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Most of the time when doing a mitzvah, we say a bracha on the performance of the mitzvah itself (eating matza, lighting hanukkah candles, etc). On seder night, one of the most famous mitzvot is drinking four cups of wine, yet we don't say a bracha on the mitzvah of four cups. We say a bracha ha'nehenin (Ashkenazim on all four cups, Sepharim on 1 and 3), but where is the bracha hamitzvah?

  • Are you looking for 'borei peri peri peri peri"? – Josh K Sep 11 at 18:49
  • You have clearly mistaken the 4 glasses for a Torah Mitzvah. It is not. See chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/937300/jewish/…. Many good behaviors are referred to as "Mitzvahs" but they aren't. And we don't say Brochos on good behaviours. In general, when reading Rambam it's worth to check the actual Mitzvos first at the beginning of a chapter. – Al Berko Sep 13 at 10:34
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    @AlBerko I think you're reading a word that isn't in there. The question is not limited to a mitzvah d'oraita. In fact, I deliberately made one of the examples I gave (Hanukkah candles) a d'rabanan. Eating maror is another very similar example of a d'rabanan on which we say a brachat hamitzvah. The Talmud's lashon is 'hayev' for the four cups, not 'tov'. Likewise the SA (OC 472), Mishnah Berurah, Rokeach (283), and many others make it clear that 4 cups is a mitzvah. (I'll also confess that I got this question from the Rokeach). – Popular Isn't Right Sep 18 at 22:15
  • if so, you might want to rephrase the question, stressing that it is Derabanan and similar to Marror that oes have a special Brocho. – Al Berko Sep 19 at 14:07
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In haaros.com there is an article in which the Piskei Teshuvos is quoted as stating the blessing on the wine (borei pri hagofen) is indeed also a like bircas hamitzvos. He is talking there about kiddush – the same should apply to the other cups at the seder.

ובפסקי תשובות (מהדורת תשע"א סי' רפט אות ג): "ולמרות שכל הקידוש הוא ברכת בורא פרי הגפן, מכל מקום דינו כברכת המצוות".

So we do say a bracha on the mitzvah of four cups. It's borei pri hagofen!

  • Piskey Teshuvot seems to be dealing only with the kiddush during the daytime (שכל הקידוש הוא ברכת בורא פרי הגפן). The Shulchan Aruch Harav also quoted in that article seems to apply this also to the kiddush of night, but his reason (שלא תקנוהו חכמים בשביל הנאת האדם אלא בשביל שצריך לזכרהו על היין) might apply only to Shabbat where the wine is a fulfillment of זכור את יום השבת but not to Pesach where the wine is a separate rabbinic commandment – b a Sep 20 at 10:31
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The answer provided by the Rokeach, from whom I must confess to having stolen the question (Rokeach 283), is that to say a bracha on a mitzvah it has to done at once. There is an interruption between the four cups so we can't say a bracha hamitzvah on it. That's also why we don't say a bracha on hallel at the seder. The Kol bo and the Abudraham also follow this approach.

למה אין אנו מברכין על ד' כוסות אקב"ו לשתות ד' כוסות. כמו על נר חנוכה שהוא מדרבנן. וגם אין מברכין על ההלל לגמור את ההלל דאמרינן בערכין שחייב בב' לילות אלא לפי שאינו עושה ביחד שכל הברכות דוקא כשעושין המצוה ביחד בלא הפסקה

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