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GETTING PRACTICAL: THE SIX BASIC BRACHOT SAID ON FOOD.

BY RABBI YAIR SPOLTERAND RABBI SHRAGA

SI,N'ITT'TONS

Following a short series of introductions to the concept and structure of


brachot, we will now begin learning the day-to-day applications: the specific
brachot that are said before eating foods.

The bracha that one says before eating or drinking is known as a bracha
rishona (literally, "first blessing"). The Sages grouped all foods and drink
into six different categories, and assigned each of these categories its own
specific bracha rishona.
The text of all six brachot begins the same way:
Baruch Ata Ado-noy, Eloheinu Melech ha'olam
Blessed are you, God, our Master, King of the world.

:'
-:--,-'*'-.-. :,.
-_-. - " . _:::: _-. . -s

p,usxFA&IWAyS
&,tra{t the treJ(l'tP

This phrase is then followed by the subject of the bracha, i.e, what

it is you

for. The categories of foods and their assigned brachot

are blessing God

are:
.-

TranSliterr

rr,lltion, r;

::l:iirl l

.;' ,--$fgg6l:,,'
,

,: L,r

:,

:,

:.l..:,1L,:

.,:i...ir:_::::j:...

:::it l,.l

,.:

,:iil.:,: ,t :,:,:

::::j
::-r::::..:.
j:::i.,
]:::1.: '] . :;:j..1!.. . .-i.j:l

.
.

..

::-:

..i:
-r:r i

;::

:;i:::rt::::.. t,:rrr.

..,.:

Ha'aitz

iii. :,r

,-,

a:-

. ::,-::::.a...).: .:::r:,

J,:.:*t1,,,,;'.:'

.1. r.::::t:,,tri:
:l

:'rLrr:i

19)i] )'r9 N']i!

borei pri

Creator of the

ha'gafen

fruit of the Vine

borei pri

Creator of the

ha'aitz

fruit of the tree

sheh'hakol

that all came to

food &

nih'yeh

be through His

drink

bid'varo

utterance

:'..',.::,::' ::,r,'rla'
:i'L ! i rr: : :, itii: :,r: r,:i],.::l
,,

:';

r,. :

at:r-:
: :::, : ::.r.:::.:::.ri:ti :i:

; !,
.
' \.rNil
)D '

:.::

,,:GfoioS,,,,'--::

'

1,.4..,,,'j,a. I,..:,.:,1.': ;1 ;,1


l:.aall ' .:..=:,,. :' r, .ti::t,:i: ,...
ir: :t{:r:.:.:ii: .:. r,:.:r::i.t,:: :.i:],=
!i.:.::

,.i,,.i,trn,
.,.
i:.
.ltj!!.,.: NiJjlrn:=,.,.

Wine

.,'-:Meftno't,::t

l!]1,j,;.:'-l]]ii

:,:,:

:::l:::i::.+::::i.i--r,

Ha'gafen

.::il::

,]::,r,

r,'1

!....a

a::-::'

t''..::,'::.a:. :: :.t

::i::,":.:::::t:.: a-:,:..:

r,: t::.i::,

tr,r,r':::i:

:,,
,

l
:.

.,,$+]Dr.DJ'ii

NIa

i:r ll' i, ::. :.:.]:it:j,:r :1.,::,r:::,: r' l l,: iti :., .l


I :,. ::.: r:1.: l_l
:- .: I .r:::,: ::- :jir:

j.i,..1:l

1..i.::..':

1r-,.

::ii

..1.,...,.

.ji

\ya

Fruits

)'19 NlJa

.rrhlaiadama,.
l : . l: !:l::i:1.

6.:

l:i

:li:::":r:

Shehakol

All other

in the chart above,

ir:tl

nrn: )lnut

notice the first column which we've called "Shofthand

Reference." Throughout

this course, we will refer to these brachot

by

shorthand. So, if we say: "Before eating an apple, you should say Ha'aitz,"
this means that you should recite the full text of that bracha.
Visit JewishPathways.com for the audio pronunciations of these six brachot.
Here is the text of these six brachot:

'

1-,.t

-;r,''

t-,- -*

--.

,: -

l*ur*rPerufreY$
Taklngthen&5lep
2

ilTt( 1,1r+
,tr?ly? 1??? r:',irlx
i'rli'T'

.f-l#lT

Tn

trfi?

