Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Unconventional Kiddush

I've been attending a shiur on hilchot shabbat. We learn from the materials put together by Tzurba, which is gemara, shulchan aruch, mishne brura and some achronim. I'm really enjoying it, especially since I love learning gemara, but here, we also learn the practical, halachic implications.

The latest shiur left me a little puzzled.
In our post-feminist society, modern, but halachically careful women have been braking boundaries. Women minyanim have been popping up everywhere, women are proving to be serious learners and they are taking up more religious practices that were previously only done by men.
In a lot of my newly married (especially Israeli) friends the wife is the one to make hamotsi on shabbes. I've gotten used to this, even though we personally don't do this.

But did you know that when it comes to Kiddush, women and men both have a chiyuv doraita? And hence, women can be yotzei men. In fact, since a man says veyechulu in shul, he has actually already fulfilled his chiyuv doraita (not derabbanan) and some suggest it's even better if the wife makes kiddush (if she hasnt been to shul) since she still has a chiyuv doraita and derabbanan.

In fact, everyone agrees (when does that happen???) that a women can be yotzei a man in her own house, and only some achronim say that for tsniut reasons she shouldn't do it in front of non-family members.

Now, this really makes me wonder. How come has making hamotsi been accepted as being something a woman can do, and yet kiddush is never done by a woman? If women truly want to be able to do all they can within halacha, why is this one (which is conveniently not controversial) so easily ignored? I'm really stumped on this one. Anyone have any suggestions?

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