Questions about short prayers called b'rachos ("benedictions" or "blessings"), generally said to thank God for specific events.

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Losing concentration in the middle of a berakhah arukhah

It is a fact that all berakhoth require kawwanah (le-khatehhilah). However there are berakhoth for which kawwanah is me'aqqev - and it is this type of berakhah that is the primary subject of this ...
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What bracha is Seitan/wheat gluten?

What bracha does one make on wheat gluten, a.k.a. Seitan? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seitan I'm aware of this opinion saying it's Shehakol http://www.yeshiva.co/ask/?id=113 I'm curious though if ...
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How is one allowed to say a bracha in a Mikvah?

There's an argument (In Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 200) if women say their Bracha in the Mikva itself. According to the Sefardim, they do it clothed (but can do it with water up until the neck), ...
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Does Birkas Hamazon eliminate the need for bracha acharona on foods eaten before?

Situation: One ate something that would require a bracha achrona besides Birkas Hamazon (let's say an Al Hamichya or Borei Nefashos). But one carelessly moved on to eating bread before making that ...
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What should you do if you washed and planned to have a meal with bread but realized that the bread went bad?

Say you had in mind to have a regular meal with bread. After washing and saying homotzi lechem min harataz and taking a bite of bread, you realize that the bread is bad. Now all you have left to eat ...
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Does a sotah make a bracha?

Before drinking the sotah water does the woman make a blessing? If so would it be shahakol or something else?
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47 views

Beracha achrona on yogurt?

Do you make a boreh nefashot on yogurt according to sepharadim? Is it treated like a liquid, like ice cream, or as a solid? This is in relations to the time needed to eat it. If it's liquid, you ...
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67 views

Havdalah: mistake in the bracha

If a person saying havdalah began the last bracha (benediction) without mentioning sheim umalchus (God's name and dominion) i.e. he said ברוך אתה השם המבדיל בין קודש לחול וכו׳, skipping אלוקינו מלך ...
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Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them

A Mikvah can be used to purify humans or certain vessels which have contracted ritual impurity (Rambam Mikvaot 1 (English)). When humans use the Mikvah to purify themselves they recite a blessing ...
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Why does Mishneh Torah have Shem uMalchut for Yishtabach?

I was looking into the Seder haTefillot as well as other siddurim based on it, and something always bothered me about Birkat Yishtabach, which as most of you know "closes" the Pesuqei deZimra section ...
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Why Doesn't Rasag Mention Olives In The Five Fruits From Eretz Yisrael?

In his siddur, Rav Sa`adya haGaon (Rasa"g) mentions only four of the five species of peroth ha-ilan which are special to Eress Yisrael, leaving out zethim ("olives"). He does so in two places. ...
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Answering Amen to quiet Berachoth

According to this answer citing RaM"A (124:11), you can answer Amen to any Berachah even if you don't hear it, so long as you know which one is being said. Does this apply only to Tefillah BeTzibur ...
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329 views

Why ad meah v'esrim?

Why do we bless people with "ad meah v'esrim"? Aren't we supposed to believe moshiach will come by then, and there will be eternal life (according to some opinions)? Thus by giving a blessing for a ...
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Use of speaking “Baruch HaShem” in 1492 Spain

I am writing a play that takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. A Rabbi is walking home from the King's court and his belongings are tossed to the ground by hooligans. A young Spanish girl picks ...
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How are Birchos Krias Shema blessings on Krias Shema?

The Ramban (Brachos 11b) writes that Birkas Kriyas Shema are blessings over the Mitzva of saying Shema. What's in the text of Birkas Kriyas Shema that has to do with Shema? It talks about angels, ...
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Why don't we say Baruch Hu UVoruch Shmo more often?

I notice in Minyanim that I participate in that when the Chazan repeats the Shemonei Esrei and gets to "Baruch Ata Hashem", nearly everyone says "Baruch Hu UVoruch Shemo". Yet, those same people skip ...
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minimum halachic definition of bread

This is sort of the counter question to Mezonos bread. At what point does a grain based admixture transition between bread and non bread? To clarify: The general position of Sephardic Jewry is that ...
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Should one make a bracha on seeing geological arches, hoodoos or balanced rocks?

