Do we know when Birkat haTorah was composed and added as an obligatory blessing to be said before learning Torah? Is it just something done by Anshei Knesset haGedolah or do we have any other information relating to its authorship, the period in time when it was adopted, etc?

  • 2
    It's mentioned in the Talmud. It's exceedingly rare to have any other provenance information beyond that for old parts of the liturgy
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 21:25
  • My understanding of the sugya is that, in the days of the Talmud, birchas hatorah was generally not said, and people would instead have only said the beracha of ahava raba before shema. This is not how tosafos understands things. A full answer would take a long time to type out.
    – Mordechai
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


The Ramban holds that Birchas Hatorah is biblically mandated. Accordingly, some form of Birchas HaTorah would have existed from Matan Torah. (However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the Nussach is d'Oiraysa.)

The exact classification of the three Berachos of Birchas HaTorah are subject to much debate among the achronim. If any of them are Birchas HaMitzvos or Birchas HaNehenin, they would not have been around until the Anshei Kneses Hagedola instituted them. [The Ramban is referring only to whichever part of Birchas Hatorah is derived from the verse כי שם ה׳ אקרא הבו גודל לאלקינו.]

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