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The Gemara in Taanis 8b says:

"Ein Berachah Metzuyah Ela b'Davar ha'Samuy Min ha'Ayin" (blessing is found only in an item which is hidden from the eye)

One who enters his granary to measure it should pray that his work receives blessing; once he has started to measure it, he blesses Hash-m for sending blessing upon it.

But if he measured it and said the Berachah afterwards, it is in vain, as blessing cannot happen to items measured, only to those things concealed from the eye.

What exactly is being asked with this blessing?

If the amount is fixed, what effect does the blessing have?

Is it then asking for some kind of miracle?

  • I'm inclined to say that your 3rd question implies one of the answers. Most brachot are a request for something. The word "bracha" comes from the word "breicha" meaning "spring". In the same way that the souce of water in a spring is hidden from the eye, so to is the source of God's blessing or bracha which is hidden from the eye. – DanF Jul 2 '14 at 19:32
  • Can't you ask this about any time we ask God for income/livelihood/success/knowledge/etc.? – Double AA Jul 2 '14 at 19:41
  • @DoubleAA no because the pile of wheat is right in front of you. normally it is forbidden to pray for things that already happened. so what are you praying for here? – ray Jul 2 '14 at 21:22
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It seems that the Mishna (the source of what you are quoting) differentiates between an open miracle and a natural miracle.

Once one has started measuring one's granary - then if it increases it's an open miracle. Open miracles are too obvious and rarely happen.

Before one has started measuring, then an increase is impossible to prove. The Mishna suggests one should pray, so that if one is deserving, one may merit a hidden miracle; an increase in quality/quantity of grain.

For a discussion about this, see the ספר הבוטח on page 165 who brings a Rashi from the same subject, but in בבא מציעא on 42a who says: אין הברכה. שמתברך ורבה מאליו

Rashi seems to say that an n increase in quality/quantity is possible, if it has not been measured yet.

  • that was kind of my question. do you have a source for this? thanks – ray Jul 3 '14 at 9:13
  • @ray - I found a source from Rashi in Bava Metzia 42a - see the piece I added to the end of my answer. – Danny Schoemann Jul 3 '14 at 12:03
  • an israeli friend of mine from Netivot told me how he witnessed the Baba Sali bless a bottle of wine and the gabai put it in a paper bag and poured it continuously to all the hundreds of guests throughout the day. – ray Jul 3 '14 at 18:52

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