I know that when you smell "raw" spices, you say "borei minei besamim". Can you make this bracha on the smokey smell when these spices are being burned? Some examples:

  • If you burn an incense stick where the stick is made from a combo of cinnamon, lavender and other spices.

  • If you use mesquite wood chips in your barbecue, can you make the bracha when the wood is burning?

  • Similarly, if you put spices on the meat and the spicy smoke comes through the meat, should you make the bracha?

1 Answer 1


Without addressing your specific examples, the answer is:

Yes, you can say a bracha on burning incense, but only once the pillar of smoke rises up from the burnt spices (Shulchan Arukh OC 216:12). You say whatever blessing you would have said on the spices themselves (ibid. :13).


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