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Shechecheyanu on Vegetation

Does one make Shehecheyanu on a vegetable from the new crop that he eats, or is Shehecheyanu just for new fruit?

Berachot Recited Over the Media

When one hears a beracha being recited over the radio or telephone, can/should he answer amen. Can he be yotzei a beracha in this way?

Not Reading Along with the Laining

When I get an aliyah, I read along with the laining (Torah reading), as I was taught. Not everyone does this. Is it a problem not to read along?

Sheva Berachot Confusion

At Sheva Berachot, the person who was supposed to recite Sos Tasis started to recite Samei’ach Tesamach (the following beracha). People tried to get him to switch, which confused him. I told him to continue, and the next mevarech (blesser) went back to So Tasis. Afterward, someone pertinently remarked that since he did not yet mention Hashem’s Name, “no harm had been done” and he should have reverted to the correct beracha. What is the correct thing to do in that situation?

Beracha on Experiencing a Miracle

My car slipped off the road and starting rolling down a hill in a wooded area and was stopped by a tree after two tumbles. I was belted in and, baruch Hashem, escaped with only mild bruises. I said Hagomel (blessing after surviving a potentially life-threatening situation). Should I be making the beracha for experiencing a ness (miracle) when I pass the place of the accident?

Resumption of Eating After Answering to a Zimun

When I answer the zimun of two who are bentching, when can I resume eating?

Unsure if Bentched

What do I do if I eat a meal and am unsure if I bentched (recited Birkat Hamazone)?

Time Elapsed Betwen Meal and Bentching

I left my meal (including bread) to daven Ma’ariv. It turned out that there was a long sicha before Ma’ariv. By the time I was able to return to eat an hour and a half had passed. Could I still bentch (recite Birkat Hamazone) at that time?

Birkat Hagomel for a grandchild

Someone made a standard Birkat Hagomel because his young grandchild was saved from danger without his father being aware. Does one make Hagomel on behalf of a child?

Birkat Hamazon When the Location of the Meal Changes

If I start a meal in one place and want to leave in the middle or continue eating elsewhere, what do I do about Birkat Hamazone?

Beracha on Dessert after a Meal

Does one make a beracha on ice cream served as dessert at a meal with bread?

Birkat HaGomel

On Mondays and Thursdays, we often give the third aliyah to someone who has to say Birkat Hagomel (a blessing of thanks to Hashem for extricating someone from a dangerous situation, including plane travel overseas). Should he make the beracha before or after Kaddish?

Beracha on Sprouted Bread

What beracha should I make on sprouted grain breads?

Making a New Beracha After Break in Eating

Toward the end of a snack, I decide to stop eating after one more cookie and change my mind later. Do I need to make a new beracha before continuing to eat?

Berachot on Shabbat After Sunset

At the last day of Sheva Berachot, we ate most of the meal in the daytime but got up to Birkat Hamazone and the Sheva Berachot after sunset. Could we still make the berachot?

Beracha on Drinking for a Medical Test

We have developed a diagnostic tool that works as follows. After a full fast of several hours, one drinks a tasteless powder dissolved in a cup of water. A few minutes later, he breathes into a special machine that detects if various organs are working healthily. Does one make a beracha before and/or after drinking the water? Can he drink a little, regular water first to remove the doubt regarding the beracha?

Third Person of a Zimun

I know that in order to answer to a zimun (a joint bentching, or reciting of Birkat Hamazone) the third person needed does not have the same requirements as the first two. Could you give me some specific parameters?

Counting the Omer Mixup

Behar 12 Iyar 5765 If I am unsure what day of the omer it is, may I count both possible days in order to “cover my bases”?

Saying Birkat HaGomel on Behalf of Others

When many people have to make Birkat Hagomel (e.g. at times when many have traveled) the shul often has one person make the beracha on behalf of the rest. Can one person say thanks to Hashem for what he received and have it count for others?

