36.In a personal written communication (to Dov I. Frimer, 19 Shevat 5744 [January 23, 1984]), R. David Cohen (of Cong. Gevul Ya’avetz, Brooklyn, New York) formulates this argument as follows: Rabbeinu Tam’s “patur ve-ose me-vareikh” principle is predicated upon the fact that despite the absence of obligation, there is nevertheless a fulfillment of the mitsvah, as evidenced by the receipt of heavenly reward. Hence, the benediction remains relevant and appropriate. (See also the related comments of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik in Reshimot Shiurim, R. Zvi Joseph Reichman, ed. [New York, 5749], Sukka 44b, pp. 230-231, s.v. “veYesh lahkor” and s.v. “Sham, bo”d, veRabbeinu Tam”; and R. Abraham Weinfeld, Resp. Lev Avraham, I, sec. 2). However, were a woman to make a benediction normally appropriate for a given mitsvah, yet not fulfill - or improperly perform - that mitsvah, she would undoubtedly be guilty of reciting a berakha le-vatala (a benediction for naught, thereby unnecessarily invoking God’s name). Likewise, there are certain mitsvot whose fulfillment inherently requires the presence of community in the form of a minyan. The performance of these rituals absent a minyan could in no way be construed as the fulfillment of these mitsvot; consequently, reciting a benediction under such circumstances would constitute a berakha le-vatala. One example of a mitsvah for which an all-male minyan is an absolute prerequisite is tefilla be-tsibbur (communal prayer; see note 3, supra). When this prerequisite has been met, then certain benedictions and prayers may and must be said. However, should there be no minyan, as in the case of a women’s prayer service, then the communal component of these prayers is missing; tefilla be-tsibbur cannot and is not fulfilled. Reciting the texts and benedictions reserved for communal prayer under such circumstances would be a clear violation of taking God’s name for naught. A similar argument is presented in a responsum by the former Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Abraham Kahana Shapira (to Mr. Y. Yudson, 30 Kislev 5750 [December 28, 1989]), cited in full by Eliav Shochetman (supra, note 4, addendum 1), p. 181, at 182. See also Yalkut Yosef, I, p. 189, note 60. This argument may not be valid, however, should one hold with the minority school of the Noda biYhuda, infra, note 52. The latter raises the possibility that there may be a fulfillment of communal mitsvot which require a minyan, if ex post facto (be-di-avad) they were performed without the presence of the necessary quorum.
37.See Encyclopedia Talmudit, IX, “Hallel,” sec. 10.
38.R. Jacob ben Meir Tam, Sefer haYashar, sec. 441 (ed. Schlesinger, sec. 537); Tosafot, Berakhot, 14a, s.v. “Yamim”; Tosafot, Arakhin 10a, s.v. “Yud het yamim”; Haggahot