Shabbat Parashat Toldot | 5768
Toldot | 29 Cheshvan 5768 | 12/9/2007
This week’s haftara relates to Hashem’s outlook on the ongoing rivalry between Yaakov and Eisav: “ ‘I loved you,’ said Hashem, and you asked, ‘In what way did you love us?’ ‘Is Eisav not a brother of Yaakov? I loved Yaakov and Eisav I hated …’” (Malachi 1:2-3).
Case: A man died without known blood relatives. May his wife take possession of his personal assets or must they be put in escrow until some relative is eventually found?
Tosafot (Eruvin 96a and Rosh Hashana 33a) deals at length with whether women may recite berachot before performing mitzvot from which they are exempt (usually, time-based mitzvot). The main reason to possibly not allow the beracha is the beracha’swording, as “and commanded us…” is inappropriate for one who was not commanded.
Question: My boyfriend and I went out to eat with my friend and her husband, who are much more religious than we. I made Hamotzi on behalf of everyone, but afterwards my friend’s husband made his own Hamotzi. I was quite insulted. Is there a halacha that a man cannot fulfill his mitzva by answering Amen to a woman’s beracha?