By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld
The Gemara in Kiddushin, daf lamed gimmel, amud bais says that women are exempt regarding the mitzvah of tekiyas shofar since the mitzvah is a time bound mitzvah. The Shulchan Aruch in siman taf kuf peh tes, seif vov paskens this way.
The following question arises. There are many reasons why we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashana; one of them is to remind Hashem about the zechuyos of Klal Yisroel. The Ramban emphasizes this point when discussing the posuk that says that Rosh Hashana is a “Shabason Zichron Teruah.” If the main point of the shofar is to remind Hashem about our zechuyos, don’t women need zechuyos too? We find the same question in the Gemara in Kiddushin, daf lamed daled, amud alef that says that women are obligated in the mitzvah of mezuzah because the reward for mezuzah is long life and women need a long life too. Why do we not say the same reasoning regarding shofar?
This question can be asked even regarding men. Tekiyas shofar is not docheh Shabbos because one may come to carry the shofar to his Rov to learn how to blow. We also know that part of the reason we blow the shofar is to confuse the Satan. How could the Chachamim push away the mitzvah of shofar if it is a question of pikuach nefesh?
The answer to these questions could be based on the Rambam that pikuach nefesh is only docheh Shabbos if the saving of the life is al pi derech hateva, not in a spiritual way or via a segulah. Since shofar blowing would constitute a segulah, it therefore would not be docheh Shabbos.
The Divrei Sofrim explains that the reason women would be pattur from tekiyas shofar is that once men do the tekiyos, the women are automatically included in the zichronos of the men.
Every single Jew has his or her tafkid on this world and everyone should strive to do his/her own tafkid; not someone else’s tafkid. May we all have a k’siva vachasima tovah and be remembered l’tova!