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I am looking for a list of Berachos/blessings that are recited a maximum of once per year.

Which blessings (from prayer, Jewish rituals, or otherwise, by men or women) are recited only once per year? Additionally, which ones can be recited up to once per year, but are not required to be made yearly?

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    I'm not sure these would count: the bracha of L'hachniso at a brit said by a father and Al Pidyon haben (because I assume that a man wouldn't have more than one male child in a calendar year in a monogamous relationship, though I guess he could say it, get divorced, get remarried and have another child within the year) and if one says a single bracha over ALL his trumat ma'aser (not species by species) at one time, then L'hafrish trumot. Same with Lifdot Ma'aser sheini. All guesses...
    – rosends
    Jan 2, 2018 at 16:56
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    @doniel I tagged it thusly
    – Double AA
    Jan 2, 2018 at 18:34
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    Would there be any way for this to be reworded as a non-"Riddle"? I do want to know the answer to this, and I do not currently know it. I am not in any way filling the definition of the meta post listed above: "With riddles, the asker makes an effort to conceal relevant information, to keep the answer from being obvious.". It is simply information I am asking others to help me find. Comparing it to other questions with riddle tags, it does not seem to fit in. Cont... Jan 2, 2018 at 18:56
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    Also, it doesn't seem to fit a regular (outside of MY) riddle definition: "a question or statement intentionally phrased so as to require ingenuity in ascertaining its answer or meaning, typically presented as a game." Feel free to forward this to Meta if the discussion does not belong here, I'm not sure yet of the actual delineation of what can be a comment on a post vs. what should be a meta question. Jan 2, 2018 at 18:58
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    @DonielF I argued (and the community clearly agreed by reopening it) that this fell outside the regular riddle parameters, as you can read in the comments above. Jul 5, 2018 at 3:33

5 Answers 5

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There may be a M.Y. answer on this one - a hunch.

Two that occur to me offhand are:

The bracha for lighting candles before Yom Kippur .להדליק נר של יום הכפורים

ברכת האלנות - The bracha upon seeing fruits bloom on a fruity tree may be said only once yearly. I'll add in halachic source, later.

I got these from a yeshivanews.com page:

על ביעור חמץ upon inspecting for chametz.

נחם ציון ובונה ירושלים said on Tish'a B'Av

(Thanks to DoubleAA for the help on these two:)

It is possible to say the bracha for Eruv Tavshilin just once per year, such as this year (5779) when 7th day of Pesach is on Friday, in Diaspora.

In Israel, it could occur either when 7th day of Pesach is on Friday or the 1st day of Shavuot is on Friday, or the 1st day Rosh Hashannah is on Thursday.

It is possible to say המבדיל בן קודש לקודש once per year, also. This occurs only in Israel when either the 1st day of Pesach is on Sunday or the 1st day of Shavuot is on Sunday.

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    Not everyone says a blessing when lighting candles for Yom Kippur. Also arguably if you move to Australia from Canada in August you could say the blessing on blossoming trees twice in the same year.
    – Double AA
    Jan 2, 2018 at 17:25
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    What about the final bracha on the haftara of Yom Kippur morning?
    – Joel K
    Jan 2, 2018 at 20:23
  • @JoelK Nope. That same bracha is used during all the tefillot of Shemoneh Esreh on Yom Kippur. It's a good attempt, though.
    – DanF
    Jan 2, 2018 at 21:28
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    It depends how you define a bracha. The end (from baruch ata Hashem) may be the same as in the amidah, but the beginning (al hatorah etc) is certainly different
    – Joel K
    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:03
  • The chazzan says נחם twice. Also, if you're only counting brachot as unique based on the chatima, if you have to eat and you eat bread and bentch you might say it (although if you say ברחמיו in bentching it would be different).
    – Heshy
    Jan 3, 2018 at 16:18
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R. Yosef Qafih (Note 34 to Chapter 10 of Hilchos Berachos) understood R. Saadia Gaon to be of the opinion that the Blessing of the Sun is recited once per year.

