When lighting Hanukkah candles in the synagogue, we say a beracha "asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav.." on a minhag. Unlike kiddush in shul, and early counting of the omer in shul, nobody would say that one actually fulfills his obligation to light by doing so in shul (unless the person in question sleeps in the shul that night).

Are there other examples of saying this beracha on fulfilling a minhag?

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    Note that the Rambam holds you never say a beracha on a minhag. – Ariel K Dec 21 '11 at 15:04
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    There is one Minhag that we do not make a Bracha on - which is the Minhag of Arava. – Gershon Gold Dec 21 '11 at 15:08
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    And many question the Shulchan Aruch's ruling on this since he paskens that we don't say a bracha on Rosh Chodesh hallel. The Aruch haaShulchan tries to answer this with 2 factors that affect the ruling: a) some may be sleeping in the shul; b) Shul is the main mitzva now that we light inside. – YDK Dec 21 '11 at 16:06
  • @GershonGold, there are many. "K'rias Yam Suf" on Pesach, eating dairy on Shavuos (and Chanuka), eating simanim on R"H, etc., etc. – msh210 Dec 21 '11 at 19:14
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    i always heard that lighting hanukiah in shul is because you have a minyan for persuei nisa - the main reason for lighting the lights at all. – Charles Koppelman Jul 2 '12 at 19:02

At the start and end of hallel on Rosh Chodesh and the last days of Pesach some have the minhag to say the bracha for hallel.

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    ...where "some" includes almost all Ashk'nazim, if I'm not mistaken. – msh210 Dec 21 '11 at 16:44
  • @msh210 that is true ^_^ – Naftali aka Neal Dec 21 '11 at 16:45

Tosfot in a Sukkah 44b suggests that all the brachot we make as part of second day of yom tov are based on a minhag (basing himself on Beitza 4b).

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    I note this includes the birkot hamitzva of matza and maror. – Double AA Dec 21 '11 at 18:01
  • ...and shofar, I guess, and halel on Simchas Tora and 7 Sivan? – msh210 Dec 21 '11 at 19:17
  • @msh210 Tosfot actually explicitly excludes shofar because he thinks second day RH is actually an earlier takkana (evidenced by it being kept even in Israel). Regarding Hallels, I suppose so although it's possible that saying hallel whenever constitutes some sort of mitzva and we only avoid it say on rosh chodesh to avoid saying it too often. so a second day yom tov may just be an excuse to say a real halel. The same argument could be given to suggesting the bracha al mikra megilah for those who say it when reading rut, shir hashirim and kohelet from a klaf. but that's for a different question – Double AA Dec 21 '11 at 19:35
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    @msh210 I found the different question :) See here: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10695/… – Double AA Dec 23 '11 at 8:34

Some say a bracha upon lighting candles on Yom Kippur night. We see that is purely a minhag based on the mishna Pesachim 4:4


Brachos on a Haftora by Mincha - The Shibolei Leket Siman 174 says that these Brachos are on a Minhag.

  • +1 for creativity. To be fair the question asked for brachot that say asher kiddishanu bemitzvotav.. – Double AA Dec 21 '11 at 15:18

Our minhag is that a woman can become a Niddah during the days after birth which according to the law set forth in the Talmud she would automatically be tahor (Shulchan Aruch YD 194:1). The Chasam Sofer says that since it is our current practice to make a bracha on a minhag - and he cites examples: 1) Hallel [on Rosh Chodesh] 2) Yom Tov sheini [kiddush etc.] 3) Marror [post destruction of the Beis HaMikdash] 4) Hadlakas Neiros on Yom Tov sheini and Yom Kippur - says the Chasam Sofer we can add this case to the list, and such a woman may make a bracha upon her immersion in the mikva. The Chasam Sofer is in YD 191 and is cited by the Pischei Teshuva 194:2.

  • You mean her immersion after day 40/80? But isn't she still tamei midina because she didn't immerse after day 7/14? – Double AA Jul 2 '12 at 21:00
  • @DoubleAA per the Mechaber and Rema she does immerse after 7/14 and relations are subsequently permitted. The minhag I am referring to here is that we (for the last 600 years or so) consider ראייות during the yemei tohar to be tamei. – Dov F Jul 2 '12 at 22:20
  • Thanks to your post I finally found an Aruch HaShulchan which I knew discussed brachas on tevilot based on minhag and I had looked for unsuccessfully when the question was first asked. He turns out to be talking about your case exactly. See YD 200:1 – Double AA Jul 2 '12 at 23:03
  • @DoubleAA nice! – Dov F Jul 3 '12 at 0:43

Per the Rif Brachos Perek 4 Daf 19a Tefilas Arvis is a Reshus, however since we are Noheg to Daven it has become a Chov. Yet we say all the Brachos of Shemona Esrei.

  • That's not a bracha on a mitzvah, and it was always a reshus anyways. – Ariel K Dec 21 '11 at 15:05
  • If it is a Reshus then the reason we Daven is because it is a Minhag. – Gershon Gold Dec 21 '11 at 15:29
  • Even before the minhag, it was good to daven ma'ariv, the minhag doesnt add anything. however, by rosh chodesh, if its just a minhag to say, it's a chidush that we say "asher kidashanu" on it. – Ariel K Dec 21 '11 at 16:15
  • And by Rosh Chodesh it is also good to say Hallel. – Gershon Gold Dec 21 '11 at 16:16
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    So according to you we could include any tefillat nedava! Also, we could include shechita -- there is no obligation to eat meat! Aslo tzitzit -- who wears four cornered clothes? The fact is, it does not answer the question. It is not a birkat hamitzva on a minhag. Hence it is not useful. A downvote means "It is not useful." That's what it says when you hover your mouse there. – Double AA Dec 21 '11 at 16:41

Rav Moshe Stav from KBY once gave a lecture on this topic ("Bracha on Minhag"). Baruch HaShem, a good friend of mine shared with me a recording of it in MP3 format that you can download here. Unfortunately, I don't really have time right now to listen to it in order to transcribe the main points and sources he brings down into this answer, but if someone would kindly do that and edit it into my answer in a way that is simple and understandable, then that would be much appreciated by all. (Thanks in advance!)


Per the Gemara in Megila 21b מקום שנהגו לברך - יברך, ושלא לברך - לא יברך: אמר אביי: "לא שנו אלא לאחריה אבל לפניה מצוה לברך" - so the Brachos after the Megila are a Minhag.

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    This is not a bracha on a minhag; it's a bracha that is a minhag! Reading the megillah is itself obligatory. – Double AA Dec 21 '11 at 15:13
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    I agree, but that doesn't warrant a down-vote, but I think rather a non-vote. – Jeremy Dec 21 '11 at 15:54

Lighting ner shel shabbat candles. It is not a mitzvah, rather it is performed to counter the belief that it is forbidden to benefit from lights during shabbat. (Karaites observed shabbat in the dark without candles)

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    Can you provide a source for this? That's not how I understood it. I thought it was a mitzva to ensure peace and harmony in one's household at night when no other lights could be lit. – Double AA Jan 29 '12 at 22:42
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    I couldn't find a source, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is wrong. No. Another thing similar to this is the custom to eat warm food, to say that the fire/heat isn't inherently problematic on shabbat. – Adam Mosheh Jan 30 '12 at 0:39

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