Ba'al Koreh Omitting Pasuk

On Shabbat morning, the ba’al koreh omitted two words near the beginning of Shishi. People initially assumed they had heard wrong, and the matter became clear near the end of Musaf. No decision was made until shul dispersed (the rav was away). At Mincha, we started reading back at Shishi, and the kohen’s aliyah ended at its regular place in the new parasha. Was that correct?

Girls and Women Lighting Chanukah Candles

I was brought up as a girl to light my own neirot (candles of) Chanuka (= NC) and I continued to do so as a married woman. Recently I was told that when there are men in the house, only they should light. Should my daughters and I stop lighting?

Minimum Amount of Liquid for Beracha Achrona

I was wondering if you could tell me what the minimum amount of a liquid (ie water, soda, juice) needed to be drank in order for me to say a bracha achrona.

Source of Beracha "Shelo Asani Isha"

Can you please direct me to sources that discuss the berakhah “shelo asani ishah”?

Eating New Fruit During the Three Weeks

Why is eating new fruit considered such a pleasure that it is forbidden during the Three Weeks (between 17 Tammuz and 9 Av)? Also, is it permitted on Shabbat?

Chocolate Covered Raisins

What is the proper beracha on chocolate –covered raisins?

Making Late Havdala

My wife did not feel well on Motzaei Shabbat and went to sleep before I made Havdala. I decided to wait for her, which ended up being until the next morning. Should I have made a full Havdala on Sunday, including the berachot on besamim and ner (Havdala candle)?

Shehecheyanu for Putting on Tefillin

I recently became bar mitzva, and no one told me to make the beracha of Shehecheyanu the first time I put on tefillin as a bar mitzva. Was that correct and, if so, why?

Mistaken Beracha

Someone made the beracha of “Shehakol” on a food which required a different beracha (for argument’s sake, “Mezonot”). I know he is yotzei b’dieved (fulfilled his obligation, after the fact). However, does that mistaken beracha work to exempt other foods, either those which require “Mezonot” like the food he is eating or those that require “Shehakol” like the beracha he made?

Chazan Missing a Day of Sefirat HaOmer

If one missed a day of sefirat ha’omer and is now serving as the chazzan for Ma’ariv in a place where it is customary that the chazzan recites the sefira with a beracha out loud, may he do so?

Berachot on Non-Kosher Food

What does one do about training children in a Jewish school to make berachot when many of them will be eating non-kosher food?

Beracha on Grape Juice Exempting Other Berachot

I know that when one makes a bracha on wine, it exempts one from making berachot on other drinks. Does this apply to grape juice as well? For example, if one makes kiddush over grape juice, does he have to make a “Shehakol” on soda that he subsequently drinks?

Talit and Tzitzit in the Bathroom

Are we supposed to remove our talit when we go into the bathroom? If so, do we also have to remove our talit katan (tzitzit)?

Sleeping With Tzitzit

I am machmere (stringent) on the great mitzva of tzitzis, and, therefore, sleep with them on. Should I make a bracha on them in the morning, as I am not putting them on anew?

Washing Hands After Bathroom Use

Must one use a cup for washing after the use of the bathroom for personal needs? Is there any specific order for washing and saying the bracha? Can one wash in the bathroom itself?

Women and Havdalah

I am a woman who lives alone. Do I need to make Havdalah on Motzaei Shabbat?

Talking Between Handwashing and Beracha

When and why are we not to talk in between netilat yadayim and making “hamotzi”?

Incorrect Beracha on Food

Someone made the beracha of “Shehakol” on a food which required a different beracha (for argument’s sake, “Mezonot”). I know he is yotzei b’dieved (fulfilled his obligation, after the fact). However, does that mistaken beracha work to exempt other foods, either those which require “Mezonot” like the food he is eating or those that require “Shehakol” like the beracha he made?

Minor Doing Mitzvot On Behalf Of An Adult

Can a minor (katan) do mitzvot and make berachot to be motzi (on behalf of) an adult (gadol)?

