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If we make a bracha levatala or say Hashem's name by accident, we say ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד.

Is this true only if the original bracha is a valid praise of Hashem, or even if it contains false statements? For example:

  • Sefardi women saying a bracha on an mitzva that applies only to men (וצונו is false according to Sefardim)
    • or I guess similarly, a Sefardi Kohen or Levi saying the bracha on pidyon haben
  • for everyone, a zar saying the bracha on birkat kohanim (אשר קדשנו בקדושתו של אהרן is definitely false, for Sefardim וצונו is also)
  • any bracha that contains יום ____ הזה on the wrong day

Is the function of ברוך שם to turn the bracha that you already said into a praise, which might not work in this case because your praise is false? Or is it a standalone praise of Hashem because you mentioned His name, and the context wouldn't matter?

  • ציווני is false but not ציוונו. – kouty Nov 13 '16 at 9:54
  • @kouty for Ashkenazim you're right. I believe Sefardim pasken differently. Sefardi women don't say על נטילת לולב for instance. – Heshy Nov 13 '16 at 14:07
  • first there are a lot of sfaradi poskim who cited the minhag to bless, e. g. Hida, secondly to say that it becomes a brachah Levatala when she mitcaven leshvach is not necessary true – kouty Nov 13 '16 at 14:14
  • @kouty aren't you always mitcaven leshvach when you say a bracha? Why else would you say it? – Heshy Nov 13 '16 at 15:52
  • maybe that shevach cavana has somewhat more spontaneous, so one who want to eat a lupin is perhaps less spontaneous but it is sufficient to attach himself to the known duty for bracha. For pure shevach more than a standard yotse sein cavana is needed – kouty Nov 13 '16 at 15:56
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Based on שולחן ערוך אורח חיים סימן רו סעיף ו, here we say ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד because of saying God's name in vain. It would seem therefore, that it doesn't really have anything to do with ברכות, necessarily and you should say it if you say God's name in vain in any context. It would also apply to a ברכה which includes 'false' statements.

  • But that case in the shulchan aruch was discussing a case where originally the bracha was a proper bracha. Than the fruit fell or whatever. That would not prove to the OP that a wrongly said bracha gets the same treatment. – user6591 Nov 16 '16 at 20:26
  • @user6591 but look at the reason that shulchan aruch gives - because of God's name in vain – Moshe Steinberg Nov 16 '16 at 23:44
  • That is true. But the actual case still leaves the question open. – user6591 Nov 16 '16 at 23:45
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Useless blessing versus spontaneous praise

Useless blessing

Brachot 33a:

It says that he who says habdalah in the Tefillah is more praiseworthy than he who says it over the cup [of wine], which would show that to say it in Tefillah alone is sufficient, and again it teaches, 'and if he says it in both, may blessings rest on his head', but since he has said it in one he is quit, the second is a blessing which is not necessary, and Raba, or as some say Resh Lakish, or again as some say, both Resh Lakish and R`Johanan, have said: Whoever says a blessing which is not necessary transgresses the command of 'thou shalt not take [God's name in vain]'!

Tosfot 39a:

ועוד יש בירושלמי היכא דבריך אתורמוסא למיכליה ונפל מידיה ושקל אחרינא בעי ברוכי זמנא אחריתי ופריך מאי שנא מאמת המים פירוש דמברך לשתות והני אזלי והני אחריני נינהו וא''צ לברך פעם אחרת ומשני הכא הוה דעתו מתחלה לזה שהיה יודע שילכו להן אבל בתורמוסא לא ידע שיפלו מידו ויאמר ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד משום דהוה ברכה לבטלה וכן נכון לומר על כל ברכה לבטלה בשכמל''ו: ‏

Jerusalem's Talmud stated that when one blessed on a lupin in way to eat it and it fell from his hand; to eat a new lupin and need to bless again ... in conclusion the first blessing was useless. It is right to say for every useless blessing "BSKMLV".

I have not proof but the statement BSKMLV is a response to hearing the name of G-d. See for instance the Mishna Yuma 4, 1 and nexts:

אֶלָּא לַיְיָ. וְהֵן עוֹנִין אַחֲרָיו {כְּשֶׁמַּזְכִּיר אֶת הַשֵּׁם, ברטנורא}, בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד: ‏

when people was hearing the name of G-d from the mouth of Kohen Gadol, they said BSKMLV.

Spontaneous praise

If a blessing is a "praise statement" only (שבח) we found poskim who said that it is not a Beracha Levatala (useless blessing). See for instance the RMA OC 219 sayif 4:

אם בירך אחר ואמר ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם אשר גמלך כל טוב וענה אמן יצא וכן אם אמר בריך רחמנא מלכא דעלמא דיהבך לן וענה אמן יצא.‏

Someone who blessed as a praise statement when his friend came back from a travel. The friend said "amen" and is quite for Birkat Hagomel.

הגה: ואין זה ברכה לבטלה מן המברך אף על פי שלא נתחייב בברכה זו הואיל ואינו מברך רק דרך שבח והודאה על טובת חבירו ששמח בה (טור): ‏

RMA this is not an useless blessing, although the blesser has no duty to say it, because he said it as a praise only.


Following this, if a beracha was a simple praise one needs no BSKMLV. Gemara about havdala deals with the issue of saying havdala a second time, not as a praise, it is obvious because nobody says twice the same shevach in so little time. For the lupin eating failing also, he blessed to eat, not to say a spontaneous shevach. To call אשר קדשנו a false statement is not necessarily true because of the plural which can point the mechuyavut of the Klal.

  • 1
    ... I'm not really sure what you mean. "If a bracha is not needed but is a praise of G-d, may be that it does not need BSKMLV." But doesn't this contradict the Tosfot you brought? If I make a בורא פרי האדמה without any food, this is a bracha levatala, and Tosfot says to say BSKMLV... but it's still a valid praise. Hashem does create fruits, whether I'm eating one now or not. (The cases I'm talking about are where you said false praise, like ותתן לנו ה' אלקינו באהבה את יום חג המצות הזה, Hashem did give us חג המצות, but not *חג המצות *הזה because it's not Pesach.) – Heshy Jun 23 '16 at 13:21
  • #Heshy you are right, I need to revise it, I need to verify, but may be that if someone says intentionnaly as a Shevach without link with eating, "ברוך אתה ה' ... בורא פרי האדמה" that it is not a Bracha levatala. yesterday I spent short ime to search and do not find it. Anyway, until I find it again I will skip the passage that you mentionned as contradictory to the tosfot. – kouty Jun 23 '16 at 13:37
  • @Heshy I have found it – kouty Nov 17 '16 at 5:01

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