NtYifil

B6ruch

Ati Adonoy

Eloheinu Melech h6'o13m,


hamotzee lechem min h6'6retz.

Biessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,

Who brings forth bread from the earth.

il1il, i'IDf( :ln+


,tr?iy,? I?F

.l|lil
r :. tT -

l:ril)$

N--f.'E
.
''.!9
:

Biruch Ati Adonoy


Etoheinu Melech

hi'olim,

boray p'ri ha'gifen.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,

Who

creates the

iT'lilt iIry$

fruit of the vine.

ln+

,nliVry :l?F Urif)$


.nillTE ,lrh x-li!

Biruch At6 Adonoy


Etoheinu Metech h6'ot6m,

mina mezonol.
Bo'ravy minay

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,

Who

creates species of nourishment.

i,.1fp"ffi''

i'I'lil) ilTL( In?


,tr?'iyT :l?F ffil)$

.yll[

'"!?

NLi!

Blessed. are You,

Biruch Ati Adonoy


Etoheinu Metech hf,,ot6m,

boray p'ri h6'aitz.

Lord our God, King of the universe,

Who creates the fruit of the tree.

;'r'til)

iIT$ :ln+

uti#$
. iIfJ$[I ,"!? N'If

,n?tyT

1???

B6ruch At6 Adonoy

Etoheinu Metech h6'ot6m,

boray p'ri h6'adim6.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,

Who creates the fruit of the ground.

il,liI, irTN 1t1?


,tr?'iy,? 1???

uri:)$

.i-tfr! iPilr JrnW

Bflruch

Ati Adonoy

Eloheinu Melech h3'o16m,

sheh'hakol neeh'yeh beed'vi ro.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,


through Whose word everything carne to be.

r.-+.-"parffi=

Waking Up
We all need sleep to reinvigorate our tired bodies and give us strength
to make the most out of life. But we should not overdo it. Each person

should sleep the minimum amount necessary to be healthy and


productive.l In any case, a healthy person should not indulge in more
than eight hours of sleep each night.2
"One should strengthen himself like a lion to get up in the morning to
serve his Creator." These are the opening words of the Shulchan
Aruch, the standard code of Jewish law. A Jew should not be lazy, but
rather have an excited, upbeat attitude about the upcoming morning
prayers, and toward life in general.
The Talmud says that since a person's soul goes up to heaven each
night, sleep is "one-sixtieth of death."3 The day should begin by
contemplating God's kindness of allowing him to awake, refreshed and
revitalized.a As such, yoU should recite "Modeh Ani" immediately, even
before washing your hands.s

.;1?l!? ],lH

,
Tnnl
, a t a

iltin

g:ri'.,tr
' tt:

*'#

:
)n?tt --r )xi.,3::ia{::r
RrTniluJ
i t-i:-r
*.

.;]n::l};N
;-tl:'l
Y It9 I
':

I gracefully d:ar:k 1bu, O lititg *nd ercrn*1 Kir:g, f.-:r


You h*ve refi:rrred *r:y s*r:I r+tthi* me, with cctnpassion.
Abaa*asrc is yoer f*ichfalness.

Mishnah Berurah 238:2. Great scholars used to train their bodies to need very little sleep. The legendary Vilna
Gaon slepl only two hours each day, and never for more than half an hour consecutively! (lntroduction to Bi'ur

'

HaGra on Shulchan Aruch)


Rambam (Deyot 4:4)

2
3

Brachot 57b

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 1:2

Mishnah Berurah 1:8

::#ko,-*.,,i-..r:,
rvi'sNPernwAvs
nffi
-..t

Taking the

steq

After udng thebathroom,wa$ your handsand say:

il]il, iltlt( :111+


,tr?iyry I?F:rli#$
,;-r4?F+

trl$T n$ 'ry? lrt'$

,trrJPi trrlPJ

i: x-111

.p:)lh

trr):l)tr

,lTtl? N9: rH? Ir,lll'l :l)l

E6ruch AtAAdonoy,

Eoheinu Melech hA'olAm,


adrer yhtzu e! hA'&dAm b'chAchmA,
u'vArA voe n'kAvim n'k&vi m

chalulim chalulim.
GAlui v'yAdu'ah lifnei chisei ch'voeUecha,

,tr,?n T;r$ EIP: tr$V *re'i m yipAlaye'ach echAd may'hem,


,tr,7-3 1[$ trJ-tp'ix oe yisilame ech&d may'hem,

.'lit?? ?1Etf?J tr?P{li]? 1r{r+$'$

illilt il{rt( :1,11?