Washing Netillat Yadayim

Parashat Chayei Sara 5768 It seems wrong that people decide not to wash (netillat yadayim) and eat bread at the beginning of a meal and thus not bentch (recite Birkat Hamazon). One who has a meal should bentch and if it takes eating a little bread, so be it. However, someone told me that if you eat only a little piece of bread, you have to make individual berachot throughout the meal. Is that so?

Men Fulfilling His Mitzva on a Woman's Beracha

Parashat Toldot 5768 My boyfriend and I went out to eat with my friend and her husband, who are much more religious than we. I made Hamotzi on behalf of everyone, but afterwards my friend’s husband made his own Hamotzi. I was quite insulted. Is there a halacha that a man cannot fulfill his mitzva by answering Amen to a woman’s beracha?

Berachot After Staying Up Shavuot Night

After staying up all night on Shavout, we have someone who slept say the morning berachot on everyone’s behalf. Why is this necessary? What happens if we cannot find anyone?

When Can The Beracha on a Tallit Count for Tzitzit

I am a single kohen living in Israel. I, therefore, wear my tallit only for nesi’at kapayim (duchening). When I put on my tzitzit in the morning, should I make a beracha, or should the beracha on the tallit cover the tzitzit?

A Beracha on the Mitzva to Write a Sefer Torah

Why is there no beracha on the writing of a sefer Torah?

Sheva Berachot at se’uda shlishit

We made Sheva Berachot at se’uda shlishit. The question arose: should one drink the cup(s) before Havdala in this case?

Tefillat haderech

If one travels over the course of more than one day, does he make the beracha of tefillat haderech (prayer for the traveler) once or more and, if so, when?

Two Out of a Group Who Want to do a Zimun

I know that if two people want to do a zimun and a third does not want to yet, the two can force the third to answer. What about if there are five or six people? Can two of them pick one to force to join them?The gemara (Berachot 45b) says that if three eat together, one stops to answer for two who want to bentch, but two do not stop for one. Rashi explains that one should show proper manners to answer, implying that there is no halachic imperative that he must take a break in his eating to do so. However, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 200:1) rules like the Rishonim who say that it is halachically required for the third to answer, and even if he refuses to answer, the two (only) fulfill the requirement of zimun. In order to answer your question, regarding two who want to use a third when there are more than three participants in the meal, we need to understand the reasoning behind the halacha above. Poskim explain that it is based on the concept of rov (majority) (Birkei Yosef, OC 200:5; Mishna Berura 200:2). The minority that is not yet ready to bentch has to follow the majority of the group that is interested. According to important poskim, this idea of rov can be extended to other groups. The Eliyah Rabba (OC 200:6), for example, says that six who want to do a zimun with Hashem’s Name also create a majority to force four to answer. If the matter depends on rov, it does not appear that a minority of a group can force a majority or even two sub-groups of the same number of people cannot force one another to do a zimun. The Birkei Yosef (200:5) assumes simply that which the Eliyah Rabba implies: five cannot make five answer. One could claim that the important thing is to have a majority of the necessary quorum who are ready to bentch and then they can use whomever they want. Thus two could force any one they wanted, while five, which is only half way to the zimun of ten, could not. However, the language of the poskim implies that it is a matter of deciding when the most appropriate time is for the group to do the zimun. There is no reason to assume that two can select one from the main group and turn him into their minority. The exact definition of what constitutes a rov in this regard is important for the following common case. One person wants to bentch, and a second is not yet finished but is interested in helping his friend and agrees to be the second. Can those two force the third? The Birkei Yosef (ibid.) (discussing five and five with one of the “non-bentchers” volunteering) leans toward the view that he cannot. The person who volunteers is still not an interested party who creates a rov who are bentching. On the other hand, Rav Kook (Orach Mishpat, OC 40) leans toward the approach that even when only one of the two is bentching now, the two can force the third. His impression is based on the following gemara (Berachot 45b). Rav Papa was eating with his son and a third person. Only his son was ready to bentch, and Rav Papa accommodated him. The gemara says that Rav Papa had gone beyond the letter of the law in agreeing. Rav Kook understands that once Rav Papa agreed, the third’s willingness was irrelevant. (One can deflect the proof and say that, given Rav Papa’s stature, it was clear that the third person would not object.) It seems that a majority of poskim accept the Birkei Yosef’s approach that only two who are actually bentching can force a third. In practice, most people do accommodate their friends anyway, which is good. (Vaya’an Avraham (OC 16) suggests the possibility that if the second agrees because he is halachically required to respect the person who wants to bentch, it would be considered a rov; he himself rejects the suggestion). It is worthwhile to recall that, for Ashkenazim, when someone answers zimun before bentching, he must wait until the end of the first beracha before resuming eating (Rama, OC 200:2).

