Hallel on Chanukah for Women

How are we noheg l’maseh in regards to women’s chiyuv of saying Hallel on Chanukah?

Answer:

Although some poskim write that women are obligated in reciting Hallel on Chanukah, the majority of poskim write that women are exempt.

The custom of many women is to recite Hallel, but not as a full obligation. Women who recite Hallel can do so with a berachah, though those who follow the rulings of Rav Ovadyah Yosef should not.

Sources:

The Mishnah states (Sukkah 38) that women cannot exempt men in Hallel, indicating that women are not obligated in Hallel.

However, there is room to explain that this applies to Hallel of Yom Tov, and not to Chanukah. This is based on Tosafos, who write that women are obligated in Hallel of Leil Haseder, because they, too, must express their gratitude for the miracle. This will apparently apply to Chanukah, too.

However, the Rambam writes in his Laws of Chanukah that women are exempt from any obligation of Hallel, clearly implying that this applies to Chanukah too, and the Magen Avraham (422:6) and Shulchan Aruch Harav (106:2) both write that women are exempt from all recitation of Hallel.

It is possible that the reason for this is that Hallel was enacted as a time-related mitzvah, from which women are exempt.

Although women are obligated to light candles, because they, too, were included in the miracle, they are only obligated to recall, but they are exempt from the separate mitzvah of Hallel.

A number of poskim, however, write that women are obligated in Hallel (see Hisorerus Teshuvah 1:51; Sedei Chemed Chanukah 9; Toras Refael Orach Chaim 75; Binyan Shlomo 2:63).

Therefore, it is correct for women to say Hallel, and those who do — certainly according to Ashkenazi custom, and according to some authorities even according to Sephardi custom — can do so with a berachah.

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