.nlt y) Nt)Eh:t -lu! ): xl1'r
-i-

' ! -

Y t

"

ee efdrar l'hi['kayaim v'laamode l'fAnechA.

E6ruch AtAAdonoy,

rofay chol bisar u'mafli laasole.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,

Who fashioned man with wisdom, and created

within him many openings and many cavities.

It is obvious and known before Your throne of glory,


that if but one of them were to be ruptured,
or but one of them were to be blocked, it would
be impossible to survive and to stand before You.
Blessed are You, God,Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.

Due

to the awe-inspiring

prescribed the following blessing

,'?1;11

of beautiful

nature

mountains, the

Sages

:6

n*l_{ :F1+

S*rueh At* Ad*nay,

,-l

,ullvry I?F ulflb$

Eloheinu Melech H6'ol6m,

.fi?rilH},} nPYp

*seh ma'*seh v*relsi'rit.

;?F3r

Blessed areli*u,L*rd eur *od, Kir:g cf the Univ*rse,

Whc farms th* work *f {reatiol't.

Some guidelines:

. This blessing may only be recited by one who is awed by the height of the
mountain.T Therefore, one who is not impressed with such mountains
(perhaps as a result of familiarity) does not recite the blessing'8

Similarly, this blessing should not be recited from an airplane where the
height of the mountain cannot be appreciated.s

. If the mountain

was seen in the past 30 days, the blessing is not recited.l0

is a good idea to memorize this particular blessing, for as we will see, this
same text is recited on other natural phenomena such as deserts, lightning,
earthquakes, hurricanes, astronomical phenomena and impressive bodies of
water. Throughout this course, we'll refer to this blessing as "OSeh Ma'aseh
Veraishit. "

It

6 Orach Chaim 228:1

7 see Orach Chaim 228:3

8 Orchat Rabbeinu 1:117, ciling Chazon lsh

9 VZot HaBracha, pg. 155


10 Mishnah Berurah 228:2
-.

';''"

rt -' "...r=,.1:::.:,#

J..-$'-*1'!',_
....-;

--;r1,,

:rv*sNE&THI4&LYS
Taking rbe

ndt $ep

Thunder and Lightning


The giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai was amidst thunder and lightning.la
As we've all experienced in an electrical storm, there is something
awesomely dramatic about the momentary illumination of the skies,
followed by a deafening boom.
Immediately upon seeing lightning during a storm,ls you shoutd recite the
blessing Oseh Ma'aseh Veraishit.16 1lt is not necessary to see the actual
bolt of lightning.)17

The Sages instituted a separate blessing - She'kocho Oog'vuraso


Olam - to be said immediately upon hearing thunder:18

il1il'

Malay

i1{rtt!

111+ B*ruchAt*Adoz'roy,
,n?ty+ !?A r:rit"b+ Ebheinu i*?etech H*r*Hm,
. nlifr x?+ ifi'llllt im$ sf?e,kseho a*g'vurf;!* mstay

al$m.

Bl*sed are Yau, Ler* our Gad" l(ing af the U niversg


VY'ho.se strsngth and glory fillsthe universe.

. A blessing may be said on each of these

phenomena no more than once a


day, if it is during a single storm. As long as there is no complete clearing of
the clouds, it is still considered the same storm,le

Usually, we see lightning before we hear thunder, because light travels


quicker than sound; therefore the blessing on lightning is usually recited
first. However, if you simultaneously experience the lightning and thunder,
then only the blessing Oseh Ma'aseh Veraishit is recited over both
phenomena.20
14 Exodus 19;16
'15 but

not heat-lightning (Mishnah Berurah 227:3);lhough Aruch HaShulchan 227:1 disputes this

16 Orach Chaim 227:1


17 Halichot Shlomo, pg. 287; Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer 12-.21
'18

Orach Chaim 227:1.|f you accidentally switched these two blessings, it is okay post facto (Mishnah Berurah 227:5)

19 Orach Chaim 227:2, with Mishnah Berurah B

20 Mishnah Betwah 227:5

Astronomical Phenomena
There is something awesome about the celestial bodies that inspire every
observer.2l King David proclaimed: "The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the expanse of the sky tells of His handiwork" (Psalms 79:2).

