questions about short prayers called b'rachos ("benedictions" or "blessings")

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4
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3answers
241 views

“Amen” to informal blessings and wishes

There are various strict rules regulating the manner and timing of saying "Amen" following a blesing. In fact, the Gemara (Berachot 47a) lists some pretty severe punishments for people who violate ...
10
votes
1answer
262 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
161 views

Is there an exhaustive list of astronomical/environmental events for which there are blessings?

Inspired by: What Bracha should you say on a Hurricane? What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse? Bracha for the transit of Venus? What b'racha do you say on seeing the Aurora Borealis (if ...
11
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5answers
537 views

Mezonos ? Bread

Is there such a thing as Mezonos bread?
8
votes
1answer
290 views

Do married men stop saying a bracha on their *tallit katan*?

This question concerns the Ashkenazic practice. I was always told that the tallit katan (worn under clothing, every day, starting in preschool years) got the bracha of al mitzvat tzitzit, but the ...
8
votes
2answers
248 views

Berachos over food mixtures

My breakfast regularly presents me with a beracha conundrum. It usually consists of a bowl of bran flakes (mezonos), often sprinkled with raisins (etz) and/or sunflower seeds (adama), and ...
8
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2answers
399 views

Why do you make a Bracha on seeing a monkey?

Why do you make the Bracha Mishaneh Habriyos on seeing a monkey?
10
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2answers
277 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)?
5
votes
3answers
221 views

Continuing to drink a Beverage after Birchas HaMazon?

Perhaps this is a simple matter that I should be embarrassed not to know (which I am even if it isn't because I need to learn hilchos b'rachos better and always forget to look this question up) ...
11
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1answer
193 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!
8
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2answers
201 views

How seriously do we take the finger-inspection in Havdala?

After saying the blessing over fire during Havdala, we do something (customs vary) involving looking at our fingers by the light of the Havdala candle. I'm wondering how seriously we take this part of ...
7
votes
1answer
80 views

Hefsek (interruption) between the blessing on food and eating the food

Is it considered a hefsek to play with one's fingers or silverware or such while waiting for the challah to be passed around on shabbat, after the blessing made on it? Even though it isn't talking, it ...
6
votes
2answers
171 views

Tallit Katan and Tallit brachot

Why is that when you wake up you put on a Tallit Katan and then you go to shul and put on a Tallit Gadol? How is it that you can say two different brachot? If it is in fact, that each peice of ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Why Does Hashem Bless Us Like Efraim And Menashe?

I know there are lots of reason's why but What is the main reason Hashem made it so that we get blessed like them?
4
votes
2answers
136 views

Is there a blessing on anointing?

Based on this question and the ensuant discussion, I would like to know if a person makes a blessing upon anointing himself for pleasure. If not, why not?
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Beracha on lighting yom tov candles : before or after?

There are two minhagim concerning the time the beracha should be said on lighting yom tov candles for a woman, before or after (like shabbos neros). I've read arguments like these : before, because ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

"Oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh?

Someone made the brocho of “oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh? What sources deal with this issue please? (I have posed the shaaloh to my Rav.)
19
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7answers
2k views

Washing hands for eating pizza

How many slices are required to make you responsible to wash on Pizza?
9
votes
4answers
243 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?
5
votes
7answers
167 views

All the many, many details

I understand a number of reasons why the Jewish community keeps so many rules to the level of minutiae. But why SUCH a level of intricacy in some of these laws? I looked through a large book on the ...
15
votes
1answer
431 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, ...
12
votes
3answers
420 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
259 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
3answers
398 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
197 views

Proper bracha on Chanuka candles: lhadlik ner (shel) Chanukah

Why do some people have the custom to say, in the blessing on the Chanukah lights, the word "Shel" before "Chanukah" and some do not? And I have been told some people put the words together as ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
515 views

What is mazonot?