I am considering visiting Arches National Park in Utah. This park has several "arch" rock formations and a few hoodoos and a balanced rock. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 228:1 states that one should make a ...
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Different endings of Yishtabach

I have heard at least four nuschaos (liturgies) for the very end of Yishtabach between habocheir b'shirei zimrah (who chooses musical songs of praise) and chai/chei* haolamim (life/life-giver of the ...
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What's the definition of “not now” for priority-of-b'racha purposes?

Orach Chayim 211 is about what food to recite a blessing over (that is, and eat) first when one wishes to eat two foods. It's clear that (except according to the Rambam cited in 211:2) one does not ...
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Al Hamichya in one room and al hagefen in another room

If you eat cake in Room A and then proceed to drink wine in Room B both bracha achronas must be made in the rooms in which the food was eaten. Where and how do you make a bracha achrona. Here are the ...
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What is the shitah of the Rambam regarding mevarekh mossi havero [מברך מוציא חברו]?

Before asking the question, I need to give some background information: The Rambam in Hilkhoth Berakhoth 1:11 says, כָּל הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ בְּרָכָה מִן הַבְּרָכוֹת מִתְּחִלָּתָהּ וְעַד סוֹפָהּ, ...
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Leaving the sukkah when it rains, making a bracha upon returning

Someone had started eating in a sukkah (and made a "leishev") then after some time it started to rain. They moved into their house and waited then for the rain to stop. When the rain stopped they ...
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Is the celebration of salvation affected by the deaths of those who were not saved?

There is a obligation to thank G-d when one is saved from a life-threatening situation. Some have a custom to publicly celebrate, often with a festive meal. Some even make it a yearly occurrence. ...
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82 views

Why do we make a blessing on the blossoming of fruit trees (birkat hailanot)?

What is the reason that we make a blessing on fruit trees which are about to blossom, known as birkat hailanot? Is there something unique about the potential blossoming of fruit trees versus any other ...
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an adult's responding to a child's sneeze with a blessing, or vice versa

The halacha states (Mishnah Brurah 230: 7) that one should respond to a sneeze with a blessing and the person who sneezed and was blessed should return with a blessing in kind. this is not done if you ...
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Is it better to skip Asher Yotzar, or to say it without washing?

Ideally, one would always do ritual handwashing (netilas yadayim) and say Asher Yotzar after going to the bathroom. (Source: Shulchan Aruch OC 4:18 for handwashing; here for asher yatzar) However, in ...
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Two brachos one mikvah

If I made a bracha and immersed two vessels, and then someone came over and asked me to immerse their vessel as well, since I did not have their vessel in mind, do I say a new bracha?
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Leaving and coming back while still eating

There is a halacha that a change of location necessitates a new beracha. However, if one is in the middle of eating something while they change location, they can finish that item without making a ...
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What is the blessing on dough?

Shulchan Aruch discusses the blessing on baked dough (various places - Hamotzi), fried dough (O.C. 168:10), raw grain kernels (Ha'adama - O.C. 208:4), flour (shehakol - 208:5), and various cooked ...
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Is wine from a Miracle Machine subject to Stam Yenam?

This article describes a kickstarter for a machine to make wine quickly out of grape juice concentrates. My question is twofold: Is such wine subject to stam yenam? Is it even Borei pri hagafen?
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How much time must pass before making a second beracha on the same food?

If you made a beracha on a food or drink item and you took a sampling of it, how much time must pass until the next sampling for you to be required to make an additional beracha?
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Who says צִוָּה vs. צַוֵּה at a b'ris?

