Before drinking the sotah water does the woman make a blessing? If so would it be shahakol or something else?

  • 6
    You only say shehakol on water if drinking because of thirst, so no shehakol here. I don't know about a Birkat HaMitzvah.
    – Double AA
    Dec 1, 2014 at 17:00
  • 3
    @DoubleAA Don't you say it also if you're drinking for some other reason but are thirsty and the drink will quench your thirst?
    – msh210
    Dec 1, 2014 at 18:47
  • 3
    I would assume the dirt makes it pagum and unfit for human drinking thereby negating any theoretical bracha
    – user6591
    Dec 1, 2014 at 19:14
  • 5
    hebrewbooks.org/… found this on a google chat
    – sam
    Dec 2, 2014 at 0:53

3 Answers 3


Sefer Otzar Palos HaTorah pg.161 brings down that no birkas hanehenin is said on Sotah water since it has a bad flavor.

Rav Chaim Kaniefsky rules that one does not make a birkas hamitzvah on Sotah water. He brings a proof from Berachos 51b which says "one does not make a bracha on calamities".

It is also noted that the Sotah who knows that she is innocent still won't say a beracha on the Sotah water since her predicament only came through suspicion of aveirah. This is like the Rashba (Shu"t §18) who holds that one does not make a birkas hamitzvah on something which came through a sin. (‘Taama D'krah’ by Rav Chaim Kanievsky - Parshas Naso).

  • 1
    Abudirham explicitly addresses the question here.
    – Oliver
    Jun 17, 2019 at 3:11
  • @Oliver the Abudarham perhaps speaks on "על אכילת סוטה"
    – kouty
    Jun 17, 2019 at 5:53
  • 1
    Does that mean you don't make a birkas hamitzvah on bringing or eating any chatas or asham?
    – Heshy
    Jun 17, 2019 at 9:50

You only recite a bracha on water if you are thirsty.1 Since the sotah is not drinking the water to quench her thirst, there would be no bracha. As for birkat hamitzvah I don't know.

The question has been raised in the comments about what if the sotah was thirsty when she drank the water. It seems (at least in the way I interpret it) that according to the Mishnah Berurah, she would recite a bracha.2

1 Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 204:7. Borei Nefashot would not be said as well. See also Brachot 44a and Rambam Brachot 8:1.

2 Mishnah Berurah 204:2. The case is drinking water in order to swallow a pill. If the person drinks the water in order to swallow the pill and to quench his thirst, according to this opinion he would recite a bracha on the water. Perhaps if the sotah was thirsty, she would recite a bracha as well.


Following up on @Ezra's question as to to whether a Birchas Hamitzvah is made, and adding support to @sam's answer which states that no Bircas Hamitzvah would be made:

The Rivash (1326–1408) explicitly writes that a Bircas Hamitzvah wouldn't be recited on a Sotah drinking the water (Teshuvos HaRivash, siman 398):

שאין מברכין על הקלקלה כמו שאין הכהן המשקה את הסוטה מברך

we don't make a blessing on something negative (lit. "cursing), much like the Kohein who administers the drinking of the Sotah water doesn't recite a blessing.

  • 1
    A bit late to the game :) Rivash was quoted over four years ago in the link at this comment to OP’s question (top of left column).
    – Oliver
    Jun 17, 2019 at 15:41
  • 1
    @Oliver however, the best place for links like that is expounded in answers. Comments are easy to miss. Jun 17, 2019 at 20:06

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