Saying korbanos: Are women obligated?


The Talmud (Megilla 31b) notes that at the time the Beis HaMikdash was around Hashem promised the Jewish nation that assuming they bring korbanos, he will make sure that they will inherit the land. The Gemara asks what happens when the Beis HaMikdash is no longer around. To which the Gemara answers that Hashem had already established a seder korbanos and so long as we read from them Hashem will count the reading as if we brought the korbanos and they will atone for all sins. The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 1:9) notes the importance of reciting korbanos each and every day. The Rema actually reviews this important issue again (O.C. 48:1) clearly underscoring the importance of this mitzvah.

In particular, the Korban HaTamid is singled out for its significance to be recited each and every day prior to Davening. However, there is an obvious question: If the one who recites korbanos is treated as though he brought them, what happens when the "he" is a "she"? In other words, should women recite korbanos? After all, they are not obligated to bring them!

The Beis Yosef (O.C. end of siman 47) quotes the Agur who notes that Tefilla replaces the bringing of Korbanos (Berachos 26b). He also adds that women are obligated in Tefilla (based on Berachos 20b). Accordingly, the Agur maintains that women must also recite korbanos. This position is cited by Mogen Avraham (47:14) and the Biur Halacha.

Shulchan Aruch Harav has a slightly different position. He maintains that the talmud's position that Tefilla stands in the place of korbanos applies, in the morning, only to the Korban Tamid for which Shachris stands. Therefore he holds that women only have to say the Parshas Hatamid.

L'halacha, it seems that most women do neither. This seems to be based on the fact that many of the Poskim dispute the position of the Agur (See Mor U'Ketziya end of siman 47; Shut Yosef Ometz, 67 among others). They note, that if the reference of reciting korbanos is to replace the Korbanos Tzibbur, then women do not have to contribute to these Korbanos (See Mishna Shekalim 1:3). And if the obligation is part of Davening, then according to the Magen Avrohom (104:7), a woman's obligation is only to ask for Hashem's mercy.

The only possibility whereby a woman would be obligated to recite korbanos would be in regard to a personal obligation (Chatas, Asham, Todah etc. See Rambam Hil. Maaseh HaKorbanos 3:2). However even men do not recite the special Parshiyos that surround these korbanos and suffice themselves with the recitation of the Mishna "eizehu mikoman." However the main purpose of these Mishnayos is to fulfill the obligation of talmud Torah (See O.C. 50:1) and women are exempt from that obligation. Therefore, women traditionally do not recite korbanos when they don't have the time.

What does a woman who does have a personal obligation do to fulfill the statement that "reciting a section of korbanos counts as if she brought one"? Say a woman gave birth, does she recite the section that deals with the korbanos of a Yoledes? The Shut Lev Chaim (15) notes that in such a situation she SHOULD recite the approrpiate section of the Torah in its proper time.

Still others maintain, that where possible, women should recite all of the korbanos each and every day (Kaf Hachaim 70:1).