Beracha on ices with fruit chunks

What bracha are ices with fruit chunks in them, i.e. pineapple, strawberries etc?

A Chatan Leading Bentching at Sheva Berachot

May a chatan lead bentching and/or recite sheva berachot at his own sheva berachot? What if he is more of a talmid chacham than anyone else there?

One Who Makes the Wrong Beracha on Tefillin Shel Yad

I accidentally made the beracha of “al mitzvat tefillin” when putting on my tefillin shel yad. What should I have done regarding berachot from that point?

making blessings in or opposite bathrooms

I am part of a group of around 10 Jewish prison inmates (some, like me, are studying for conversion). Our cells (5 ft. X 9 ft.) have a toilet in them and during the time for Shacharit and Ma’ariv, I am not able to get out. Can I put on my tallit and pray at that time, in a “dirty place,” or is it an abomination to Hashem? Our rabbi died a few years ago, and we don’t have anyone to answer our questions any more. Also, could you send us some texts to study from?

minhagim about bentching after zimun

I have seen many minhagim about bentching after zimun. Sometimes, everyone bentches to himself; sometimes, the mezamen does the beginning out loud; sometimes, he waits for people to finish before saying a beracha ending out loud so that people answer amen. What are the issues and what is the proper method?


When one person gets maftir (the last aliya) and makes the berachot on the haftara but someone else reads it, must the oleh read along? If we read from a klaf (a Torah-like scroll for the navi being read), must he do so specifically from the klaf?

beracha acharona

If I have half a k’zayit of one food that gets a Me’ein Shalosh (the long beracha acharona that summarizes the elements of Birkat Hamazon; it is often called Al Hamichya, for one of its possible openings) and half a k’zayit of another food that gets Borei Nefashot, what beracha acharona do I make, if any?

Birkot hamitzva

How can we make the beracha on netilat yadayim (=neya) in shul some time after we washed our hands, as birkot hamitzva are always recited at the time the mitzva is performed shul?

netillat yadayim with a beracha on clean hands?

With concern about “swine flu” so high, many would consider it hygienically prudent to wash their hands with soap and water before doing netillat yadayim with a jointly used washing cup and eating. Is it possible to do netillat yadayim with a beracha when you know that your hands are clean already? If one can, should he dry his hands before doing netillat yadayim?

Pat haba’ah b’kisnin

How can it be that whether or not you wash on pizza depends on how much you eat? I would think that either it is bread or it is not bread.

Birkat Hakohanim

Some kohanim in my shul do not go up to do nesi’at kapayim (=duchenen =birkat kohanim =bk) at the proper time. Sometimes, one washes his hands right after Kedusha, goes back to his place, and does not remember to move toward the duchan (platform or any area in the front of the shul where bk is done) when the rest of the kohanim do. Other times, someone will get a late start toward washing and is still doing so during R’tzei. Are they allowed to do bk under such circumstances?

The Beracha on Schnitzel

I have heard people question what I thought was simple - that the beracha on schnitzel is Shehakol. What is the truth?

What to do if the moon gets hidden behind a cloud in the middle of Kiddush Levana

After starting to recite Kiddush Levana with the moon visible, the moon goes behind a cloud. Should we continue reciting or should we stop?

Are women obligated to Daven Mincha

I (a woman) try to daven Shacharit and Mincha but not Ma’ariv every day. Not infrequently I forget to daven Mincha. When that happens, am I supposed to daven Ma’ariv that night, and if so, once or twice?

