Women making Motzi


When we first got married, I used to make Hamotzi. For some reason I stopped. I want to explore the sources again. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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Asked on February 3, 2021 6:36 am
Private answer

Questions along these lines are best addressed more personally, so that a response can take specifics of a situation and a community into account. Our response is meant as a general discussion of the relevant issues.

There aren’t many sources on this question. The Talmud (Berachot 46a) teaches that the “ba’al ha-bayit,” head of the household, breaks bread and thus recites ha-motzi, while the guest leads zimmun. The reason given is that, since the bread belongs to the head of the household, he is in a position to distribute it generously. On the other hand, the guest is in a position to add a prayer on the host’s behalf to birkat ha-mazon.

Generally speaking, in a private home, the head of the household should recite ha-motzi.
A single woman, or a married woman eating at home without her husband, is the head of her household, ba’alat ha-bayit, and thus has preference in reciting it.

When a husband and wife eat together, the custom has been for the husband to recite ha-motzi, especially when guests are present (since a woman reciting a beracha on a man’s behalf may raise an issue when some of them are guests--learn more here). It is still considered permissible for the ba’alat ha-bayit to recite it in this case, and this has become increasingly popular in some circles.

See more Q&A here.

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Answered on February 3, 2021 6:37 am