The blessing Oseh Ma'aseh Veraishit


is recited upon observing a comet,
shooting star22 or meteor shower.23

A new blessing is not recited if the


same phenomenon is sighted again
within 30 days. If multiple comets or
shooting stars are seen during one
night, only one blessing is recited.

No blessing is recited upon viewing an eclipse,2a since

in

kabbalistic

literature an eclipse is considered a bad omen.2s

Earthquakes and Fierce Winds


Jewish consciousness, whenever a natural phenomenon occurs, God is
sending a message to the Jewish people. One of the ways that God urges
humanity to better their actions is by sending earthquakes and strong

in

winds.26

Upon experiencing either an earthquake or strong and stormy (but not


extraordinarily fierce) winds, recite the recite the blessing Oseh Ma'aseh
Veraishit.2T

21 lntacl, the Talmud (Shabbat 75a) instructs us to focus altention on the astronomical bodles22 Orach Chaim 227:1
23 Maimonides (Brachot 10:14)

24 Orchot Rabbeinu 1, p9.95


25 based on Talmud

Sukkah 29a

26 Sefer HaBrit :10, ch. 1, 2); Be'er HaGolah 4


27 OrachChaim22T'.1, with Mishnah Berurah 4
(1

-"1
c

_.,.. - ..:;:--:L"

ptrxlATl{BrAYs
Tdklng tbe

f,ixt ttP

Natural Bodies of Water


Have you ever stood at the ocean shore and felt infinitesimal and humbled
before the awesome expanse? Upon seeing an impressive natural river

(such as the Euphrates or the Nile) or sea (such as the Mediterranean),28


you should recite the blessing Oseh Ma'aseh Veraishit.2e
There is a special blessing
seeing an ocean:30

EETI

She'asa Et Ha'yam Ha'gadol

recited upon

irSS :'trIT+ B*ruch AtE Adon*p

,tr?tiril :t?U u'ilb*


,.?

Elol:einu Mel*cFr uf,btr&::n,

.h-qil Hit nt$ nP+rH she'isa et ha'yirn ha'gsdol.


Blessed are You,l-ord eur

Gr{

l{ing of the Universe,

Who made the G{e}t Sea.

If the same body of water is sighted within 30 days, a new blessing is not
recited.3l A new blessing may be recited if another body of water is seen,32
unless it was during the same leg of a journey.33 One who sees such bodies
of water on a regular basis does not say these blessings.3a
No blessing is recited upon seeing a waterfall.3s
28 Upon seeing the Dead Sea, a blessing is not recited, since it was not in existence since Creation. (Halichot Shlonovol. l, pg. 287; V'Zot HaBracha, pg, 155, in the name of Rabbi C.P. Scheinberg; see however Ohr LTzion 14:40)
29 Orach Chaim ZZe:t

30 Orach Chaim 228:1. Mishnah Berurah 228:2 discusses whether the Great Sea refers to the Atlantic or the
Mediterranean. According to some opinions, due to doubt, we do not say this blessing. However, according to all
opinions one can definitely say the blessing at "Europa Point" in Gibraltar, a spot where the Atlantic converges with the
Mediterranean. See BTzel HaChochma2:12-17 for various opinions on this issue.
31 Mishnah Berurah 228:2

32 Halichot Shlomo, p9.287


33 V'Zot HaBracha, p9J54, in the name of Babbi Moshe Sternbuch
34 Halichot Shlomo, pg. 288
35 VZot HaBracha, p9.155, in the name of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
'i-

.n--.r?^i'*'!-.--

: -.-_-.,i -.

...5+__:r:1--'-

rrvhsHPxr}rWnys
tatiflg

lfie

rerlslep

Rainbows
When God sent a flood to destroy the world in the days on Noah, He
promised there would never be another flood, and designated the rainbow
as an eternal sign of this promise.'6 In that sense, seeing a rainbow today is
a negative sign, alluding that the world is deserving of punishment were it
not for the promise.3T
Upon seeing a complete3s rainbow, recite the bracha Zocher Ha'brit:3s

il,lfft n$g
,xJiyry

1t1? **ruehAi*Ad*n*y,

:f 6 Urp?g

.xn!'1?* I43*}} ri'p'I**

fbheinu

1}i?

