factors such as geo location or existence of the Temple. So it is a theoretical question.
    – Yehuda W
    Jun 9, 2015 at 11:41

1 Answer 1


According to Gaonic tradition, there are 30 Mitzvot that women are exempted from.

בתשובות הגאונים ליק (סימן קכ) מובאת מסורת בשם ר' סעדיה גאון וכתוב שם כך:‏

כתב רבנו סעדיה גאון ז"ל שלשים מצות הן שהאנשים חייבים והנשים פטורות, ולא פירש אותן. והרב ר' יצחק בן גיאת כתב פירושן ואלו הן:
מילה. ‏
והראיה. ‏
ויוצא צבא כל זכר.‏
ושקלים כל העובר על הפקודים.‏
פדיון בכור.‏
ואיש כי תצא ממנו שכבת זרע.‏
והכהן שלא יטמא לקרובו בני אהרן ולא בנות אהרן.‏
וחייב האב למול את בנו‏
וללמדו תורה אבל לא האם.‏
סוכה. ‏
לולב. ‏
שופר. ‏
ציצית. ‏
ק"ש ‏
תפילין. ‏
ותלמוד תורה. ‏
פריה ורביה. ‏
מורא אב ואם ‏
וכבוד אב ואם שכיון שנשאת רשות אחרים עליה. ‏
הקפת הראש. ‏
השחתת זקן. ‏
נוהגות באנשים ולא בנשים. כל אלו שלשים מצות.‏

A discussion and detailed list can be seen here.

Hat tip: Yeshivat Hesder Yerucham

That leaves us with the remaining 583 Mitzvot that they are obligated in.

Here's a translation of the list (E&EO)

  1. מילה ‏ - Circumcising oneself, if one’s father didn’t do it.
  2. והראיה ‏ - Going to the Bet Hamikdash on the 3 festivals and bringing a Korban Re’iya and Chagiga
  3. ויוצא צבא כל זכר‏ - going out to war
  4. ושקלים כל העובר על הפקודים‏ - the yearly Shekel given for sacrifices in the Bet Hamikdash
  5. פדיון בכור‏ - redeeming one’s firstborn animals
  6. ואיש כי תצא ממנו שכבת זרע‏ - impurity related to expelling semen
  7. והכהן שלא יטמא לקרובו בני אהרן ולא בנות אהרן‏ - Cohanim not defiling themselves with corpses
  8. וחייב האב למול את בנו‏ - circumcising one’s sons
  9. לפדותו‏ - redeeming one’s firstborn son
  10. וללמדו תורה אבל לא האם‏ - teaching one’s sons Torah
  11. סוכה ‏ - sitting in a Sukka on Sukkoth
  12. לולב ‏ - shaking the Lulav, Esrog, Haddasim and Arava on Sukkoth
  13. שופר ‏ - hearing the Shofar on Rosh Hashana
  14. ציצית ‏ - putting Tzitzit on one’s 4-cornered garments
  15. ק"ש ‏ - saying Shma twice daily
  16. תפילין ‏ - putting on Tefillin
  17. ותלמוד תורה ‏ - learning Torah
  18. פריה ורביה ‏ - having children
  19. מורא אב ואם ‏ - fearing one’s parents (if it interferes with one’s marriage)
  20. וכבוד אב ואם שכיון שנשאת רשות אחרים עליה ‏ - honoring one’s parents (if it interferes with one’s marriage)
  21. הקפת הראש ‏ - shaving one’s sideburns and temples too closely
  22. השחתת זקן ‏ - cutting off one’s beard with a blade
  23. הסמיכות – leaning on one’s sacrifice with both hands before it’s slaughtered
  24. והתנופות – waving certain sacrifices around before they are offered
  25. וההגשות – Cohanim bringing the sacrifice close to the altar
  26. והקמיצות – Cohanim taking a fistful from some sacrifices to be offered on the altar
  27. וההקטרות – Cohanim putting sacrifices on the fire
  28. והמליקות - Cohanim slaughtering the bird sacrifices from their neck
  29. והקבלות – Cohanim catching the blood of certain sacrifices in vessels
  30. וההזאות – Cohanim sprinkling the blood of sacrifices on the altar
  • Based on your answer, I searched and found: "Maimonides ... commandments ... women are exempt." Time limited: Reading Shma Binding Tefillin on the head Binding Tefillin on the arm Wearing Tzitzit Counting the Omer Living in the Sukkah Taking the Lulav Hearing the Shofar. Not so time limited: Study of Torah For the King to write a Torah for himself For Kohanim to bless the people Procreation For a groom to celebrate with his wife for a full year Circumcision of sons. Source lookstein.org/articles/status_of_women.htm How does this list differ, conceptually, from the list you cite?
    – Yehuda W
    Jun 9, 2015 at 13:41
  • פריה ורביה. ‏ Huh??? How are women exempt from that when they're the ones who give birth. Does that mean that a woman is allowed to remain single?
    – DanF
    Jun 9, 2015 at 15:11
  • 2
    @DanF: in fact yes - men have a mitzvah to get married; women do not. (Rambam, Ishus 15:2)
    – Shamiach
    Jun 9, 2015 at 17:09
  • @Danny-Schoemann. You wrote, "That leaves us with the remaining 583 Mitzvot that they are obligated in." Do you mean that inside Israel, women are "obligated" to obey "583 Mitzvot" out of the 613? I ask this, because "Per the Chofetz Chaim, there are 77 positive Mitzvos and 194 negative Mitzvos which can be observed outside of Eretz Yisroel today." - judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/11044/…
    – ninamag
    Aug 27, 2017 at 17:23
  • 1
    @ninamag - we were discussing all 613 Mitzvoth, not those 77 positive and 194 negative commandments that are applicable nowadays; the details of which I posted in my blog mitzvoh.blogspot.co.il and on Facebook (facebook.com/groups/140905878541) some 7 years ago, Aug 28, 2017 at 8:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .