According to the gemara (B'rachot 35) "If one benefits from this world without blessing, it is as if he steals from Hash-m" and the discussion then applies this to a variety of blessings we are to say before we eat foods. As mentioned here, "partaking in His creation without consent would be tantamount to stealing. When we acknowledge that our food comes from God – i.e. we say a bracha – God grants us permission to partake in the world's pleasures."

But we benefit from the world in so many more ways than just eating, all the time. If I take cotton and weave a shirt, if I take corn and use it for ethanol, if I take a frond, or by extension, an umbrella and cover myself in a rainstorm, or sit at a table or play a video game. In each case, I am benefiting from the world but I don't know of a particular blessing I should be making. It seems, though, that every moment, during which I am breathing air, I should be making a blessing asking for permission.

Why does the gemara extend Birchat Hanehenin to eating and not to the myriad other things I do for which I might think I would similarly have to ask that permission?

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    That's what the dozen (or so) Birchot hashachar cover daily. – Danny Schoemann Feb 5 '18 at 11:58
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    Why on earth do you write Hash-m - as if Hashem is a word you can't write? (Hashem means The Name, since I can't say/write out the actual name.) Secondly, how come you write out Gcd in full - which is a problem according to some poskim (like the Kitzur, IIRC) - all the more peculiar once you wrote Hash-m. – Danny Schoemann Feb 5 '18 at 12:03
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    @DannySchoemann That's a copy and paste from the linked website. Ask them. As for the birchot hashachar, are you saying that if there was one that commented on food, it would absolve me from all food eaten each day? Or that the birchot hashachar are birchot hanehenin? – rosends Feb 5 '18 at 12:25
  • #1 - OK. You're off the hook this time. :-) I'll ask them and report back. #2 - Sure - same way a single Hamotzi absolves you from all the food you will eat for hours hence. #3 - AFAIK most of them are birchot hanehenin. (Don't know about the Shelo-Osani ones.) Thanks for my eye-sight, mobility, clothing, muscle tone, sidewalks, shoes, belt, hat and a good night's sleep. In a nutshell. – Danny Schoemann Feb 5 '18 at 13:12
  • Item A halochoscope.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/… says that it isn't so clear. Random thoughts: if I make a Hamotzi over breakfast, it doesn't address bread or food I eat 8 hours later if I take a normal break. I need to ask permission each time. If I make a food based bracha in birchot hashachar and then don't eat all day, it would be levatalah. The asher yatzar in the morning doesn't cover all the times I use the washroom all day. – rosends Feb 5 '18 at 13:31

This is a very good question. I asked it many times and did not get a clear answer so I needed to come up with my personal understanding of what a Brocho does.

Praising Hashem is free and unlimited, one can recite as many personal praises as she can. Reciting a formulated Brocho is different - it acts something beyond a simple praise, otherwise it could be said on every bite or after consuming it. The fact that there are strict Halochos of when, how and what not, points to some "practical applications" of a Brocho that work in a certain way only.

Kabbalist books shed some light on how it works, which I will not elaborate much, only say that it is because the food contains some parts that need a sort of "spiritual digestion" that the Brocho acts. Food that does not contain such parts (such as the Manna) does not obligate a Brocho (to some Poskim).

So back to your question: the Brochos are intended for occasions where our Sages saw a need for an action performed by a formulated Brocho, a free-wording praising can be said in any situation when one experiences pleasure (such as sex).


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