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Someone made the brocho of “oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh? What sources deal with this issue please? (I have posed the shaaloh to my Rav.)

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    So what answer did you get from your Rav? – Curiouser Sep 2 '11 at 13:58
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    He said, "Can you make shehakol on a potato?" I understand him to mean that it is not a brocho levatoloh following your logic. Thank you. – Avrohom Yitzchok Sep 3 '11 at 21:12
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    I assume you're not asking if it was levatala because of the added dagesh in the bet :) – Double AA Jan 20 '12 at 7:00
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    @DoubleAA I know it's been a while, but was that a joke or were you suggesting that with the dagesh it means "Who did an action at the beginning" as opposed to "Who created the universe" and that might invalidate it? – Heshy Aug 29 at 21:48
  • @Heshy nice, but that would only work if you don't distinguish tzere and segol. Kohelet 8:17 – Double AA Aug 30 at 12:46
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The Maharsha (to Berachos 59a) explains that the end of the beracha on the rainbow וקיים במאמרו refers to the fact that the rainbow was created during the 6 days of creation (as listed in Avos 5:6). So perhaps you could make an argument that by saying עושה מעשה בראשית you are including such things as the rainbow?

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http://revach.net/ask/article.php?id=547 It seems that the rainbow bracha is for a very specific thing (which, mind you, took place over 1600 years after maaseh vereishit) so it doesn't get covered by the other standard nature brachot.

Also, in the book Shaar HaAyin by Rabbi Eliyahu Ariel, in Chapter 12 footnote 1 he quotes Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (sp?) that the blessing does not work even post facto and one would need to still recite the appropriate blessing.

  • But was the first bracha in vain or just insufficient to fulfill your obligation? Did you err in one way, or two? – Monica Cellio Jan 20 '12 at 14:04
  • @MonicaCellio In general a blessing said with no purpose is considered a bracha levatala. If one does not fulfill an obligation with the blessing it seems to me that it has no purpose and would be a bracha levatala, although the book I quote does not use that phrase explicitly. Incidentally, I'm not sure what the difference is in how we categorize it once we conclude what you need to do after the fact. – Double AA Jan 20 '12 at 14:50

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