I was reading some of the laws of brachot and saw this statement:

This Hatima, with which we conclude "long" B'rakhot (i.e. B'rakhot which have a lot of text and/or mention several themes within the text), consists of "Barukh atah YHVH,"

from http://www.torah.org/learning/rambam/kriatshema/ks1.7.html

I wonder, "Why?" If the peticha of a bracha (that has a peticha) is (as the site continues)

Petiha (Introduction): to properly set the frame of reference - God, who is King, is being blessed for event X, Mitzva Y or pleasure Z. Hatima (Conclusion): In case the B'rakha has thematically encompassed more than one idea and has involved a signficant "liturgical" distance from the Introduction, a conclusion is necessary in order to "realign" the B'rakha with its main intent and goal - praising God for a specific event, Mitzva or pleasure.

Then why does the Chatima not have to "properly set the frame of reference"? Why does the chatima only invoke shem, not malchut?

The only answers I have gotten have been "because that's how they wrote it" and "why would you think it HAS to have both."

To the former I say "So the structure was arbitrary?" And I get no answer. To the latter, I say "I would think it has to do what a bracha has to do, as the site says, properly set the frame of reference."

I know that there are things we say for which we delete both shem and malchut, but why structure with only 1 and not the other?

  • Just conjecturing - it takes more to properly set the frame of reference than it does to realign the frame of reference. Refocusing is easier than the original focusing. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 19:15
  • Very true, but when the names used also indicate different aspects of that recipient, the selection of one over the other opens the statement up to different meanings.
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:38
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/69371/759
    – Double AA
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 15:34

2 Answers 2


The Gemara in Berachos 49a has a dispute whether or not the beracha in bentching of Hatov Vehameitiv should have malchus in it. The machlokes is expressed as a function of the beracha being Biblical or Rabbinic in nature:

פליגי בה אבא יוסי בן דוסתאי ורבנן חד אמר הטוב והמטיב צריכה מלכות וחד אמר אינה צריכה מלכות מאן דאמר צריכה מלכות קסבר דרבנן ומאן דאמר אינה צריכה מלכות קסבר דאורייתא

Rashi there explains the significance of it being Biblical or Rabbinic:

מ"ד צריכה מלכות קסבר דרבנן - הלכך לאו ברכה הסמוכה לחברתה היא שאינה מברכת הארץ

The one who holds it needs malchus holds it is Rabbinic - therefore, it is not a beracha which is attached to another beracha.

A beracha which is attached to a preceding beracha does not need malchus, as the malchus of the previous beracha is distributed to the other.

One explanation of why malchus is enough in just the previous beracha could be along the lines of the Levush (Siman 214), that the purpose of malchus is to make it clear to everyone to Whom you are speaking, whereas the "baruch" of the second beracha is to set the theme of the blessing.

This would apply equally to a chasima at the end of a beracha - the malchus is necessary at the beginning of the beracha to make it clear that you are addressing the King, but the ending line is to focus (or refocus) on the theme of the beracha, not the "recipient" of the beracha.

  • This is helpful but, if as you say, the chasima is not to reiterate the recipient, why have shem? Why not a construction like "baruch atah ba'al harachamim"? The "atah" and the thematic connection make the recipient clear.
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:37
  • @Danno I discussed elsewhere why the name Hashem is very related to the concept of Baruch Atta - yud key is the Source of all existence, and the purpose of a beracha is to acknowledge as much. Malchus is not intrinsic to this point. Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 4:25
  • I have learned it as "the source of all blessing" -- to say it is the source of creation is to ignore that it was the malchus which was cited in Ber 1:1 as the source of creation. I'd like to think that it has to do with the midas harachamim that we are appealing to but that's just my sense.
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 11:43

If the purpose of malchus at the start is to set the frame of reference (as you say), then, well, it's already been set! Perhaps that's why a blessing after another (s'mucha) doesn't need a "start", either.

Just my own thoughts.

  • 1
    Then at the end it needn't set the frame with shem. Why is the frame uneven (shem and malchut at the outset and then just shem at the end). Even moreso, in a bracha hasmucha there is NOTHING in the beginning, not just one or the other. One has to assume that the smichut allows for malchut not to be mentioned at all (because to be a bracha requires mentioning shem AND malchut) so then why not let the smichut replace shem also?
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 13:53
  • I don't know if this requires a new question but do you happen to know what the bracha after shma in pesukei dezimra is samuch on? It has no pesicha (so no malchus).
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 1:31
  • @Danno, I don't. Why not ask it separately?
    – msh210
    Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 4:36

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