Positive commandment

This concept exists within Judaism.

While the Torah generally applies equally to all Jews, some of the religious commandments known in Hebrew as mitzvot are applied to a limited set of Jews. Among the 613 enumerated biblical commandments, there are both positive as well as negative commandments. All Jews are duty bound to adhere to the restrictions as legislated by the negative commandments, of which there are traditionally considered to be 365. Among the 248 positive commandments, however, there is a group of commandments known as positive time-bound commandments for which men are obligated but from which women are generally exempt, although there are certain exceptions. The idea of time-bound positive commandments (Hebrew מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא, mitzvot asei she'hazman grama) are those positive commandments that may be fulfilled only within certain periods of time. Both men and women are completely obligated for the positive non-time bound commandments (Mishnah Kiddushin 1:7).

There are seven commandments from which female Jews are exempt:[1]

  1. Listening to the shofar on Rosh Hashanah
  2. Sitting in the sukkah on Sukkot
  3. Taking of the four species on Sukkot
  4. Wearing tzitzit, specially knotted ritual fringes worn by observant Jews
  5. Wearing tefillin, phylacteries.
  6. Saying Shema in the morning and the evening
  7. Counting of the Omer


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