and R. Meir Simha haKohen of Dvinsk, Or Same’ah, Megilla 1:1, discuss the cryptic ruling of Halakhot Gedolot, Hilkhot Megilla, s.v. “haKol Hayyavin” and note 93 supra, that women are obligated in hearing the Megilla and not in reading it. They both posit that this view, which suggests that women have a lesser Megilla obligation than men, is essentially the same as that of Hinukh, who argues that women are exempt from the obligation of reciting Parshat Zakhor. Since the view of Behag is normative halakha for Ashkenazic Jewry (see Shulhan Arukh and Rama, O.H. sec. 689, no. 2), Hinukh should be as well; cf Resp Tsits Eliezer, XXII, sec. 38.
R. Isaac Ratsabi, Resp. Olat Yitshak, I, sec. 166, no. 3 and Shulhan Arukh ha-meKutsar, III, sec. 121, no. 4, indicates that according to Yemenite practice, women are exempt from Parshat Zakhor. See also R. Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, Resp. Binyan Av, III, sec. 30; R. Isaac Yosef, Kitsur Shulhan Arukh Yalkut Yosef, O.H. sec. 135, no. 9, sec. 143, no. 6 and sec. 685, no. 10. It should be noted that the position of R. Ovadiah Yosef has undergone some change. In Resp. Yehave Da’at, I, sec. 84 (published in 1977), he indicates that the majority of poskim hold that women are exempted from the obligation of Parshat Zakhor. Nevertheless, 18 years later, in Resp. Yabia Omer, VIII, sec. 54 (see especially the Table of Contents), R. Yosef maintains that women are obligated. In a conversation with Dov I. Frimer (16 Sivan 5759 – May 31, 1999), R. Yosef has confirmed his change of mind. Nevertheless, in his 5763 discussion of the issue, he acknowledges that the custom of those women who are lenient is firmly based (and presumably should, therefore, not be criticized); see: Hazon Ovadiah - Purim, Dinei Keri’at Arba Parshiyot, no. 3, note 17, p. 9.
111.R. Joseph Babad, Minhat Hinukh, commandment 603; R. Tsvi Benjamin Auerbach, Nahal Eshkol, Hilkhot Hanuka uFurim, sec. 10, no. 1; R. Solomon haKohen (of Vilna), Resp. Binyan Shelomo, sec. 54, s.v. “Mihu ani”; Rabbi Hayyim Berlin, Resp. Nishmat Hayyim, secs. 74 and 75; Mishna Berura, O.H. sec. 685, no. 16, Sha’ar haTsiyyun, no. 5; Kaf haHayyim sec. 685, no. 30; R. Ben-Tsiyon Lichtman, No’am 7 (5724), 361 and Benei Tsiyyon, II, O.H. sec. 55, no. 1-2; Mo’adim uZmanim, I, sec. 166; She’arim haMetsuyyanim beHalakha, Kunteres Aharon, sec. 140, no. 1; R. Solomon Schneider, Resp. Divrei Shlomo, III, sec. 340; Yalkut Yosef, V, Keriat Parshat Zakhor, sec. 8, note 12, pp. 259-260; responsa of R. Isaac Goldberger printed at the end of Nitei Gavriel—Hilkhot Purim [5744 edition]. See also R. Tsvi Pesah Frank, Mikra’ei Kodesh, Purim, sec. 5, pp. 82-83 and the comments of R. Joseph Cohen, ad. loc., nos. 8-9. R. Lichtman