Proper berachot on breakfast cereals

Hi, What bracha is "corn chex" cereal? The 1st ingredient is corn and the 2nd is milled corn- but even though the 1st ingredient is corn it really doesn't seem to have any corn texture.

Status of papaya

Is the papaya a fruit tree?

Who leads zimun when some eat dairy and others meat?

I understand that if three people eat together, where some are eating dairy and some eating meat, the one who is eating dairy leads the zimun because he can eat from his friend’s food but not vice versa. Is the same so if four people are eating, three meat and one milk, as the three do not require the dairy eater for the zimun? Should the dairy eater do zimun even if one of the others is a kohen?

Saying Tefillat Haderech by Microphone

I often take an intercity bus ride with a group of peers. One person has been reciting Tefillat Hederech over a microphone, and everyone answers Amen. Are we properly fulfilling the mitzva by microphone?

Bracha on ground cherries

Someone brought a new fruit on Rosh Hashana: "ground cherries." Despite the name, we were not sure of the beracha because it's likened to both a gooseberry and a tomato. When ripe, tastes sweet like pineapple.

Beracha on taboule

Can you please tell me what the proper beracha on taboule is, and why?

Beracha on cacoa beans

What is the bracha on raw cacao bean? Since most people don't eat it in the natural state is it like eating raw potatoes (shehakol) or is it ha'etz since it is nonetheless edible and they sell them in nutrition stores?

Shehecheyanu on Fruits for Travelers

I have come from England, where avocados are available all year long, to Israel, where it is primarily a winter-spring fruit. Do I recite Shehecheyanu upon eating it in Israel?

Bracha and hashgacha on chewing gum

Is a bracha required on chewing gum? Also what is the problem with non kosher gum?

Adding water to wine or grape juice for kiddush or havdalah

If one does not have enough wine/grape juice for either kiddush or havdalah, are you allowed to add water? If so, how much?

Reciting R'tzei After Havdala

After finishing seuda shlishit I forgot to recite Birkat Hamazon until coming back from Ma’ariv. Was I supposed to say R’tzei in Birkat Hamazon at that point?

When to count Sefirat Haomer when accepting Shabbat early

If we bring in Shabbat early before nightfall and daven Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv, when do we count the Omer ? Is it during the service before "alainu"or does one have to wait till after dark?

The Basis for a Meal of Thanksgiving After Recovery from Illness

Please explain the sources in the Torah and halacha for the custom to make a seudat hodaya (meal of thanksgiving) following recovery from a serious illness or surgery.

A woman making hamotzi for her husband and guests

Can my wife can make Hamotzi on Shabbos and it be Halachically valid for all our guests?

Beracha on drinks for a blood donor

I am a long time(close to 40 years) blood donor.I always drink plenty before donating.even with this they usually make me drink a cup or two before donating. In addition to this I am supposed to drink after.In which of these cases do I say a bracha? Thank you. I have about two weeks before I plan to donate again.

Kiddush and “Hamotzi” for Those in Need of Gluten-Free Diets

Because some family members are gluten-intolerant, we started baking two kinds of cakes, etc. that look and taste almost identical. Are the “Shehakol” pastries acceptable for the “Mezonot” foods that usually follow Kiddush?

Hamapil for Those Who Take a Long Time to Fall Asleep

I recently discontinued the practice of saying Hamapil because I don’t fall asleep quickly, and I find that I sometimes end up talking. Besides Rav Moshe Shternbach’s opinion not to recite Hamapil, am I justified?

Beracha on Homeopathic Medicine

I understand that one does not make a beracha on medicine. This raises a question for Orthodox users of homeopathic medicines (which are normally sweet). Should they listen to their homeopaths, who consider it medicine, and not make a beracha or listen to conventional doctors, who say it is not medicine, and make a beracha on it?

Shehecheyanu, Clothes, and Renovations During Sefira

May one buy and wear new clothes, do work on his house, and recite Shehecheyanu during the Sefira period? (I have recently been hearing that this is forbidden.)

