Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top


The Talmud (Berachot 59A) and the Rambam (Berachot 10:17), and Tur 229 tell us the blessing of the Rainbow is as follows:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית וְנֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 229:1) says the correct blessing is without the "וְ" (The Rif and the Rosh both have it this way - which explains why the Shulchan Aruch has it this way):

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית נֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ

And the GR"A says that the Gemara is a typo, it should be like it is in the Shulchan Aruch (referenced in the Mesorat Hashas). (However, he also says this is what the Rambam says, and the Rambam I linked above says it with a "וְ" -- I think the GR"A is referring to the order of the blessing, and not the "וְ" itself.)

The Aruch Hashulchan (229:1), also has it without the "וְ".


In the Siddur Tehillat Hashem's list of blessings, the blessing is printed with a "וְ".

Why does the Siddur have the blessing different than the Shulchan Aruch? It appears that the Baal HaTanya does not discuss this at all, since his Shulcan Aruch is missing Chapter 229, and his Seder Birchat Hanehenin does not have the blessing on the rainbow. (My understanding is that the list of Berachot in the Siddur Tehilat Hashem is not from the Baal HaTanya, but compiled later)

The Complete Artscroll Siddur - Ashkenaz (Siddur Ahavas Shalom pg. 228) also has it with a "וְ". (as does the Chayeh Adam (63:4) and the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (60:4). The Derech Chaim (vol II, 36:7) avoids the issue)

Why is the Nusach of the blessing not as written in the Shulchan Aruch?

To broaden the question, why does it seem that most contemporary halachic works rule against the Shulchan Aruch in this case?

share|improve this question
It's not just that Siddur: Siddur Tefillas Shlomo Hashalem (Artscroll), as well as Siddur Kol Yaakov also list it with a vav – yydl Oct 28 '11 at 20:35
Wouldn't we expect this b'racha to be among the birchos hashevach and not birchos hanehenin? – WAF Oct 29 '11 at 23:46
@WAF The end of Seder Birchat Hanehenim included Brachot on sights such as thunder, lightning, shooting stars and others. – Menachem Oct 30 '11 at 0:58
@yydl: If you can come up with links to those siddurim I will add them to the question and make it a more general question – Menachem Oct 30 '11 at 2:34
@Menachem I believe they're both only available offline. – yydl Oct 30 '11 at 2:38
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sometimes the acharonim second-guess the Shulchan Aruch based on other sources. Resolving different girsaot between the Shulchan Aruch and the Gemara would be the least surprising of those second-guesses.

share|improve this answer
can you give an example? – Menachem Oct 31 '11 at 16:42

The siddur is following the girsa of the Talmud and the Rambam. Not everything is done as the Shulchan Aruch says.

share|improve this answer
I wasn't aware that the Siddur could go against the Shulchan Aruch, do you have a source for that? – Menachem Oct 30 '11 at 2:10
Siddur Tehilat Hashem.... – avi Oct 30 '11 at 19:05
@Alex: Thanks, Doesn't that make the Shulchan Aruch's nusach more deliberate, since he's explicitly going against the Tur? – Menachem Oct 30 '11 at 23:49
The shulchan aruch is describing what was done in that era by educated people. He picks the option with 2 out of 3 votes unless common practice is different. – avi Oct 31 '11 at 11:47
Rif, Rosh, Rambam I believe. – avi Jun 24 '12 at 8:59

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.