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

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19
votes
7answers
2k views

Washing hands for eating pizza

How many slices are required to make you responsible to wash on Pizza?
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Bracha for Quinoa

What Bracha do you make on Quinoa?
17
votes
3answers
269 views

תהלת ה' ידבר פי - what's the origin?

In between the 'Shir HaMaalot' that precedes birchat hamazon and the the blessings themselves, there are a few psukim beginning תהלת ה' ידבר פי . Some people add these, and some don't. What's the ...
16
votes
3answers
669 views

What Bracha should you say on a Hurricane?

What Bracha should you say on a hurricane? Oseh Ma'aseh Vereishis? You say Birchas Gomel if you travel over the sea; do you also say it if the sea travels over you?
16
votes
1answer
480 views

Blessing the Children on Friday Night

I have noticed that many families (including my own) have the custom for the father to bless all the children on Friday night before kiddush. When and where did this custom originate, and by whom, ...
15
votes
2answers
336 views

Can anyone explain the meaning of this amulet / inscription?

Right before my grandfather went away to fight in WWII, a rabbi in Munkács (מונקאטש) gave him a small cloth container that had a piece of parchment in it, as a kind of amulet. The piece of paper has ...
14
votes
3answers
265 views

Why are there two different forms of the mitzvah brachot (“l-” and “al”)?

Some mitzvah brachot are of the form ...vitzivanu "l'X" ("to X", infinitive verb), and others are of the form "al X" ("upon X", gerundive verb). I particularly noticed this during Sukkot with two ...
14
votes
4answers
205 views

How to say go-al Yisroel before Shacharis Amida

When the leader gets to just before the Shacharis Amida, how should he say the blessing go-al Yisroel: aloud or saying the word Yisroel so the end of it cannot be heard?
14
votes
3answers
281 views

How long can you say Asher Yotzar if you forgot?

If you forgot to say Asher Yotzar and remember a while later, is there a time limit as to when you are allowed to say it?
14
votes
1answer
220 views

Rainbow in water spray

You can often see a rainbow in a spray of water such as from sprinkler irrigation. Is the brocha for a rainbow applicable in that case? Also, does a rainbow that comes from a prism get a brocha too?
13
votes
3answers
163 views

Relationship between wearing a kippa and reciting a blessing

Before I started wearing a Kippa all the time, the people around me and I had the reflex to cover our head when saying the name of G-d or when reciting anything holy. Since the mitzvah is to wear it ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What Bracha do you make on Sushi?

Really, as simple as that. What Bracha do you make on Sushi? Is the rice the main part and therefore a Mezonos, or is it just a toful in which case I guess a shehakol?
12
votes
3answers
289 views

I heard not to say “Good Shabbos” after mincha. Is it true, and what defines mincha?

I heard from somewhere that, on Shabbos, one does not say "Good Shabbos" after mincha. I am not sure whether it's in a halacha sefer somewhere (I tried looking) or just a minhag. First of all, is ...
12
votes
3answers
440 views

Why aren't Purim and Channuka considered a violation of לֹא תֹסִפוּ?

It says in Devarim 4;2: לֹא תֹסִפוּ עַל הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא תִגְרְעוּ מִמֶּנּוּ לִשְׁמֹר אֶת מִצְוֹת יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם ...
12
votes
1answer
275 views

Bringing wallet with benscher into bathroom

If someone has one of the small "pocket benschers" that slide into his wallet, is it a problem for him to walk into the bathroom with his wallet in his pocket?
12
votes
1answer
129 views

Bracha after an earthquake

Per the Artscroll Siddur after an earthquake we make a Bracha "Oseh Maaseh Breishis". Up to how long after the earthquake can you make this Bracha? (sources please)
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Why don't we thank God for making us men/women?

In the brachos we say every morning, men thank God for "not making them a woman" (and women thank God for "creating them according to their needs"). Why don't both men and women just thank God for ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Proper recitation of Hamakom Yenachem

Is the proper phrase to console a mourner always the plural המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים or should it be changed depending on whom it is said to (singluar, feminine, etc.)?
12
votes
1answer
209 views

Who knows science?

On whom does one recite the blessing "ברכת שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" (the blessing recited on non-Jewish scientists)? Does he have to be a Ph.D? Does he have to have inventions to his name? Did he have ...
12
votes
2answers
339 views

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? Why or why not?

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? What about someone who may have been an oved avoda zarah? Someone who is definitely such? I'm asking because I've seen such discussion ...
11
votes
3answers
322 views

Do we say a mitzvah bracha before reading Kohelet? What about other (non-Purim) megillot?

I had been under the impression that for all five of the megillot you say a bracha before the reading, and this is the practice I've observed. When preparing for Shabbat chol hamoed Sukkot this year ...
11
votes
5answers
584 views

Mezonos ? Bread

Is there such a thing as Mezonos bread?
11
votes
3answers
420 views

Peanut butter Bracha

What Brochah or Blessing is said when eating plain Peanut butter? Does the chunky variety (with pieces) versus regular make a difference? I am referring to a case where it is eaten on a spoon, with ...
11
votes
2answers
380 views

Should you say HaGomel after a flight?

Should someone say the HaGomel blessing after taking an airplane flight? I seem to remember this being the practice, but honestly the average commercial airplane flight these days is 10 times safer ...
11
votes
1answer
195 views

What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse?

What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse? I will be in Nevada next week and would like to make a blessing over the May 21 Solar Eclipse. Thanks!
11
votes
3answers
584 views

Where did the “different bracha for mishloach manos” idea come from?

