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Brachot - The Art of BlessingsRav Dovid gives a daily halacha at the Wall Street Synagogue in Lower Manhattan.
This series covers brachot.
|10 Adar 5770||listen||
What if you forget Al HaNissim?
What to do if you forget al hanissim in either the amidah or in birkat hamazon.
Sources: OC 682:1; MB 682:1-5
|25 Cheshvan 5770||listen||
The Closing Blessing of Yishtabach (2)
Insights into the understanding of yishtabach.
Sources: OC 54:2; MB 54:3
|24 Cheshvan 5770||listen||
The Closing Blessing of Yishtabach
Answering "Amen" to yishtabach.
Sources: OC 54:2; MB 54:2-3
|23 Cheshvan 5770||listen||
Introduction to Yishtabach
Sources: OC 54:1; MB 54:1
|18 Cheshvan 5770||listen||
Kavanah: Birkat HaMazon Can be Said in Any Language
Ideas in kavanah; introduction to kavanah for birkat hamazon.
Sources: OC 185:1; MB 185:1
|13 Nissan 5769||listen||
The Nusach for Birkas HaChama
When we say Birkas HaChama, we include passages to accompany the blessing itself.
|12 Nissan 5769||listen||
Birkas HaChama: Halachic Summary
Times, cloudy days, women and children, and other issues.
|9 Nissan 5769||listen||
Birkat HaChama: Summary Overview
Review and summary of the blessing for the sun.
|17 Shevat 5769||listen||
Saying Birkat HaMazon in an Inapropriate Place
If you said birkat hamazon and then realized there was filth nearby, do you need to go back and say birkat hamazon again?
Sources: OC 185:5; MB 185:5,7
|16 Shevat 5769||listen||
Saying Birkat HaMazon after a Little Wine
It's normal to drink wine as part of the meal. Can you say birkat hamazon if you are a little tipsy?
Sources: OC 185:4-5; MB 185:4,6,8
|12 Shevat 5769||listen||
Speaking the Words of Birkat HaMazon
Like the amidah and the shema, we speak the words of birkat hamazon loud enough to hear them.
Sources: OC 185:2-3; MB 185:2-3
|11 Shevat 5769||listen||
Saying Birkat HaMazon in Hebrew and Other Languages
The importance of understanding birkat hamazon and the importance of kavanah.
Sources: OC 185:1; MB 185:1
|20 Tevet 5769||listen||
When is sickness a danger? Also: Danger that Isn't One of "The Four"
Do all illnesses require birkat hagomel?
Sources: OC 219:8-9; MB 219:24-32; Yechave Da'at 4:14
|19 Tevet 5769||listen||
Birkat HaGomel: Travel by Plane, Ship, and Car
Modern travel: is birkat hagomel required? NOTE: The first 10 seconds of this audio are very poor quality.
Sources: Yechave Da'at 2:26; Igros Moshe OC 2:59
|18 Tevet 5769||listen||
What is "Danger?"
What if you crossed the desert but experienced no danger? NOTE: The first 10 seconds of this audio are very poor quality.
Sources: OC 219:7; MB 219:3,21-23,31; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yordei Yam"
|17 Tevet 5769||listen||
Fulfilling Your Obligation with Someone Else's Birkat HaGomel
If two people have an obligation to say birkat hagomel, one can say it for both of them.
Sources: OC 219:5-6; MB 219:18-19,8
|16 Tevet 5769||listen||
Saying Birkat HaGomel for Someone Else
Halacha l'ma'aseh: do we say birkat hagomel for others today?
Sources: OC 219:4; MB 219:16-17; Yechave Da'at 2:25
|13 Tevet 5769||listen||
How can someone else say Birkat HaGomel for you?
How is it that someone else can say a bracha for which they are not obligated, and how can doing so fulfill your obligation!?
Sources: OC 219:4; MB 219:12-15
|12 Tevet 5769||listen||
Answering "Amen" to Someone Else's Birkat HaGomel
Oddly enough, if someone else makes a bracha over your miracle and you answer "Amen", you have fulfilled your obligation.
|11 Tevet 5769||listen||
Minyan, Standing, and Answering Birkat HaGomel
Is a minyan required for birkat hagomel? Can it be said seated? What if you say the brachah and no one answers?
Sources: OC 219:2-3; MB 219:5-9
|6 Tevet 5769||listen||
When has danger passed?
At what point do we say that one travelling by sea is no longer in danger?
|4 Tevet 5769||listen||
Giving Thanks According to the Rambam
Understanding the Talmud -- the Rambam's explanation of the Gamara provides insights into and has implications regarding the halacha of birkat hagomel.
|3 Tevet 5769||listen||
Four Experiences Require a Todah
There are four situations that require a Jew to bring a Todah offering.
|21 Kislev 5769||listen||
Mixtures and Compounds, Spices, and Medicines
Does a medicine require a bracha?
Sources: OC 203:5-7; MB 203:6-7,10-13
|20 Kislev 5769||listen||
Ginger and Roots
What is the bracha for roots from a tree?
Sources: OC 203:6, 202:18; MB 203:8-9, 202:82
|19 Kislev 5769||listen||
Radishes and Root Vegetables
Root vegetables are either pri ha-adama or she-hakol.
Sources: OC 203:8; MB 203:14
|18 Kislev 5769||listen||
Wild Berry Trees
Crab apples and crab pears; wild berries on trees and bushes; lousy fruits.
Sources: OC 203:4; MB 203:5
|14 Kislev 5769||listen||
Trees and Plants (2)
More on the difference between a tree and a plant.
Sources: OC 203:2; MB 203:2,5
|13 Kislev 5769||listen||
Trees and Plants (1)
A first look at the difference between a tree and a plant.
Sources: OC 208:2-3,5; MB 203:1,4,6-7; Beur Halacha d.h. "Eilonei Srak"
|12 Kislev 5769||listen||
Brachot for Fruits that Grow in the Ground
Introduction to the bracha borei pri ha-adamah.
Sources: OC 208:1-2; MB 203:1
|23 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
Brachos Over Wonders of the World
Brachos upon seeing wondrous mountains, rivers, oceans, and deserts.
Sources: OC 238:1; MB 238:1-4
|22 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
Hearing Thunder when You Can't Make the Brachah
If you are in a place (like a bathroom) where you can't make the brachah on thunder (or anything else), do you lose the brachah, or is there an option to make it later?
Sources: OC 237:3; MB 237:9-12
|20 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
Brachos on Lightning and Thunder
During a thunder storm, how many times can you make a brachah?
|19 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
Comets, Meteors, Thunder, Lightening, and Storm Winds
Awesome (in the literal sense) natural events inspire brachos.
|16 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
The Blessing Over a Rainbow
The sight of a rainbow reminds us of Hashem's covenant with Noah and as such merits a special blessing.
Sources: OC 239:1; MB 239:1-5; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaRoeh..."
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
|15 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
Birkat HaChama: Understanding the Calendar
If our Hebrew calendar is based on Rav Adda's calculations, why is birkat ha-chama based on Mar Shmuel's calculations? Also, why don't we say shehechiyanu when we say birkat ha-chama?
Sources: Misat Binyamin 101
|14 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
Birkat HaChama: What if it's a cloudy day?
Can birkat ha-chama be made if you can't see the sun?
Sources: Shaarei Teshuva 239:3
|13 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
Birkat HaChama: Halacha l'Ma'aseh
The ideal time to make birkat hachama is just after netz ha-chama; in practical terms, this means just after shacharit.
Sources: OC 239:2; MB 239:6-10
|12 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
Birkat HaChama According to the Rambam
Understanding the blessing over the sun according to the Rambam; also: the constellations and astrological signs.
Sources: MT Brach. 10:18
|9 Cheshvan 5769||listen||
What blessing is only said on a Wednesday?
What blessing is said only once every 28 years?
Sources: Brachot 59a
|26 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av
On Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, do we read the haftarah for Rosh Chodesh or for the Tlat d'Puranuta? Also: the brachot for the haftorah and musaf on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh.
|25 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Preserves, Jelly, and Jam: Tzurat HaPri Nikeret (2)
The importance of a fruit being recognizable; summary of the laws of brachot for fruit.
Sources: OC 202:7; MB 202:42
|21 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Crushed, Mashed, and Jellied Fruit: Tzurat HaPri Nikeret
Does a fruit keep its bracha if the fruit is in a form that is no longer recognizable as the fruit?
Sources: OC 202:7; MB 202:40-44
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Moshe Chaim ben Rivka.
|20 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Picking Overripe and Underripe Fruits
Some fruits are meant to be picked before they are fully grown; others are meant to be picked after they are overripe.
Sources: OC 202:5,9; MB 202:35-37,48-50
|18 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Ikkar HaPri: The Main Part of the Fruit
Brachot for orange peels, grape leaves, capers, caper leaves, and more -- what is the main part of the fruit or tree?