The passage "על כן בשכר זאת קל חי חלקנו צורנו צוה להציל ידידות שארנו משחת" is part of one of the blessings recited at a b'ris mila. Pische S'shuva (Yore Dea 265:4) cites a difference of opinion as to ...
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Amen to another's blessing while you are in the middle of a verse containing a curse

Sometimes it happens that you find yourself in the middle of a posuk containg a curse - for example Dvarim 11:17 And the wrath of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will close off the ...
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72 views

Bracha on seeing indirect light from lightning?

As this question mentions, one should say the bracha if the sky lights up, even if one does not see the bolt. What if one is facing away from the window when lightning strikes and the light fills the ...
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Sofek in Bircas HaTorah — why not say all of the brachas?

The M"B brings in the beginning of Siman 47 from the Shagas Aryeh (Siman 24-25) that if one is in sofek (doubt) if they said Bircas HaTorah then they should go back and say the bracha however only the ...
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Answering “amen” to “Ahavas olam” in the evening but not in the morning

Mishna B'rura 91:16 cites a difference of opinion regarding whether one should respond "amen" to the shatz's (leader's) blessing immediately before "Sh'ma" or should, on the contrary, finish saying ...
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Speaking in the middle of Havdallah

Someone was making havdallah and, after saying the bracha on besamim (spices) and then smelling them, exclaimed "Ah! A mechayah!". Is this considered a hefsek (interruption) in the havdallah? Meaning ...
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101 views

What does one do if he makes a mistake in Brachos before Birkas HaTorah?

If one makes a mistake in saying a Bracha (like he started saying a bracha and remembered that he shouldn't say it) after saying "Baruch Atah Hashem", he should finish it off with "lamdeini chukecha" ...
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Berachah LeVatalah (blessing in vain) retroactively

Can a Berachah be made LeVatalah retroactively? What if you eat something that is spoiled, not realizing it until a bite or two in? You would not make a Berachah on spoiled food. But if you did, ...
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Brachos and Amen “parties”

What is the source for brachos and amen parties wherein a group of people sit together and take turns making various brachot and answering amen? Do these events violate any halachot?
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Shechiyanu on seeing Kotel

The Rivevos Ephraim 4:54:11 wonders if one says a shechiyanu upon seeing the kotel for the first time,and he brings a source who quotes the opinion of Rav Kook who held one is obligated to make a ...
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What is the ruling for a bracha's usage being extended across different food forms?

There's a tricky halacha with brachos that I couldn't figure out. It goes something like this: If you make a bracha on one food item without having others in mind, if more of the food item remains in ...
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What type of “rainbows” require a bracha?

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 229:1 says: הרואה הקשת אומר בא"י אמ"ה זוכר הברית נאמן בבריתו וקיים במאמרו. ואסור להסתכל בו ביותר: One who sees the rainbow says, "Blessed are you, God our ...
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Is a beracha given in writing effective?

To whatever extent giving someone a beracha is effective, does a beracha given in writing have the same effect? Is the efficacy of the beracha somehow tied specifically to speech?
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Should I say the Bracha ברוך…שככה לו בעולמו when I marvel at fall foliage?

Follow up on Bracha on beautiful people: The beauty of fall foliage is sometimes stunning. The beauty of foliage is "general" meaning that I see a hill with a group of trees and the whole group ...
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What bracha do you make on zucchini flowers or the curly “lettuce” used for garnish?

During the past few years I have seen caterers decorate platters with zucchini flowers. Similarly. many platters have some type of dark green or purple lettuce or cabbage (I'm not sure what kind of ...
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56 views

Why is there such fervor to say the blessing on blossoming fruit trees?

People seem to go to great lengths to be able to say the blessing on blossoming fruit trees. I'm not aware of any such efforts made to observe other phenomena that would require a blessing, such as ...
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Chazals intention behind bedikat hametz

Nowdays, it seems to be standard for jewish family's to begin cleaning their houses days before Pesach. By the time bedikat hametz arrives, the houses are usually hametz free. From reading Talmud ...
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Secular sources with Torah wisdom

Some secular books have a hefty amount of wisdom that we find in our Torah sources. For example, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has a lot of almost verbatim lessons from Pirkei Avos, although ...