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Women’s hakafos on Hoshana Rabba


This last Hoshana Raba, I was in a shul where the women who had arba minim and hakafos in the ezras nashim of the shul. Is there any problem halachically with this?


While it may not be halachically problematic, in haskafa however it is problematic. Not because there is anything wrong with women doing mitzvos that they are exempt from doing, if someone wants to do more mitzvos then they are obligated and they are looking to do G-d’s will in any possible situation, that is great.

However when it reaches the point that they want to do things exactly the way men do it, then it raises suspicion that the reason for doing these mitzvos is because of a drive to be “just like men”, and there is suspicion that there is a dissatisfaction with the way that G-d made them.

G-d made men and women with different jobs, and therefore were given different strengths, emotions, organs and commandments. The same way it is incorrect for a man to want to light his own Shabbos candles alongside his wife, because this was a mitzvah given for the woman of the home to do, so too women shouldn’t be upset that they weren’t given men’s mitzvos. It is likewise incorrect for a man to say that he wants the opportunity to bear children and give birth to them, because this is not the job that G-d destined for him. It is also incorrect for women to feel dissatisfied with the mitzvos that they were given.

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