“In many congregations, it is customary for the gabbai to remind the congregation to have intent to fulfill the mitzva of remembering the sin of the Golden Calf while Parshat Para is read.”
As for the popular notion concerning women’s participation in this mitzva, Rabbi Elkin teaches us the following:
“Although women should make an effort to hear Parshat Para when it is read in the synagogue, there is no true obligation for them to do so. Indeed, it is argued that women should be completely exempt from having to hear the Parsha Para reading because they were not involved in the sin of the Golden Calf. Nevertheless, women were also subject to purification by means of the Para Aduma, should they have required it. For this reason, there is certainly value in women hearing the reading, just as men do.”
This column is the fifth in a series on books devoted to practical Jewish law observance.