Mefeeh

H*'sl*m,

;*{her ha'brfl v'R*terfi*R *it/rrp,

-11*lrr3 *3p1 v'kay*m b'ma-amir*,


g of the ucl iv*ls& Wh* r*r::*mh*rs
t}:e cqvan*nl is tr,usir'r**hy in Flis c*venanL and fu lfills Hjs 'word.

&le*:*d ara Y**" Lord

our

G*d,

Kirr

. If multiple rainbows are seen during the same storm, the blessing may be
said multiple times.ao
o

It

is forbidden to gaze excessively at a rainbow.al

36 Genesis 9:8-17
37 Talmud - Ketubot 77b; Sforno - Genesis 9:13, 16. For this reason, Mishnah Berurah 229:1 considers it inappropriate
to inform others of the rainbow; however, Sefer Brit Kehura 100:3 permits it.
38 Biur Halacha229'.1 - s.v. Haro'eh; V'Zot HaBracha, p9.156
39 Shulchan Aruch229:1
40 Sha'arey Teshuva 229:1; Mishnah Berurah 229:1: Yalkut Yosef (OC 229:1); V'Zot HaBracha 17'.4
41 Talmud

Chagiga '16a
.

"ri .';' -- '- '): " r:

' '"-

rwrsuPelrlwavj
T*k;ng
dext*rp
lhe

Animals & Trees


Upon seeing a strikingly beautiful person, animal, bird or tree for the
first time, you should recite the blessing She'kacha Lo B'olamo.a2 However,
due to some doubt as to what objectively qualifies as an "beautiful
creature," the blessing is recited without the mention of God's name.a3

,-l1nr nryl-{

,nlF4r

!t1+ B*ruch At$ Adonay,

t?13 T:ntfr$

-:n?lv+ ib

Eloheinu Melech Hf;'olim,

qpip she'kteh* lc hf,'ols*:o"

Slessed ars You, Lord *ur Gad. ttinq of the Universe

Wh* has such lbeauty] in his universe-

Upon seeing impressive, exotic animals (e.g. elephants, monkeys or


apes),aa recite the blessing Mishaneh Ha'briyot:as

ITryS

.titt+

Biru.rel-r

=Ii?t
,E?Iiry eE

Ar5 Adonoy,

utr:?S Elohe$nu Melech H*'o[8m,


.ntt"l?it ir*Vq mishaneh h*'briyo!.

Bies*d fireYqu, Lord our God, Hing of the Universe,


Who makes the creatures distinctive^

Upon viewing multiple exotic animals in a zoo, only one blessing is said -while having in mind all the others that will be seen.a6
a2

Aruch HaShulchan 225:14

Orach Chaim 225:'10, with Mishnah Berurah


32 and Sha'ar Hatziyun 33

According to Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, as cited in V'Zot HaBracha, pg.156, this blessing may only be recited upon
viewing elephants, monkeys or apes. However, according to Halichot Shlomo (vol. l, pg. 290), the blessing may be
recited on all exotic animals, except for fish.

6 Orach Chaim 225:8


).-F

'f

'-'' "

rrr&ssParlrffffi""'
ldqng thc A*t
ste?

Strange-looking People
Upon seeing a person with a strikingly unusual physical feature (that was
present since birth), you should recite the blessing Mishaneh Ha'briyot (the
same blessing said above on exotic animals):

Upon subsequent sightings of the same person after 30 days, the blessing
is recited without God's name, if you are still amazed by the features.aT

Another blessing is recited upon subsequent sightings of other persons


with similar features, even within 30 days,as if you are still amazed by it.

o Obviously, be careful not to recite the bracha in a manner that

will

embarrass the subject.ae

Friends & Relatives


If you did not see a close friend or relative for 30 days (and you did not
hear any communication about him),s0 you should recite She'hecheyanu
upon seeing him.

r^-*

iiiii#s:*$

,
i

r,ln\ nry$)

{,4i},? 1!*
'l}piF]
.i=qif

11".}*

t:,fi-?S

S&r*el': {&t*

Ad***y,

Eloheinu Melech h$'olEm,)

It[,ift{/ she'hecheynr* vi'kiyim*r'ru

1W t}*:?}[ll

vl'higiyfi*u laz-r*an ha'ael"r.

