David MALKA asked:

Kvod Harabanim,

I've once heard that in a specific situation a woman had the obligation to wear tefilin, but I don't remember what is it and where we learn this.

So I would like to know in which circumstances a woman does have the obligation to put tefilin?

Thank you very much by advance.

David MALKA, Strasbourg, FRANCE

The Kollel replies:

My best guess is that you may have heard a Shiur regarding a woman who finds Tefilin lying in the street on Shabbos, in a way that is denigrating to the Tefilin. If a man finds Tefilin in such a situation on Shabbos, he is supposed to put them on in order to transport them to a safer place. The leniency is based on the fact that he is actually considered to be wearing Tefilin just like he is wearing his clothing (Derech Malbush), which is why this mode of transport is permitted.

There is an argument primarily among the Acharonim (and even among two Rishonim) whether or not a woman is allowed to put on the Tefilin in this situation. Though most Acharonim seem to side with the Magen Avraham that this is forbidden, there are some opinions (see Shar Hamelech Hilchos Shabbos #19) that say that because women do not don Tefilin because it is merely better that they should not, they would also have the leniency of Derech Malbush in such a case. If the Halachah would be like these Acharonim, it would seem that according to them there is an obligation for the woman to put on the Tefilin in order that they should not lay in public in a denigrating fashion (see Mishnah Berurah 301:158).

It is possible that you heard this opinion stated in a Hilchos Shabbos Shiur.

All the best,

Yaakov Montrose

judy meibach asks:


What about Rashi's daughter? Without Rashi's daughter, we would not have Ba'alei Tosefot.

B'virkat Shalom


The Kollel replies:

Even if she did, she certainly had no obligation to wear them. (There is an argument among the Tana'im and Poskim as to whether a woman is permitted to wear them, as we wrote above.)

Best wishes

Kollel Iyun Hadaf

Judy Meibach responds:


Rabbi Kornfeld

If she had no obligation to put on Tefillin, then why did she - what made her choose this particular mitzvah shehazman grama and Orthodox women have not kept - as opposed to other Mitzvot - for instance - Sukkah, Lulav, Shofar etc. are sort of Mitzvot shehazman grama - and at least in the Modern Orthodox world - many woman 'sort of' keep them'

Does that make sense?


Judy Meibach

The Kollel responds:

I am not aware of any clear source which says that Rashi's daughters in fact wore Tefilin. It is not surprising, however, that such a legend would be told specifically about Rashi's daughters, as they did spend a lot of their time with their father acting as his scribes, writing down his Halachic and Talmudic responses which he dictated. (He did not have any sons, and his wife seems to have died young). Being that they dictated his responses, they also came to acquire a knowledge of Torah which was quite rare for women of their time. It seems to me that this is how the legend sprung up.

Even if there is a credible source which alludes to such behavior, the context of the remark would have to be studied to ascertain that it was not merely intended to express the fact that Rashi's daughters constantly engaged in learning Torah with their father, which men often did while wearing Tefilin. Until I see a source whose content clearly confirms that they indeed did wear Tefilin, I do not really think that it is a question worthy of discussing at length.


Yaakov Montrose (Author of the Rashi Study Guide, Destiny Foundation 2005)