Staging a Fake Pidyon Haben

I often serve as the kohen for pidyon haben. A friend told me he was a kohen at a fake pidyon haben: the mother had previously miscarried, and they were embarrassed to tell, so they faked the pidyon. If such a situation arises, what should I do?

Al Ha’eitz for Those Who Have Eaten a Variety of Fruits

Does the bracha acharona of Al Ha’eitz include other fruits eaten (not from the seven species)? Is it preferable to recite the beracha acharona of Al Hamichya / Al Ha’eitz before Borei Nefashot?

How Can the Mesader Kiddushin Recite the Chatan’s Beracha?

I was told that the berachot made by the rabbi (mesader kiddushin) under the chupa are berachot that the chatan should be making, but because some do not know how to do so, the rabbi does so. Is it possible to have someone who is not obligated make the beracha?

Statute of Limitation on Hagomel After Birth

My wife gave birth this winter and has not yet recited Birkat Hagomel. Can she still do so?

Continuing to Eat Based on an Initial Beracha

If I make a beracha on one food and then later decide to eat other foods of the same beracha, do I need to make a new beracha, or does the initial one cover them?

Birkat Hamazon for Those Who Have Left the Place of Eating?

If I leave my place in the midst of a meal including bread by myself without first bentching (reciting Birkat Hamazon), can I bentch when I remember? If so, how much time do I have to come back to bentch? If I had been eating with two other men and I eventually return before the others have benthced, can I join a zimun with them?

What to do if one is unsure if said a beracha acharona

After eating, some time later, I will often not recall if I said the appropriate after-bracha or other required bracha. In such instances, what should I do? Do I say a bracha or not?

Whether one should make a beracha when smelling something fragrant to identify it

I work with wood, and sometimes I want to know which kind of wood a certain piece is, which can sometimes be determined by its smell. If I smell pleasant smelling wood, like Santos Mahogany, should I make a Boreh atzei besamim?

Saying Birkat Hagomel After Using Makeshift System

Question (part I): It has been a couple months since I had a baby. May I still say Birkat Hagomel? Answer (part I): [We sent the new mother our response that appeared in Pinchas 5773, in which we explained that a woman can recite Hagomel at least up to twelve months from the time of the birth.] Question (part II): Before I sent you the question, I followed a ruling I found on-line that if one is not sure whether he needs to recite Hagomel, he should have in mind during the morning beracha of “… hagomel chasadim tovim l’amo Yisrael” that it should also serve as thanks in lieu of the regular Hagomel. After doing that, can I still follow your ruling and recite the regular beracha or would that now be a beracha l’vatala?

Counting Sefira with a Beracha When One Expects to Miss a Day

I rarely succeed in counting all 49 days of sefirat ha’omer. Considering that I seem to always discontinue making a beracha at some point, should I refrain from making one from the outset?

The Timing on the Beracha on Tzitzit After Being Up All Night

Most people, after learning all night on Shavuot, do not make a separate beracha on their tzitzit but use the beracha on their tallit, when they start davening. Since I do not wear a tallit, should I make a beracha on my tzitzit as soon as it becomes halachically possible?

Permissibility of a Personal Beracha

I am often overjoyed that Hashem granted me the zechut to live in Israel for many years, causing me to make a “spontaneous” beracha. A friend told me it is forbidden to compose my own berachot, as one can only use those Chazal composed. Is Judaism not all about thanking Hashem for all the wonders of creations and providence? Would I be precluded from thanking Hashem for something important to me?

Making Berachot on the Animals in a Zoo

To date I have not made berachot on animals I have seen in the zoo, but it seems from sifrei halacha that one should. Should I start doing so, and, if so, what are the basic rules?

Berachot on desserts

Does one have to make a beracha on dessert, for example, a crembo?

Birkat Haoreach (blessing of a guest for the host) when eating one’s own food

I was wondering if I should be saying Bircat Haoreach when I eat my own food at a friend's home.

