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Thought for the Day: She'asani Kirtzono - The Beauty of Mitzvos

Men and women both say "shelo asani goy" and "shelo asani eved".  There is no source for a woman to use the feminine forms ("goya", "shifcha").  On the other hand, a woman does not simply skip "shelo asani isha"'; rather she has her own bracha, "she'asani kirtzono".

The first thing to note is that - as always in the Torah - we never say, "they get to do x, so I should get to also!"  Whenever someone has a different obligation or privilege, it is always because of something in their spiritual make up that demands that obligation or privilege to achieve their perfection.  We don't always know the reason(s), but our Torah comes with the Manufacturer's Stamp of Approval.

The Avudraham (cited by HaSiddur HaMeforash) says that a woman's kavana when saying "she'asani kirtzono" is to accept with love the decree of the Creator that she is exempt from positive time bound commandments.  Note that her kavana is not, "Woo hoo!  I don't have to do all that extra stuff that would put a kink in my *me* time."  It is an acceptance with love that she doesn't get to be obligated to give up her *me* time for HaShem.  She certainly is permitted, but a Jew knows/feels that "gadol m'tzvah v'osei mei'eino m'tzuva v'osei" -- its better to be obligated.  A woman's perfection, apparently, does not require those obligations; yet she feels like she would want to do more and therefore declares her loving acceptance.

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