Rambam and Shulchan Aruch say you can send two types of meat as mishloach manos on Purim. Yet somehow I (and many other people, apparently) were taught that the two different items have to be in two ...
11
votes
3answers
333 views

Shalom Aleichem in Kiddush Levanah

Why do we say Shalom Aliechem in Kiddush Levanah? And what should one do if there are no other people around (or not enough people around)?
11
votes
1answer
293 views

Should I say “amen” to a malformed bracha?

If I hear somebody substantially mispronounce a bracha, should I say amen anyway (recognizing the intent) or remain silent? I'm not talking about nuances like pronouncing 'ayin or distinguishing ...
11
votes
2answers
286 views

What is the bracha on “cookies and cream” flavor ice cream?

I saw here that Rav Belsky holds the following: One of the flavors of Klein's parve ice cream is "Cookies and Cream" which contains cookie crumbs or bits which are sprinkled through areas of ...
11
votes
2answers
165 views

Pool and Tzitzis

Do I need to make another Bracha on putting on tzitzis after I get out of the pool?
11
votes
3answers
253 views

December 25 Greetings

Is it permitted say any of the following to a Christian colleague: 1) Merry Christmas 2) Happy Xmas 3) Happy Holidays I am specifically referring to initiating a greeting not responding to such a ...
10
votes
3answers
309 views

Halachic status of kamut

Khorasan wheat, often known by one popular brand name thereof, KAMUT®, is an ancient grain that is related to modern-day wheat, but has a number of differences. Does it have the halachic status of ...
10
votes
3answers
538 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

Why do we say in Birchas HaShachar Shelo Asani Goi - why do we not say SheAsani Yehudi or SheAsani Yisrael?
10
votes
2answers
157 views

“שליט״א” only for certain people

Living people sometimes have "שליט״א" added after their respective names. This means, roughly, "may he live a good, long life". That seems like a nice blessing for anyone; yet, in my experience, only ...
10
votes
1answer
128 views

7 Seas or The Great Ocean?

Seeing the ocean warrants the recital of a blessing. (Assume for this question like the opinions that the proper bracha is שעשה את הים הגדול as opposed to עושה מעשה בראשית.) It is only recited if one ...
10
votes
1answer
110 views

Making a Bracha on disliked foods

If you, for some reason, must eat food you despise and will gain no enjoyment from it do you still need to make a bracha?
10
votes
4answers
346 views

Shehecheyanu on new website

If one launches a new website, can he recite Shehecheyanu? Or perhaps Hatov Ve-Hametiv, if others derive benefit from it?
10
votes
1answer
102 views

Why is the beracha on meat 'only' שהכל?

The order of berachot before eating foods are as follows (Mishna Berurah 211:35): HaMotzei, Mezonot, Hagafen, HaEtz, HaAdama, and Shehakol. I seems as though the more חשוב the food is, the greater ...
10
votes
2answers
284 views

When I wake up before Alot Hshachar and won't go back to sleep, what can/can't I do?

If I wake up early in the morning, like any time from 2am to 6am, before Alot Hashachar, and I'm pretty sure I'll start my day and not go back to sleep, at least not before a possible afternoon nap, ...
9
votes
4answers
267 views

Source for pairing l'chaim with alcohol?

What is the source or reason that a l'chaim is often said over a drink of alcohol instead of any other beverage, or over other foods, or even over no food at all?
9
votes
3answers
151 views

Earliest source for “Baruch Hu U'Baruch Sh'mo”

What is the earliest source for saying "Baruch Hu U'Baruch Shmo" when hearing someone say the Name of HaShem in a blessing?
9
votes
1answer
166 views

Upon whom would one make this blessing?

Upon whom today would you make the bracha - Baruch Attah Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam She’chalak Mei’chochmaso Li’rei’av, that He bestowed of His wisdom to those who fear Him (Gemara Brachos 58a)? ...
9
votes
2answers
176 views

Bracha for the transit of Venus?

Venus is transiting today for the last time until 2117 (or 5878, if you prefer). Is there a specific bracha that should be made upon witnessing this spectacular event?
9
votes
2answers
270 views

bracha on tefillin while sitting

The shulchan aruch apparently writes (by hilchos tzitzis) that one should stand while reciting birchas hamitzvah. Tefillin are a mitzvah. So why is the Sfardic minhag to sit while putting them on and ...
9
votes
3answers
409 views

why do we say Pesach seder brachot both nights?

During the Pesach seder, but not during the rest of Pesach, we say b'rachot for the mitzvot of matzah and maror. (I mean the "asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav" b'rachot.) So it seems that we are only ...
9
votes
3answers
272 views

“Baruch shekivanti…”

There is a phrase of self-compliment people use when they find that they have independently arrived at the same conclusion as someone great. It begins with the words "ברוך שכיוונתי", translated ...
9
votes
2answers
259 views

Why don't we follow the Shulchan Aruch's nusach of the blessing on a rainbow?

Background: 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
339 views

Polyphasic Sleep and Halacha

I recently read an article on polyphasic sleep and I'm quite interested in experimenting with it. The article advises the Uberman approach which advocates 20-30 minute naps every four hours, meaning ...
9
votes
1answer
485 views

What are the conditions for bread earning the bracha of HaMotzi?

I've seen bread made with juice on airplanes and the insert says these are "mezonos" rolls. And, as we know, matzah is "HaMotzi." In the first instance, it looks like bread but we treat it like ...
9
votes
1answer
194 views

How come Sepharadim say “Boreh peri haGEFen” but “Shelo Asani AVed”

I think Hacham Ovadia has a footnote in Hazon Ovadia on Pesach (and probably elsewhere) in which he discusses why we don't use the pausal form of gafen instead of gefen. He writes (if i remember ...