Sources: OC 202:6; MB 202:38-39
|15 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Brachot for Various Spices
What is the bracha for a spice that comes from a tree? Is it a "fruit extract" like juice? Does it matter if it comes from the fruit or some other part of the tree like the root?
Sources: OC 202:16-18; MB 202:77-83
|14 Tamuz 5768||listen||
The Bracha for Sugar
Sugar, like fruit, is a product from a tree (or at least a plant). What is its correct bracha?
Sources: OC 202:15; MB 202:73-76; Beur Halacha d.h. "Al HaSukar"
|13 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Brachot for Juices (2)
At what point is juice the "normal" way of eating a fruit? What about stewing or seeping? Plumbs, figs, and oranges; kanata a'da'ta d'hechi.
Sources: OC 202:10; MB 202:52
|12 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Brachot for Juices (1)
Juice that seeps or is squeezed from fruit or that comes from crushing or cooking fruit -- what is its bracha?
Sources: OC 202:8,10; MB 202:45-47,51,53
|11 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Ikkar, Tefel, and Kavanah: Brachot on Mixtures of Juices
Figuring out the correct bracha on a mixture is complex and includes the intricacies of ikkar v'tefel, kavanah, ta'am, ikkar hapri, and more.
Sources: OC 202:4; MB 202:29-34
|8 Tamuz 5768||listen||
What's the bracha for olive oil?
Concepts in brachot related to juices and medicines; also, more on ikkar v'tefel.
Sources: OC 202:4; MB 202:26-28
|6 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Brachot on Fruit Seeds
Is a seed part of the fruit and hence subject to the same brachah, or is it a different food? Is the seed tafel to the fruit? Why is the tree grown?
Sources: OC 202:3; MB 202:23-25
|4 Tamuz 5768||listen||
Honey-Roasted or Fried Immature Nuts
What is the brachah for an immature, inedible nut that becomes edible when cooked? Concept: natay a'da'ta.
Sources: OC 202:14; MB 202:69-72
|30 Sivan 5768||listen||
Honey-Roasted, Fried, and Raw Nuts
What is the brachah for a nut? Concepts: ikkar and tefel; griuta and maalyuta; tzurato nikeret.
Sources: OC 202:13; MB 202:66-68
|29 Sivan 5768||listen||
Cooked and Fresh Fruits (2)
What is the brachah for a fresh fruit that is better when cooked? A cooked fruit that tastes better when fresh?
Sources: OC 202:12; MB 202:63-65
|28 Sivan 5768||listen||
Cooked and Fresh Fruits (1)
What is the brachah for a fruit that is eaten either cooked or fresh?
Sources: OC 202:2,12; MB 202:20-22,61-62
|27 Sivan 5768||listen||
Brachot on Unripe Fruits
What is the brachah for fruit that is sour, bitter because it is unripe? What if it is so bitter that it is inedible?
Sources: OC 202:2; MB 202:17-19
|24 Sivan 5768||listen||
Brachot on Immature Fruit
At what point during a fruit's maturation process does it become the "main" fruit that receives the brachah borei pri ha-etz?
Sources: OC 202:2; MB 202:11-15
|23 Sivan 5768||listen||
Raisin Wine (2)
Halacha l'ma'aseh: there are four requirements that, if met, make raisin wine pri ha-gefen by all opinions.
Sources: OC 202:11; MB 202:56-60
|21 Sivan 5768||listen||
Raisin Wine (1)
Is the brachah for raisin wine borei pri hagafen or shehakol?
Sources: OC 202:11; MB 202:54-55
|20 Sivan 5768||listen||
When is wine no longer wine?
At some point in mixing wine with other liquids, its brachah changes from borei pri ha-gefen. Just when does that happen?
Sources: OC 202:1; MB 202:7-10
|17 Sivan 5768||listen||
What is wine for the purposes of brachot?
Does wine still get a special brachah if it is concentrated? Mevushal? Pasteurized? Mixed with other flavors?
Sources: OC 202:1; MB 202:3-6
|16 Sivan 5768||listen||
Becoming a Chasid for Brachos; The Importance of Wine and Fruit
Why does wine get a special bracha? Why does fruit from a tree get a different bracha from other plants?
Sources: Shaarei Teshuva 202:19; OC 202:1; MB 202:1-2
|15 Sivan 5768||listen||
Parameters for Brachot on Fruit
The general rules for brachot on fruit -- when the brachah is pri ha'etz, pri ha'adamah, and shehakol. Also: what to do if you don't know what brachah to make -- the answer will likely surprise you!
