Published Work

Women and the Miracle of Purim

AMIT Woman 55:3 | 01/30/1993

Rabbi Joshua ben Levi said: Women are obligated to read the Megillah because they too were included in the miracle of Purim (Talmud Megillah).

According to the Talmud, women are required to hear the reading of the Purim Megillah (scroll) even though it is a time related commandment from which they would ordinarily be exempt. In the words of Rabbi Joshua, women were “also included” in the miracle. While some authorities understand this to mean that women benefited from the miracle because they too had been at rishk, the Talmudic commentary Tosafet (on Tractate Megillah 4a) suggests in the name of Rashbam (Rabbi Samuel ben Meir ca 1084/5-ca.1174), a different interpretation of the Talmud’s statement. According to Rashbam, women’s obligation to celebrate Purim derives from the fact that they had a major role in bringing about the miracle of Purim.

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