Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Women and Tachanun


Are women obligated to recite Tachanun?

The sages have said that Tachanun, with its humble rite of falling forward on one's face, is the first form of prayer HaShem will answer. Nonetheless, most authorities maintain that recitation of Tachanun began as reshut: Unlike Shema and Shemoneh Esreih, recitation of Tachanun developed as a voluntary supplication. [Rav Soloveitchik, basing his argument on the Rambam, disagreed with the majority view and considered Tachanun an extension of Shemoneh Esreih.]

Today, Tachanun is considered obligatory for men, because the formal prayer of the minyan includes Tachanun. It is valuable for women to recite the entire davening, but they are not obligated to do so. Women who already recite Tachanun might be considered obligated under a personal vow, but otherwise they are not obligated.

(Bava Metzia 59a-b; Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Tefillah 5:13, 7:17; Tur Orach Chaim 131; Aruch haShulchan Orach Chaim 131:2; Kaf haChaim 70:1; Mishneh Berurah 70:2; Halichot Beitah 7:1)

Have a great day,

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