*ur G*d, Ki*g of t1":* {.lniv*rse,l8lro has


k*pt r:s alivqsust*i*ed us,and br*ugi:t us t* this cecasi*n.
Siessed areY*u,L*rd

V'olehu Lo Yibol (vol. I pg.223); Halichot Shlomo (p. 290: 135)


47 Mishnah Berurah 225i30; see Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer 12:22 for elaboration
48 Aruch HaShulchan 225:13; see Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer 12:22 for elaboration

49 Nishmat Avraham (vol. l, pg. 100), citing Rabbi S.Z. Auerbach


50 Mishnah Berurah 225:2. ll he was ill and became healed, then the bracha would be said even if you heard news in
the interim (Sha'ar Hatziyun 225:3).
.1

"---'-

.:r;

;$,

IrarrrWevi
;u*rn'fekinrthe
nextsleq
10

. In practice, this is said only if the person

is very close to you and


you extremely happy to see him (e.g. parent, child, spouse).s1

. Only one bracha is recited upon seeing multiple

it

makes

such people at once,s2

If it

has been over a year since seeing the close friend or relative, recite
the bracha Mechayeh Ha'meitim,s3
o

i-rlirl irTs) 1t1+

{,*:Fry T?F +:rnt$

Eloheinx fi{eleeh

*thl*m,

micha'yei ha'meilim.
Eless*d areY*u, E-erd aurGed, King of the Universe,

Who brinEs the dead back

t* life

Upon seeing a friend who has recovered from a life-threatening illness,


recite the bracha B'rich Racha'mana:

.i;ii

,lq*+rT

slr

fiI,B*] 1t1+ Frich Hacha'm*ns Malkd d'ilms,l? :tr?,?: t.t dee y*havieh l5n,

,Ifi*$? !i?i|: tt!! *Ey*hav*clrl'afri"


O** I{ing of tlte Unlversa
whc has giv*n !.eil to t}t and *st siven ysu to the
Blessed is she Merciful

51 Aruch HaShulchan (OC225:2-3)


52 Yalkut Yosef (lll pg. 606)
53 Orach Chaim 225:1

$'!-*: : tt,..-.-:-. "",,";.'


rrirsuPxr*rWAff"
Id*lrg thefitt3!ep
.--

11

ust.

Jewish Multitudes
The Torah says that 600,000 Jews stood at Mount Sinai, and the kabbalists
say that these are the 600,000 roots souls of every Jew who has lived
since.sa Upon seeing 600,000 Jews at once, recite the bracha Chacham
Ha'razim:5s

il:it'r iIryr 1,n$


,tr?i$,? :t?F

B3ruch AtE Adonoy,

u',ll5

Eloheinu lVlelech hHlol*m,

"ilrrlif il}n

chacham h5:rfzir*r.

t t1

Blessed are Yol:" Lerd our God, King oi the Uniyarss,

Know*rof ss{rets.

Great Leaders
Upon seeing a non-Jewish ruler who has the power to pardon people
sentenced to death, such as the president of the United States or the Queen
of England,s6 recite the bracha She'natan Mee'kivodo:s7

inrr ii{t$}

=tr!I+ E$ruch {AtS Adenoy,

{,u!1*n *A u.f*?g lol':einu rvle{eeh HS'cl$m.}


Itt t$
i'ri:ln
mee'kivodo l'v$s6rv8'd8rrr.
.trIl
InJIr she'nitan
ft
ii
: ' r'l?
Bfesred sre \bu, Lerd o*r 6*d, t(ing af the t"Inivene
Who imparted [some] of His glory to ntortalr

54Zohar - Pinchas 216b; Chatam Sofer (Kovetz Teshuvot 52)


55 Shulchan Aruch (224:5)

56 According to Shu"I Shevet HaLevi 'l:35, this blesslng may also be said upon seeing female rulers. However, Shu\
Rivovot Ephraim 2:89 disagrees. Upon seeing a U.S. state governor who has the power to pardon people sentenced to
death, one should recite the bracha without the name of God (see Mishnah Berurah 224:12).
57 Orach Chaim 224:8

ffi;ffi#'
Ta*lng the

ndt

12

rt?p

r If the same ruler is seen again within 30 days, a new blessing is not
recited.sB

r If

multiple rulers are seen during one day, multiple blessings should be
recited, unless they are all seen at once.se

Outstanding Torah Scholars


The wisdom contained in Torah has served as the basis for all of Western
civilization and for the three major religions.60 In order to imbue us with this
appreciation, the blessing She'chalak May'chach'mato is recited upon seeing
an outstanding Torah scholar:61

nIilr il+$) 111+ 88rueh {Atl Adonoy,


{,E?'i}T :t?p tt

F}g

filoFrel*u Melech H*'ol6m.]

