Friday, March 14, 2014

ad d'lo yada and milchemes amalek

The Sefer haChinuch holds that women are exempt from the mitzvah of remembering Amalek because they are exempt from the mitzvah to wage war with Amalek.  The Achronim ask that we find by milchemes mitzvah that everyone, even a kallah, must participate in some way – there are no exemptions.  If you are not on the front lines, you can help manage the supplies, the food, etc.  Even women are included!  R’ Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi answers that there is a difference between having a chovas hagavra to wage war, which applies only to men, and being included as a participant in the war, which applies to everyone.
I think most people assume women are not obligated to drink ad d’lo yada on Purim.  The usual explanation is that it would be a breach of tzniyus.  However, R’ Ephraim Greenblatt in his Shu”T Rivevos Ephraim (I:458) suggests a chiddush: the whole point of drinking is to reach a state of bliss that can be achieved (at least while sober) only when Amalek no longer exists.  It’s a taste of the Messianic era, when  the mitzvah of war with Amalek will finally be won with a victory and there will be no more "arur Haman" to hate.  The celebration therefore only applies to men, who have the mitzvah of fighting Amalek – for women who are exempt from going to war, there is no chiyuv. 


  1. The machlokes whether women are chayav in Parshas Zachor also revolves around this- whether the chiyuv only applies to the warriors, or also to the rear guard and support. I think we pasken that women are pattur, but the minhag is that they go; the same ought to apply to livsumi.

  2. Sorry, not sure if I'm understanding you correctly -- are you are saying that even if women have a chiyuv d'oraysa of timcheh, since their kiyum mitzvah is not on the front lines, therefore they are not mechuyavos in zachor?
    You think women are pturos because of the view of the Chinuch?