Beracha on Vegetable Soup

What beracha do I make on vegetable soup when I consume just the broth? What beracha do I make on vegetable soup when I consume just the broth?

Beracha on a Newly Renovated Home

If I did major renovations in my home, do I recite Shehecheyanu on it?

Beracha on Pureed Vegetable Soup

I read your recent response about the beracha on the broth of vegetable soup. Is the halacha any different for pureed vegetable soup?

Hamapil for Those Who Go to Sleep Before Dark

Do people who go to sleep before nightfall (e.g., night shift workers, the old and ill during the summer) recite Hamapil before going to sleep?

Beracha Acharona on Fruit of Non-Jews in Israel

If I eat nochri (field in Israel owned by a non-Jew) fruit that gets an “Al Haetz”, do I end the beracha with “… al hapeirot” or “…al peiroteha”?

Does the beracha acharona of al haetz include other fruits

If one eats an apple and some dates, does the beracha acharona of al haetz include the apple?

Waiting Between the Beracha and the Kri’at Hatorah

In my shul (I am the rav), it is often too noisy to start laining right after the beracha. (How long/) may we delay the beginning of the aliya?

Interruption (Hesech Hadaat) in the middle of a meal in regards to Berachot

During a seudat mitzva lunch today, men left in mid meal to recite Mincha. Does such a pause in a meal constitute a hesech hadaat?

Al Hamichya on a Fruit

I ate a fruit that requires the beracha acharona of Al Ha’eitz but, due to a lack of concentration, I recited Al Hamichya. Do I have to subsequently recite the correct beracha acharona?

What does a Bracha effectuate?

On a daily basis (many times a day) we pronounce and recite many brachot upon/for people, stuff, occasions and situations. But what exactly is a Bracha, what does it do? Bracha is often translated as a blessing or praise, as opposite of curse, but it's not like we pronounce a wish, put on a spell or grant some magic in order to effectuate, realize or change that which has been spoken of. It's not that after we put a blessing over the bread that we're eating blessed bread right? It's still the same bread. So what is it that's changed, achieved, effectuated or gained with a Bracha? Are brachot just declarations, acknowledgements of what G-d does, did or create etc.?

Beracha on seeds with crumbs of bread mixed in

I like to eat the little seeds that fall from a bag full of bagels. They are tasty but raise a halachic question. Sometimes there are a few small bread crumbs mixed in with an ounce or so of seeds. What bracha should I make over the seeds if I see tiny bread crumbs mixed in with the seeds? Haadama because the seeds are poppy, sesame, and the like? Or Hamotzi due to the tiny bread crumbs?

The Beracha on Making a Roof-Top Fence

The investment team I am part of is currently renovating a building we own, including making a roof usable for tenants. The roof has a fence (ma’akeh), but we have contracted a non-Jewish company to remove and replace it. Can I make a beracha on the new fence even though non-Jews are installing it? Does one make a beracha on a fence that replaces a previous one?The investment team I am part of is currently renovating a building we own, including making a roof usable for tenants. The roof has a fence (ma’akeh), but we have contracted a non-Jewish company to remove and replace it. Can I make a beracha on the new fence even though non-Jews are installing it? Does one make a beracha on a fence that replaces a previous one?

Missing the Beginning of Havdala

This week, I did not hear the beracha of Borei Pri Hagafen during Havdala. Was I required to hear Havdala again?

counting sefiras haomer

I just learned (to my extreme surprise) that according to the Chazon Ish, as brought in Orchos Rabeinu, vol. 2, p. 94, one who said Today is the first day etc. is NOT yotzei sefiras haomer (he needs to say Today is one day, as opposed to first). However, up until now I did not know this ruling of the Chazon Ish, whose rulings I am generally particular to follow, and have been counting "first," "second," and so on (as I count in English). May I continue counting in the future with a bracha, even though in the past I was (apparently) not yotzei?