Could someone kindly explain to me what Mazonot means? I recenlty attended a charity do where the bread rolls were described as mazonot. Another person at the table explained to me that this meant ...
4
votes
6answers
763 views

What's with Kiddush Levana?

In general Kiddush Lavanah has always seemed to me to be akin to "Avodas Kochavim" - so does anyone know of a satisfying answer that works with Occam's razor? More specifically: We say Just as I can ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

Rainbow: Making a Bracha on a bad Omen

As discussed in some earlier questions Rainbows are a bad Omen yet we are Halachicly commanded to make a Bracha on it. The Gemara in Chagigah (16A) says you may not gaze at one so how do you make the ...
15
votes
3answers
612 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?
14
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4answers
198 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?
13
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3answers
231 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
265 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?
11
votes
3answers
288 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
353 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
162 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)? ...
8
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1answer
100 views

Beracha on Intravenous

There Gemara Berachot 35 says "anyone who enjoys from this world without a Beracha is stealing." Does one make a Beracha on intravenous feeding?
7
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3answers
199 views

Which comes first, borei nefashot, or me'en shalosh?

Which berachah acharonah should one say first: borei nefashot, or me'en shalosh? (Please cite your sources.)
7
votes
3answers
321 views

What is the beracha on gnocchi?

According to Wikipedia, this is Gnocchi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnocchi How do I know which beracha to make considering it is made from potatoes and is not a normal pasta? Should I just stick ...
6
votes
2answers
132 views

Brochos Listed on Food Packages

I noticed that many times there are Brochos listed on food packages (e.g. "ברכתו מזונות"). Is there any standard with regards to who is supplying the Halachic data? Is it generally the Hashgacha ...
6
votes
3answers
141 views

Amen for Recorded Brochos

Many times I listen to recorded Shiurim (lectures) where the speaker says a Brocho (usually Shehakol on a drink). Should one answer Amen to such Brochos?
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Is the midrash about the moon and sun being the same size intended literally?

The Rambam in his introduction to perek Chelek discusses midrashic literalist, and classifies different approaches of different groups to midrash. He writes: You should know that as to ...
4
votes
2answers
29 views

Lechem Mishneh - Do both challot have to be touching?

When holding the Lechem Mishneh together while making the bracha - Do both challot have to be touching ? What if one challah was wrapped in cellophane or in a bag (yet held next to the other challah ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

What b'rachot do you say (and when) if you drink intermittently all day?

I know people who drink water, tea, or coffee intermittently all day long, not just as part of a meal. In that situation, when would you say what b'rachot? Assume you made shehakol before the first ...
4
votes
1answer
163 views

Should one say amen to an unnecessary bracha made by a child on the autism spectrum?

If a very verbal (often too verbal) 12 year old child on the autism spectrum has trouble speaking appropriately and particularly likes to say a bracha when he wants to and not necessarily when it's ...
4
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3answers
252 views

Amen on the Telephone

Can you answer amen to a Baracha that was made over the telephone?
3
votes
3answers
197 views

No Blessing on marital relations?

Yebamoth 61b discusses the positive commandment of being fruitful and multiplying. As far as I am aware, one makes no blessing before intercourse. why not? Please cite sources!
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Making a Bracha on pleasurable things

A couple lines up from the bottom of the first daf of Keitzad Mevarchin, the Gemarah gives its reason for making Brachas. Its answer (my translation) is "It is forbidden for a person to get pleasure ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

“HagGomel” and Sefer Torah

The widespread practice seems to say the beracha of HagGomel in the presence of a Sefer Torah. Is this a halacha or a minhag? What is the source for this practice? Furthermore, what is the ...
3
votes
1answer
254 views

Where can I get “Afarsimon” oil?

The Shulchan Aruch rules in OC 216:4 that there is a special blessing to say upon smelling "Afarsimon" oil. (The blessing is ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם בּוֹרֵא שֶמֶן עָרֵב) The Mishna Berura there, ...