.Tl.flf, uATru

ffiF

rheth&lak r*a/,ch8ch'nri3c

le.e

ra15v,

Sles:e$ are You"L*rd su{ Gsd.Ki{rg of the Ll$i*erse,

Wh* imparted ir*me] of

His rl+isdem ?o th*se who

fe*r Him.

This blessing is rarely recited nowadays, as it is only said upon a worldrenowned Torah scholar who excels in both wisdom and is truly Godfearing.62 Perhaps an example of such an individual today is Rabbi Yosef
Shalom Elyashiv, an elderly scholar who lives in Jerusalem.63 Even if you
don't usually see Torah scholars of such magnitude, it is a good idea to
become familiar with this blessing, since we will eventually need to recite it
upon greeting the Messiah.6a
58 Kaf HaChaim (OC 224:27). Upon seeing an outstanding non.Jewish scholar who is proficient in the 'Seven
Wisdoms," one should recite a special bracha (Orach Chaim 22417);however, such scholars do not exist today (Piskei
Teshuva224'.5).

59 YalkutYosef (OC 3, p9.604);Kaf HaChaim (OC224:27)


60 Deuteronomy 4:6
61 Orach Chaim224:6

- Brachot 58a, with Maharsha - s.v. Baruch; Piskei TeshuvotZ24:4


63 As heard from Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz. Shu't Yechave Da'at 4i'16 writes that this blessing may be reciied today.
62 Talmud

However, Aruch HaShulchan (OC 22a:fl, Kat HaChaim (OQ 224:19) and Shu'f Tzitz Eliezer 14:37 rule that this
blessing is not said nowadays, due to doubt as to which scholars qualify.
64 Shu"t Minchat Shlomo 1:91:27
,:,".

. 141--.1---*."r1.-;=.'--'-'

rwirsaPerr$#frrs"
Tduog
n*t slep
the

13

Places of Miracles
What is a miracle? Can you possibly imagine the idea of a tiny seed being
thrown into the ground, and before you know it a sweet, juicy orange is
popping out of a piece of wood? The difference between what we call
"nature" and what we call a "miracle" is a matter of frequency. As one
witicist commented, "Niagara Falls is nice. But the real excitement would be
to see it flowing the other way."

If you ever experienced a miracle and were saved from imminent

danger,

then upon returning to that spot, recite the blessing She'asa Lee Nase:6s

n}fi", ;1Sl{ ?i11+ BiruchAt*Adonay,

.Qty+ 1!6 1:';tbg


.,.IT,"i

Efoheinu Meiech h$bl*rn,

Stl S$ U] t? ,.1p}I{Il she?s6 [e r]ase ba*rfikom ha'reh"


Bl*rled

re Y+*,

Who pefgrrned

Lard ou r So6 l(in$ sf the Univer$e,


a rnitacle fur fl1e at

thir place.

Upon visiting a place where miraculous rescue occurred for either your
parents, ancestors,66 Torah teacher,6T or the majority6s of the Jewish
people,6e recite the following blessing:

rni''r

ir*{ :lf]+

aruehAta&donoy.

fill-l$ .b?&:l tf p urp?4 fl*heinu Meteeh H&'*lsm, she'As&

4:grtrNllr;trllqi:4!/qldl /r*1f,3
.i1fiT EiPq

r&*t/Enuelir?-vot'4eltmheella?'.utliuu
nase

bar**korn ha?eh.

El=gsed+reYtxrrl*rd our Sod,ls,:? of thtUtlrets&\drhsperfonned


[my fatherl nr? n*+thrr 1:r:y fore]ear

y'

ry

nrir-acle for

ttacher / cur affe$tsr, at ihil pld(c'

65 Orach Chaim 218:4


66 Orach Chaim 218:4

67 Orach Chaim 218:6


68 Orach Chaim 218:2

69 Orach Chaim 218:1. However, the places mentioned in Orach Chaim 218:1 are not discernable nowadays, and we
do not recite this blessing unless we know the exact place of the miracle that was done for all or most of the Jewish
people - (Mishnah Berurah 281 :7, with Biur Halacha - s.v. K'Gon).

''"'ii-:*- " ';1;;'


-{;'
PnfrrWevs

prvrsH

Id,kng thQ nefl JteP

14