ונראה כי לפני רס"ג היה רק עד עושה בראשית ומן ואימת הוי עד הסוף לא היה ולפיכך כתב בסדורו עמ' צ ועל השמש ביום תקופת תמוז יברך עושה בראשית וברור כי הכוונה בכל שנה ושנה וכך האמור בברייתא לבנה בגבורתה הכוונה בהתחדשה והיא ברכת הירח שבכל חדש

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  • As usual, fantastic answer! +1. Feb 6, 2018 at 4:12
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    The blessing is said multiple times a year. This one stimulus for it only happens once a year, but so what? This would be like answering that Lihadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov for Shavuot is only said once a year even though it's also said on other occasions.
    – Double AA
    Feb 6, 2018 at 16:37
  • @DoubleAA Now that you make that point, I agree. I hadn't noticed that when I originally read it, only later. I'm not sure I would remove it as an answer, but I would remove my upvote for this answer if I could (it's locked for me since it hasn't been edited). Feb 6, 2018 at 17:09
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    @רבותמחשבות Was the question asking what texts can only be recited once per year, or what beracha-inducing-phenomena can only occur once per year?
    – Alex
    Feb 6, 2018 at 17:46
  • @Alex The question says "Berachos/blessings that are recited a maximum of once per year". I still appreciate your research, though. Feb 6, 2018 at 17:50
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If you live in Eretz Yisrael, all of the brachos unique to the Seder (i.e. אשר גאלנו at the end of Maggid, על אכילת מצה, and על אכילת מרור) are only said once a year.

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    Depending on time and place shofar and lulav would be the same.
    – Alex
    Apr 30, 2019 at 2:36
  • @Alex In what case is the bracha on lulav only made once a year? While Shofar could be made once a year if RH falls out on Shabbos, the OP wanted brachos which can never be made more than once per year.
    – DonielF
    Apr 30, 2019 at 15:55
  • According to Torah law both shofar and lulav (in most places) are only for one day. Thus, if you live before any takanos were made ("Depending on time and place") you would only make a berachah once a year.
    – Alex
    Apr 30, 2019 at 16:00
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There is an obligation to donate a half shekel once per year:

Rambam Hilchot Shekalim Introduction & 1:1

מצות עשה אחת והיא ליתן כל איש מחצית השקל בכל שנה וביאור מצוה זו בפרקים אלו

מצות עשה מן התורה ליתן כל איש מישראל מחצית השקל בכל שנה ושנה אפילו עני המתפרנס מן הצדקה חייב ושואל מאחרים או מוכר כסות שעל כתיפו ונותן מחצית השקל כסף שנאמר העשיר לא ירבה והדל לא ימעיט וגו' ואינו נותנו בפעמים רבות היום מעט ולמחר מעט אלא נותנו כולו כאחת בפעם אחת

It contains one positive commandment: [The obligation] that every man give a half-shekel [to the Temple treasury] every year. This mitzvah is explained in the [following] chapters.

It is a positive commandment from the Torah that every adult Jewish male give a half-shekel each and every year. Even a poor man who derives his livelihood from charity is obligated [to make this donation]. He should borrow from others or sell the clothes he is wearing so that he can give a half-shekel of silver, as [Exodus 30:15] states: "The rich shall not give more, nor should the poor give less."

[The half-shekel] should not be given in several partial payments - today a portion, tomorrow a portion. Instead, it is to be given all at once. (Chabad.org)

R. Yehuda Ben Yakar writes that a beracha is made on this mitzvah:

Peirush Hatefilot V'Haberachot Vol. II p. 73

ונראה כמו כן בזמן שהיה בית המקדש קיים והיו נותנין מחצית השקל היו מברכין אקב"ו לתת מחצית השקל

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One that has not been mentioned so far is the brachah on rain. The gemara Taanit 6 discusses a unique brakhah recited over the first rainfall of the year or first rainfall after a drought. Shulchan Arukh Orach Chaim 221 codifies that it is only said after a drought; the poskim debate whether this would apply to Israel every year or only an unusual drought (see Mishnah Berurah and Biur Halachah there). At least according to some shitot, this is recited once a year under normal conditions in Israel.

I had once heard a version of OP's question as a riddle that there were 4 brachot recited once a year every year for Jews everywhere in the world. The best I have come up with so far is these, which have been mentioned so far: Birkat hailanot Biur hametz Ner yom hakippurim Though as DoubleAA points out this might not be true for everyone in all circumstances. Likewise, I would point out that there may be circumstances where one says al biur hametz twice. See Mishnah Berurah432:5 & 7.

I suspect nachem might have been intended as the 4th, but (1) Sephardim say nachem more than once and (2) the chazan says nachem twice (as Heshy pointed out).

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