Sources: OC 202:18; MB 202:83-86
|14 Sivan 5768||listen||
Why do we make brachos prior to eating?
Eating without saying a bracha prior to eating is like stealing from Hashem.
Sources: Brachot 35a
|13 Sivan 5768||listen||
Chinuch and Birkat HaMazon
Chinuch for Birkat HaMazon is unique in that a child can fulfill his father's obligation.
Sources: OC 186:1-2; MB 186:1-7
|8 Adar I 5768||listen||
Review: Shema through Aleinu
A review, summary and overview of halachot of shacharit, from Shema through Aleinu.
|7 Adar I 5768||listen||
Review: Wakeup through Shema
A review, summary and overview of halachot of morning conduct, from waking up through the recitation of Shema.
|25 Sivan 5767||listen||
Reciting the Morning Brachot Out of Order; Other Morning Blessings
If the morning brachot are recited out of order, how should one correct the error, if at all. Also -- some mistaken brachot that were once recited.
Sources: OC 46:5-7; MB 46:20-23
|22 Sivan 5767||listen||
More Morning Blessings; What if the particular bracha doesn't apply to you?
Three more morning brachot; differences in the order of brachot among Sephardim and Ashkenazim. Also: what if the reason for reciting one of the blessings doesn't apply to you?
Sources: OC 46:4,8; MB 46:15-19,24-26; Baer Heitev 46:8
|21 Sivan 5767||listen||
Morning Blessings (Part 3): The Order of the Blessings
Why are the blessings we recite today in a different order from those in the Shulchan Aruch? And when is the proper time for the bracha al netilat yadayim?
Sources: OC 46:1-2; MB 46:10-13
|20 Sivan 5767||listen||
Morning Blessings (Part 2)
The blessings over dressing, stretching, opening your eyes, walking, wearing shoes, and more.
Sources: OC 46:1; MB 46:5-9
|19 Sivan 5767||listen||
Morning Blessings (Part 1): Elohai Neshoma and Daybreak
The brachot Elohai Neshoma and asher natan l'sechvi vina are recited each morning. What if you didn't sleep? What if you didn't hear a rooster crow?
Sources: OC 46:1,8; MB 46:1-4
|18 Sivan 5767||listen||
Introduction: 100 Brachos per Day
Why do we have so many different brachot? An introduction to the history of brachot.
|15 Sivan 5767||listen||
The Prohibition on Reciting Pasukim Prior to Birkat HaTorah
Not only is there a requirement to recite Birkat HaTorah prior to learning, there is a reciprocal prohibition agasint reciting pasukim prior to reciting Birkat HaTorah -- even if the pasukim are said as tefilla.
Sources: OC 46:9; MB 46:29-32
|14 Sivan 5767||listen||
Birkot HaTorah -- The Gemara and Tosefot
This shiur goes through the Gemara and Tosefot in detail as an illustration of how the pilpul of the Rishonim results in all of the different halacha l'ma'aseh categories in Birkot HaTorah -- the l'chatchila and b'dieved halacha, kavanah, the requirement to learn after the bracha or after ahava raba, etc.
Sources: Brachot 11b; Tos. Br. 11b d.h. SheKvar Niftar
|13 Sivan 5767||listen||
Learning after Birkat HaTorah; Women's Obligation for Birkat HaTorah
It is best to learn immediately after reciting Birkat HaTorah. Also: all agree that women too are obligated to recite Birkat HaTorah, though their obligation may or may not be the same as men's obligation.
Sources: OC 47:9,14; MB 47:19-21; Beur Halacha d.h. "Nashim"
|12 Sivan 5767||listen||
Fulfilling the Obligation for Birkat HaTorah via Ahava Raba
How is it that Ahava Raba fulfills the obligation to recite a bracha over Torah learning?
Sources: OC 47:7-8; MB 47:13-18
|8 Sivan 5767||listen||
Daytime Sleep and Other Interruptions in Learning
Most brachot are only valid so long as one keeps focused on the action over which one made the brachah. So what happens if you take your mind off your learning?
Sources: OC 47:10-11; MB 47:22-25
|5 Sivan 5767||listen||
Staying Awake All Night; Awakening before Dawn
If you are awake all night, does one say Birkot HaTorah the following morning? What if you slept a little? What if you wake up to learn in the middle of the night -- are brachot required prior to learning? Halachah l'ma'aseh for Shavuot.
