There is a Torah obligation to guard matza (Exodus 12, 17) (shemur matza). But there does not seem to be a bracha said on doing this. Why? (The watching is not just mental exercise. You have to walk or otherwise get yourself to where the flour is, and then be active in watching. It is not just a mental activity.)

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    Also consider that the shemirah is not a specific action but over the months. That is, it is not that it is being watched, but that it should have been watched. – sabbahillel Sep 5 '16 at 14:23
  • @sabbahillel Yes, the mitzva has a long duration, but so does dwelling in the succa (but much shorter). In any case, what do you mean it "should have been watched". The mitzva is to watch, not to think it should be watched. Also, when watching begins the watching should continue uninterrupted, as I understand it. – Yehuda W Sep 5 '16 at 14:28
  • @YehudaW The mitzvah of succah is a specific action with the bracha at the time the action is being done. The shmira is a general action and not a specific one. There is no explicit action being done at a speific time. – sabbahillel Sep 5 '16 at 22:45
  1. At first glance shimur is a Lo taasse (a negative commandment) despite that we have an additional shimur leshem matsat mitsva, it remains a Lo taasse. There is generally no Bracha for A mitsvat Lo taasse.

The source for the pure lo taasse nature of shimur: Mechilta (on Shemot 12, 17):

‏[יב, יז] ושמרתם את המצות - שמרהו עד שלא תביאהו לידי פסול. ‏

to ensure that there are no disqualifying event.

See Gemara Pesachim 38b:

ושמרתם את המצות מצה המשתמרת לשם מצה יצתה זו שאין משתמרת לשם מצה אלא לשום זבח. ‏

And ye shall guard the unleavened bread: [it must be] unleavened bread which is guarded for the sake of [the precept of eating] unleavened bread, thus excluding this, which is guarded not for the sake of unleavened bread but for the sake of a sacrifice.


כל שימור שאתה משמרה שלא תחמיץ התכוון לשם מצה של מצוה: ‏

All monitoring which is to avoid fermentation, would be in intent to get matsa of mitsva, not a mincha of sacrifice.

Bedikat Chamets regard Chamets but is a mitsvat asse of Tashbitu.

In birkat Chatanim also "והתיר לנו ... עלי ידי חופה וקדושין" points to a Mitsvat asse.

But Bracha of "lishmor chukav" of bene Maarava when they remove tefilin is linked to cancelation of a Mitsvat asse to wear them at day only (see Menachot 36b Machloket if hishamer deasse is asse or lo taasse) is at least a bit similar to a blessing for a Mitsvat lo taasse. Anyway Gemara Nidda 51b regarded it as bracha acharona of mitsvat asse of tefillin.

"ושמרת את החוקה הזאת למועדה מימים ימימה"

to exclude nights.

  1. But a stronger argument to substantiate the lack of beracha is the following Gemara in Menachot.

Menachot 42b: Wherever a precept is completed by a single act, e.g. , circumcision, although it may be performed by a gentile, when an Israelite performs it he must pronounce a blessing; and wherever a precept is not completed by a single act, e.g. , the tefillin (manufacturing) , although it may be made by a gentile, when an Israelite makes it he does not pronounce a blessing.

In matsot, the mitzva is completed by eating, so there is no bracha on shimur which is not the last part of the mitsva.

Tosfot report that Talmud Yerudhalmi doesn't follow this rule.

ואילו לעשות תפילין לא מברך. ויודע היה [שלא לברך לעשות תפילין] ששאלו כל ענייני ברכות ופ' הרואה ירושלמי מצריך לברך אעשיית ציצית סוכה ותפילין ובערוך הביאו בערך צץ ג' וחולק על הש"ס שלנו ובתוספתא דברכות (פ"ו) תני העושה ציצית לעצמו מברך שהחיינו ובפ' הרואה (ברכות דף נד.) נמי אמר דאכלים חדשים מברך שהחיינו וכ"כ רב שרירא גאון:‏

And in the last chapter of Brachot from the Yerouchalmi, it is regarded as necessary to bless when making Tsitsit, Succa, Tefillin, The Sefer Haaruch (from Rabbi Nathan from Rome) reported the text of the Yerushalmi without mentioning the Bavli. Tosfot concluded that the Aruch pasken the Yerushalmi.

But we don't follow the Aruch opinion.

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  • OK. Bedikat hametz (searching) is taasse (positive), and we say the bracha: v'tzivanu al biur hametz. What is the difference between destroying and not eating that causes bedikat to be positive and shemur (guarding) to be negative? The logic of taking clear positive wording of shemur in the Torah and calling it negative because there is a related commandment seems illogical. – Yehuda W Sep 5 '16 at 17:19

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