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Let's say a husband and wife are alone on Friday night or on Shabbos day. Can the wife make kiddush for herself and her husband?

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Since women are obligated in kiddush on a Torah level (Zachor>Shamor), they can make kiddush for their husbands. The Aruch haShulchan 271:5 rejects the idea that women should not cover men, limiting it to public venues (b'tzibur).

That said, I once went to someones house where the woman made hamotzi. It rubbed me the wrong way. Since the custom has been for the man to do kiddush, it seemed like they were making a statement that should be outside the Jewish purview.

  • I have heard, though I don't remember in whose name or with what degree of certainty/reliability it was said, that women may be chayavos in kidush from the Tora but not chayavos in kidush on wine, so once they say anything that serves as kidush, including possibly saying "good Shabas", they can no longer be motzios men with kidush on wine. CYLOR. – msh210 May 9 '11 at 2:31
  • After having throat surgery 9 years ago I was not allowed to talk for some time. As per the psak of one of the local poskim in Memphis I was told that my wife should make kiddush for us. Needless to say we had no guests! But we went elsewhere for Havdala. – Yahu May 9 '11 at 7:45
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    msh, why would they not be obligated in the mitzvah to be mekadeish on wine? Generally speaking, women are obligated in Rabbinic mitzvos asei sheHazman gramma. In this case, since it is based on a mitzvas asei mideoraisa sheHzman gramma (zachreihu) that women are obligated to do, why would the Rabanan not obligate them with zachreihu al haYayin? (BTW, there is at least one Rishon who opines that zachreihu al haYayin is mideoraisa.) – Yahu May 9 '11 at 7:49
  • @R'Yahu re wine: I don't recall the argument. – msh210 May 9 '11 at 14:39
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    @YDK Are you suggesting that the AH thinks that women cannot (not: should not) be motzi men in public settings? – Double AA Mar 24 '14 at 1:36
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I went to a family for Shabbos lunch who are much more modern than I am, and the wife made Hamotzi. I quickly went through the Halachos in my head (I knew the Mishna Berurah about woman making Kiddush for husbands, but not other people), and I decided that although it may be technically allowed, I was not happy to fulfill my obligation through her, and so I made a Beracha under my breath when the Challah came around. (Furthermore, the woman was wearing a head covering and was not covering her arms).

Afterwards, I asked my Rav, a prominent and renowned Dayan, and he told me similar. He said that although it may be technically allowed, nowadays women are doing this for feminist reason, to prove men and women are equal. This is antithetical to the Torah, which believes that men and women have different roles to play in this world, as Rav Kook explains in Oros Hakodesh (Volume 2, Page 439). The problem is not so much a halachik one as a hashkofic one. My Rav was very upset how people do this to make a statement and that Chazal did not view the world like that. The accepted practice is that the man always says Hamotzi and that is what we should do.

(Also, see the Kaf Hachaim [271, 8] who quotes the Marharshal, Bach and Kenneses Hagdolah who pasken that tradition has determined that women are never motzi men with berachos, not even their own husband. This is even stricter than the Mishna Berurah quoted in above answers.

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    To bad you missed out on Lechem Mishneh that meal. And if no one saw you protest by saying your own blessing, then what did you accomplish aside from a Bittul Aseh? "Chumra" haba lidei kula, if there ever was one. – Double AA Jan 17 '18 at 13:24
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    This is indeed a pretty hashkafically abhorrent issue. You are claiming based on the whims of the time that we have to pretend women and men are less equal than they are as if women can't be Motzi men here. That is antithetical to the Torah. Following the advice in this post may actually be forbidden on pain of death as a Ziyuf HaTorah according to the Maharshal. – Double AA Jan 17 '18 at 13:32
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    I don't see how this answers the question which was about Kiddush alone not Motzi for others – Double AA Jan 17 '18 at 13:46
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    Did you also refuse to talk to the women at the meal, since the traditional custom is to seat them in a different room? Or did you realize that modesty norms related to meal arrangements change with time naturally and it doesn't matter? – Double AA Jan 17 '18 at 13:47
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    "stricter than the Mishna Berurah quoted in above answers" I don't see any Mishna Berura quoted on this page. Do you mean "Arukh haShulchan" or perhaps something else? – Double AA Jan 17 '18 at 15:28

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