Torah Riddle #234

  1. Question: The Minchas Chinuch (mitzvah 313) asks why women aren’t exempt from the other 4 afflictions of Yom Kippur besides eating which she is obligated because it is both a positive and negative mitzvah but the other 4 are only Torah level positive mitzvos according to the Sefer Hachinuch. (Tosfos and the Rosh hold they are rabbinic.) Therefore, according to the Sefer Hachinuch why aren’t women exempt from the other 4 because they are time bound mitzvos?


A. The 4 other afflictions are not wearing leather shoes, not having relations, not washing nor anointing.

B. In terms of the positive mitzvah and prohibition of eating on Yom Kippur the basis of the prohibition is to afflict or withhold from yourself. The Torah says one should not eat on Yom Kippur lest he will be liable for kares, the punishment of being cut off from the nation. All other afflictions are positive mitzvos not a prohibition in the Torah.

Answer: Since the umbrella mitzvah is afflicting oneself on Yom Kipper, then even though not eating is the only prohibition which women are for sure obligated in then all the other positive mitzvos are schlepped along under this umbrella mitzvah so women are obligated in all 5 of them.