May women lead grace after meals?

24.10.2011                      26.Tischrei. 5772

Frag den Rabbi:

May women lead grace after meals?

The Sages believed that when three or more people eat together, they should also recite grace simultaneously to amplify the public exultation of God.

Jews must recite grace after meals (birkat hamazon) after consuming a considerable amount of bread products within a limited time (Deuteronomy 8:10). While some talmudic Sages believed that women were equally included in this biblical imperative (Brachot 20b), others demurred, contending that certain passages within the text regarding the Land of Israel (Rashi) or circumcision (Tosafot) disqualified women from its initial promulgation.
Nonetheless, the rabbis subsequently included women within this obligation….
While Rabbi Moshe Isserles ruled that women should omit those passages irrelevant to them (OC 187:3), the universal contemporary practice is for women to recite the same text as men (MB 187:9)….