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I was learning Yoreh Deah Hilchos Geirim and couldn't find any commentators explanation as to what should be done if the normal bris milah blessings were made for the circumcision of a convert.

It seems to me the convert is initiated into the Covenant of Avraham, so the blessing could fit as a bedieved, but I really want to know if there are any explanations as to what should be done in a case such as this.

Question:

  • What (if anything) would need to be done if a mohel made the blessings for a normal circumcision on a bris milah for a convert.

  • Would this make any problems for the bris?


EDIT: The blessings made for the bris milah of a convert is mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah, 268:5) and are:

בא"י אמ"ה אקב"ו למול את הגרים ואח"כ מברך בא"י אמ"ה אקב"ו למול את הגרים ולהטיף מהם דם ברית שאלמלא דם ברית לא נתקיימו שמים וארץ שנאמר אם לא בריתי יומם ולילה חקות שמים וארץ לא שמתי:‏

The gemora in Shabbos 137b has a different tradition, where it states the normal milah blessing for the first, then the extended second blessing as shown in the Shulchan Aruch.

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    AFAIK, an incorrect Bracha (or even no Bracha at all) almost never invalidates the action of a Mitzvah. Is there any reason why this case should be different? – Salmononius2 May 15 at 0:03
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    @salmononius maybe if he thought it was a baal teshuva, that's daas for the wrong mitzvah and might invalidate it. Also, you can ask what happens if he realizes it's the wrong bracha after kdei dibbur but before the bris - does it count bedieved or should he make a new one? – Heshy May 15 at 0:30
  • As far as I know, completely skipping the blessings would make even a normal bris require hatafas dam, @DoubleAA. It has to have the stated intent that it's l'shem mitzvas milah if nothing else, otherwise what makes it different than a medical circumcision? I was told that one could get a medical circumcision from a Jewish doctor l'shem mitzva, they would still need hatafas dam afterward for the sake of giyur. – yyb896 May 15 at 0:30
  • @yyb896 I have never heard of such a rule. Surely we might need Mitzvot Tzrikhot Kavana but that's no different from any other Mitzva like picking up a Lulav. No blessing makes no difference. – Double AA May 15 at 0:45
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    @yyb896 if the mohel isn't frum and he isn't doing the bris l'shem mitzvah, it seems the mahul may need hatafas dam even if the mohel did make the bracha. That's an entirely separate variable. – Daniel May 15 at 1:37
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Would that make any problems for the bris? -- Question

No.

Omitting the correct blessing (or conversely, the wrong blessing) will generally not invalidate the mitzvah.

(אבל תרומה משום ברכה הוא וברכה דרבנן ולא בברכה תליא מילתא (ברכות ט״ו

The Gemara (Brachos 15a) states that the validity of an action is not dependent on its blessing.

There are some potential exceptions where we find that omitting a blessing may (according to some opinions) invalidate the mitzva:

  • Birchas Hatorah

The Gemara (quoted above) seemingly mixes two different explanations to why omitting the blessing will not invalidate the mitzva:

  • (a) blessings are of rabbinic origin
  • (b) the obligation is not connected with the blessing.

The Tosfos HaRosh suggests that in cases where the blessing is of biblical origin, we would not say that the blessing and mitva are independent, and the omitting of the blessing would indeed invalidate the mitzvoh.
Therefore, the achronim (primarily the Dvar Avrohom Ch. 3) infer that by Birchas Hatorah, which is of biblical origin (at least according to the Ramban), omitting the blessing would result in invalidity of the mitzvah.

However, others disagree - either because the gemara gives two reasons, which could be independent, or that the blessing of Birchas Hatorah may not be a classic birchas hamitzvas, and therefore may be subject to different rules.

  • Shechita

Tosfos (Zevachim 32b) brings from 'Hilchos Eretz Yisroel' that the blessing on Shechita could be meakev in the validity of the shechita. See further discussion in Noda B'Yehuda (YD 1, Siman 2)

  • Sefiras HaOmer

The Vilna Gaon (Biur HaGra, 489) writes that one who counts Sefiras Haomer without the blessing must repeat it with its blessing. The reasoning is beyond the scope of this answer.

  • Hadlakas Neiros Chanuka

IIRC, The Yaavetz (מור וקציעה סי' תרע"ב) writes that the Brocho of Neiros Chanuka is meakev in the mitzvah of lighting. See Mikroei Kodesh (Chanuka §24) for further discussion [loose summary Where the mitzva is pirsumei nisa, the role of the brocho is more intrinsic than that of a regular birchas hamitzvas

  • But what if the wrong blessings reveal that the person's daas is wrong (i.e. he thinks the person was Jewish to start with)? That would definitely invalidate some mitzvos. I don't know about this one. – Heshy May 15 at 13:47
  • That is a very different question. As it is, I believe the Milah does not need to be 'lsheim geirus' (at least from the mohel's perspective. Not sure about that, though. – chortkov2 May 15 at 16:38
  • And its more likely to display a confusion about the correct brocho than prove that the mohel was unaware that it was a geirus. In almost every geirus, we can be pretty certain that the mohel understands the situation.. – chortkov2 May 15 at 16:39
  • No argument there. Personally I think it's the more interesting variation of this question. – Heshy May 15 at 16:57

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