Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year
Joseph was obliged to go three times a year, as were all the males in Israel, at the feasts of the passover, pentecost, and tabernacles, ( Deuteronomy 16:16 ) . The first of these is expressed here, at the feast of the passover; but the women were not obliged to go up: for so it is said by the Jews F16, (twvr Myvn lv Nxop) , "the passover of women is voluntary", or in their own power; they might go up to the feast, or not, as they pleased. It is indeed said of Hillell, who was now alive, that he obliged the women to the first, but not to a second passover: to which the Karaites object; the account they give is as follows F17;
``truly the women were obliged, by the school of Hillell, to the offering of the passover; but if they were hindered from the first passover, the second was in their power; that is, the thing depended upon their will and pleasure, whether they would offer or not, which may be justly wondered at; for why should they be obliged to the, first, and not the second? for behold, as to the obligation of the passover, there is no difference between the first passover, and the second, The sum of the matter is, our wise men, on whom be peace, have determined and say, that there is no obligation but to males, who are arrived to maturity.''So that this was a voluntary thing in Mary; which discovers her piety and religion, and her great regard to the ordinances and appointments of God.
F16 T. Hieros. Kiddushin, fol. 61. 3.
F17 Eliahu Adderet, p. 39. apud Trigland. de Sect. Karaeorum, p. 28.