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B"H Brochos are said before doing (almost?) all mitzvos, specifically those connected with a specific action.

Before getting engaged to a woman there is a brocho.

It is a mitzvah that if one is to divorce one's wife it should be done with a get, which needs to be connected to a specific action of giving it to her etc.

Why is no brocho made before giving it to her?

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  • R' Hershel Schachter has a shiur where he quotes one opinion that no bracha was instituted because in most cases, it's an unfortunate event.
    – Shalom
    Jul 12, 2023 at 20:17
  • Of course the mitzvah you're describing is not what we'd call "engagement" in colloquial English, but erusin, i.e. "betrothal." If the bracha there is upon performance of a mitzvah (and the rabbi saying it is filling in for the groom), then you could ask why not for divorce. If -- and this is the way Ashkenazim conclude -- that bracha is one of gratitude for an experience, like seeing the Grand Canyon (and the rabbi is saying it on behalf of the crowd), then it clearly doesn't apply to divorce.
    – Shalom
    Jul 12, 2023 at 20:20
  • Though RH"S mentions seeing a Gerushin years ago where the couple were so obviously wrong for each other that a mentor of his commented -- "sometimes you drink a l'chayim for a divorce..."
    – Shalom
    Jul 12, 2023 at 20:21
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    @Shalom sefaria.org/Pesachim.50a.17 - we do have a concept of a bracha over an unfortunate event, and it is a concept associated with a lofty and interesting point. Was this brought up in the shiur as I am interested in what he said? I suspect the answer might lie in the specifics of the origins/derivations (and other similar principles) of giving a get vs erusin
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jul 12, 2023 at 22:37
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    See Shu"T ha-Rashba 1:18 אין מברכין על מצוה שעיקרה אינה מצוה כגון חליצה ויבום שהעיקר משום פריה ורביה והיא אינה מצוה על פריה ורביה. וכן על הגרושין משום דיש מקצת הגרושין שהן בעברה כגון שלא מצא בה דבר עברה ומגרשה ששנוי /שנאוי/ המשלח. ואף על פי שיש מצוה במקצתן כגון אותן נשים שנשאו בעברה שמצוה לגרשן לא פליגי רבנן לגרושין שיברך במקצת הגרושין ולא יברך במקצתן. Jul 13, 2023 at 2:18

4 Answers 4

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The sefer Birkot HaMitzvot KeTikunan (by Menachem Mendel Shoimer) brings four reasons why there is no bracha on divorce:

  • Sometimes divorce is a sin, and we don't make a bracha on a sin. For example, if the husband just doesn't find his wife attractive, it's not a good reason for divorce. Even though other divorces are not in this category, the Rabbis didn't see fit to have a bracha for some divorces and not for others. See Shu"t Rashba 1:18.

  • The husband is actively causing himself a loss, and we don't make a bracha on such an action. See Maharil, Laws of Ḥalitza.

  • Giving the get is painful, and we don't make a bracha in such circumstances. This is given in the name of the author of the sefer.

  • It's possible to avoid, and when a positive mitzvah (an aseh) can be uprooted/avoided, we don't make a bracha. See R. Margoliot's Mekor Bracha siman 12.

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  • Great answers! I was wondering about proposing #3 but we do make a beracha on painful events (e.g., bris milah and dayan haemes).
    – NJM
    Jul 13, 2023 at 13:28
  • He answers about a bris that the painful event is the ikar hamitzvah, so there's no exemption from a bracha.
    – magicker72
    Jul 13, 2023 at 13:45
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See here where they write:

וראשון הדוברים בזה הוא הרשב”א [תשובה יח] שדיבר שם מעניני המצוות שאין מברכים עליהם, וכתב דכיון שפעמים הגירושין הינם עון, דפעמים מגרש את אשתו כיון שמצא אחרת נאה הימנה, על כן לא מברכים אפילו על גירושין במקום מצוה, כגון שגירש אשתו שמצא בה ערות דבר או בקידושין בעברה. ובריב”ש [שצח] כתב טעם נוסף, דאין מברכין על הגירושין משום שאין מברכים על הקלקלה. במהרי”ל בסוף הלכות חליצה ביאר בזה את החילוק בין חליצה שמברכים עליה לגירושין שלא מברכים, דחליצה היא מצוה שבאה לו בגזירת שמים, משא”כ גירושין הרי היא מצוה שתלויה בדעתו ואיהו דאפסיד אנפשיה

  1. Rashba (18) - Sometimes the divorce is done as an aveirah rather than a mitzvah (e.g., he wants to leave his current wife for someone more attractive to him when divorce is not sanctioned in such a case).

  2. Rivash (398) - No beracha is made on destruction.

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Although this a little bit from left field, it may be an answer to this question.

There is a famous “vort” from R’ Chaim Soloveitchik (mentioned by R’ Boruch Ber in Gittin siman 34) that a get is unique in the aspect that the husband is merely doing an action, but has no connection the “chalois” of the divorce. Unlike Kiddushin where the husband affects the marriage, by a divorce he merely does an action, and the divorce happened by itself. (He brings a number of proofs to this concept, one is from the fact that a shliach doesn’t have to say anything when he gives it, amongst other proofs).

According to this, perhaps that is why he doesn’t make a bracha, since he’s not connected to the outcome but is merely like a machine.

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The answer for this question is the same as for all the other questions of this type: because it is not "asher kidshanu" – there is nothing Jew-specific about it. Jews and non-Jews do it alike, and therefore it is not a distinctively Jewish mitzvah.

Also no beracha for Tzedakah and Kibud Av v'Em for the same exact reasons. This is written in the link that you yourself shared in the question (a few clicks and footnotes apart from there):

The Aruch HaShulchan YD 240:2 explains that the reason there is no bracha for Tzadaka is because both Jews and non-Jews do this deed. Since the primary difference between a Jew and non-Jew who take such actions is the intent, that the Jew does it in order to fulfill a mitzvah and the non-Jew does it because its moral, for such an action one may not say "Asher Kideshanu" - we were commanded in this specific action.

http://halachipedia.com/index.php?title=Charity#cite_note-8

UPDATE: Here in an earlier, similar question the same answer is brought in the name of Rabbi Elazar of Worms (Rokeach):

Rabbi Elazar of Worms (c. 1176-1238), writes in his Sefer HaRokeach (ch. 366) that the Sages did not ordain a blessing before any mitzvah like tzedakah, which is based on logic and common sense and is therefore performed by non-Jews as well. The reason for this rule is because the entire purpose of our doing mitzvos is to sanctify ourselves and to help us lead more elevated and spiritual lives than those around us - as we say in the standard form of blessing before performing a mitzvah: Who has sanctified us with His commandments. However, when performing a mitzvah that is also performed by non-Jews, as in the case of tzedakah, our sanctification as Jews is not readily evident and thus no blessing is recited.

Why don't we say a blessing before giving charity?

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    Hi. Jews and non Jews also get married, so why do Jews day a brocho on that? Jul 24, 2023 at 19:01
  • @YaakovYitzchakbenMoshe, it says there exactly! As said, there must be an "asher kidshanu", and something Jewish-specific. And surely enough it says: ואסר לנו את האסורות. There are more restrictions of whom can we marry. But regarding divorce, it is the same idea, no extra restrictions.
    – Binyomin
    Jul 25, 2023 at 21:38

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