Berachot on Snacks and Drinks Throughout a House

When I am home for extended periods, I take snacks and drinks on no particular schedule, and I move from room to room and floor to floor. A similar situation exists at work, where I am based in one office but also go to other rooms. Should I make berachot each time I eat or drink?

beracha acharona after drinking water

I was told that there is no b'racha acharona if you drink water and are not thirsty, is this correct?

beracha on bao bun

What beracha is made on a bao bun? It is a bun made from dough which is cooked in steam.

Answering Devarim Shebekedusha During One’s Beracha

What are the halachot regarding someone who is saying a beracha (e.g., Asher Yatzar) and then starts hearing Kaddish or Kedusha? If she can finish before “amen yehei shmei rabba” (=aysr), should she just say the beracha quickly?

Answering Birkat Kohanim when One Kohen Finishes Last

In my shul, one kohen regularly finishes Birkat Kohanim after the others. When should I answer amen?

Doubt Whether you Recited Birkat HaTorah

I usually recite Birkat HaTorah on the way to shul. This morning, I was mentally preoccupied, and I have reason to suspect I did not say it. I thought of this when I came home and asked my wife, who had not yet recited it, to do so with me answering Amen. Did that cover my obligation?

Answering Amen to a Beracha You “Do Not Believe in”

If someone from Israel (who does not recite “Baruch Hashem l’olam …” [=bHlo]) is abroad (where they do recite it), I understand that he does not recite it but does answer amen in deference to the tzibbur’s minhag. Considering that he views the beracha as not called for, isn’t it a hefsek between birchot Kri’at Shema and Shemoneh Esrei. Similarly, should one who does not put on tefillin on Chol Hamo’ed say amen to the beracha of one who is doing so?

Zimun for a Sephardi, an Ashkenazi, and a Katan

I am Ashkenazi. I was eating with a Sephardi and a katan (under bar mitzva). Were we supposed to do a zimun?

Lateral Position of Tefillin Shel Rosh – part I

Must the tefillin shel rosh be exactly in the middle of the head, to the extent that some people spend several seconds adjusting it in front of a mirror?

When to Make a Beracha for Inheritance

The executor of my mother’s will is starting to distribute funds. I saw in P’ninei Halacha (online) that the beneficiaries should say Hatov V’hameitiv when they receive the funds. In our case, distribution will be piecemeal. When/how often should I recite the beracha?

Missing a Key Word from Al Hamichya

Unfortunately, I did not look at a siddur last night when reciting Al Hamichya. I made a couple mistakes along the way, and I remember specifically leaving out the words “al ha’aretz” in the chatimah (end part). Was I yotzeh?

Reciting Borei Nefashot on Food When One Will Still Drink

When I eat a fruit and drink, if I finish the fruit but will continue drinking for quite a while, when should I recite Borei Nefashot? If I do it after finishing the fruit, should I make a new beracha on the drink?

The Necessity to See the Moon Before Kiddush Levana

Last week clouds covered the moon after some of us began Kiddush Levana. Can the remainder rely on their “testimony” to join the beracha?

Is a Second Netilat Yadayim Necessary?

If one does netilat yadayim (=ny) before eating rinsed fruit (without a beracha), and then decides to eat bread, should he wash again, with a beracha?

“Hineni Muchan U’mezuman” before Sefirat Ha’omer

I am not consistent about saying “Hineni muchan u’mezuman” (=hmum) before sefirat ha’omer. Should I decide one way or the other, and which way is better?

“Baruch Hu U’varuch Shemo” in Zimun

It is unclear to me whether one is supposed to say “Baruch hu u’varuch shemo” at the end of zimun and if so, who is supposed to recite it. What is proper?

Birkat Kohanim by Non-Kohanim

Is it clear that a non-kohen (=zar) may bless his children or others with the blessings of Birkat Kohanim (=BK)?

When to Top the Bagel?

At a brit, I said Hamotzi on a bagel, and after taking a bite, put on cream cheese and lox. A friend corrected me, claiming that Halacha requires that the first bite, which connects to the beracha, should be done when it is in its optimal form, so that after the beracha, one should cut open the bagel, put on the toppings, and then eat. Could that be?
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