Sources: OC 47:12-13; MB 47:28-33
|4 Sivan 5767||listen||
Thinking Thoughts of Torah
Is a brachah required prior to thinking thoughts of Torah? If so, how can we do a mitzvah -- any mitzvah -- without first making Birkot HaTorah?
Sources: OC 47:4; MB 47:5-7; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaKotev"
|1 Sivan 5767||listen||
Does writing words of Torah require a blessing?
When writing or copying words of Torah or pasukim one is not learning Torah. Does writing require a blessing?
Sources: OC 47:3; MB 47:4
|28 Iyar 5767||listen||
The Importance of Birkot HaTorah
We are obligated to make birkot HaTorah with joy over the gift that Hashem has entrusted to us. Failure to do so brings serious consequences
Sources: OC 47:1; MB 47:1-2
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Sara Chanah bat Rachel Devorah.
|27 Iyar 5767||listen||
The Requirement for Birkot HaTorah
Birkot HaTorah are required prior to any Torah learning -- including both the Written and Oral Torah, Midrash, Halacha, and even Musar.
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
|26 Iyar 5767||listen||
Birkot HaTorah - Introduction
An overview of the blessings made over learning Torah. How many blessings are there?
Sources: OC 47:5-6; MB 47:8-12
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Ariella Rivkah ben Devora Pessel.
|11 Nisan 5767||listen||
Blessings on the Four Cups of Wine
Does each of the four cups require its own brocha rishona? Brocha achrona? Why or why not?
Sources: OC 474:1; MB 474:1-5
|12 Adar 5767||listen||
Al HaNissim in Birkat HaMazon for Purim
What if you forget al hanissim in birkat hamazon? Also: what if Purim falls before or after shabbos and your meal begins in the day and continues into the night -- can you say both al hanissim and r'tzei?
Sources: OC 695:3; MB 695:15
|27 Kislev 5767||listen||
Al HaNissim for Chanukah
Why doesn't al hanisim mention the nes of the oil? Adding al hanissim to birkat hamazon and the amidah; what if you forget al hanissim?
Sources: OC 682:1-2; MB 682:1-4,6
|1 Tamuz 5766||listen||
Mentioning Rosh Chodesh in Birkat HaMazon and Korbonot
Part of the observance of Rosh Chodesh includes adding ya'aleh v'yavo in Birkat HaMazon. What if it is forgotten? Also: mentioning the Rosh Chodesh sacrifices as part of korbonot.
|13 Iyar 5766||listen||
An introduction to the Morning Blessings, based on Brachot 60b.
Sources: Brachot 60b
|27 Adar 5766||listen||
Who should check for chometz?
Who is trusted to check for chometz? If multiple people are checking or if you are checking more than one place, do you make more than one brocha?
Sources: OC 432:2; MB 432:7-12
|24 Adar 5766||listen||
The Blessing for Checking for Chometz
What is the blessing before checking for chometz and why? When is it recited?
|15 Shevat 5766||listen||
Putting on Tefillin
The order of putting on Tefillin.
|11 Shevat 5766||listen||
Tefillin: One Mitzvah or Two?
Are Tefillin one mitvah or two mitzvot? Do they require one blessing or two? What should you do if you only have one tefilla?
|11 Tevet 5766||listen||
Is a blessing made on a borrowed tallis? What about one that belongs to the shul? What if I just put it on for an aliyah?
Sources: OC 14:3; MB 14:9-11
|4 Tevet 5766||listen||
Brachot for Tallis Gadol and Tallis Katan
What is the bracha on the tallis gadol? On the tallis katan? Do we make brachot on both? What if the tallis katan is donned before sunrise?
Sources: OC 8:1,17
|29 Kislev 5766||listen||Birkat HaMazon - Grace after Meals (1:20:30)|
|21 Kislev 5766||listen||
The Blessings Over the Chanukah Candles
What blessings are recited over the Chanukah candles and why?
|1 Cheshvan 5766||listen||
Saying Ya'aleh v'Yavo in Birkat HaMazon
Ya'aleh v'Yavo is added to Birkat HaMazon on Rosh Chodesh. What do you do if you forget to add it in?
Sources: OC 424:1; MB 424:1,2
|9 Elul 5765||listen||
The Brocha when Checking Chometz - Advanced
Kollel-level shiur on Rosh, Pesachim, Chapter 1, Part 10
Sources: Rosh Pesachim 1:10 and related Talmud references
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