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Women making hamotzi

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Sivan 18, 5771
Question
can a woman make the blessing over the challot on shabbat, as well as cut the challah even if other men are present, including her husband?
Answer
Shalom Halachically, the Mishna Brura (271, 4) holds that a women can make Kiddush (and likewise for motzi) for her husband but not for other men. On the other hand the Kaf Hachayim (ibid, 8) adds that the Maharshal disagrees and the Bach and Knesset Hagdola cite his opinion as halacha, that the tradition is for a woman not to motzi other men, not even her husband, and so is the custom by both Ashkenazim and Sfaradim, unless the man is unable to recite it. The creators of Fiddler on the Roof were correct in stressing that "Tradition! Tradition!" is extremely important to Judaism, and there is no end to the slippery slope if we begin changing traditions and customs. In addition, Rav Kook (Orot HaKodesh, II, p. 439) stresses that just as men and women have different bodies and hormones, they also have different souls, roles and needs. There is a beauty in womanhood, just as there is a beauty in manhood, there is a beauty in the role of Kohanim, as well as that of Levi'im and Yisraelim. All are equal but not identical. The grass and the trees, the birds and the bees, gentile and Jew, all have different spiritual needs and mitzvot, and each should be proud, not jealous, of their job in the harmonious rainbow called creation. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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