Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


10. Benedictions - Berachos

a) Types of Benedictions

We are commanded to recite a benediction after eating, as it says "And you shall eat and be satisfied and bless Ha-Shem your G-d".1 The sages further instituted benedictions before eating, drinking, or smelling fragrant odors; before performing commandments; and benedictions of praise to G-d on various occasions. Ezra and his court established the wording of all the benedictions; one should not depart from it. One who hears another reciting a benediction should respond "amen". One should avoid unnecessary benedictions, but it is praiseworthy to make many necessary ones, as David said "Every day I shall bless you".2,a

One who receives good news should recite the benediction "...Who is good and does good"; on bad news one should recite "...the True Judge". On good events or on the performance of commandments that happen only infrequently one recites "...Who has kept us alive, and sustained us, and helped us reach this time". A sick person who recovers, a prisoner who is released, a seafarer who reaches land, and a traveller who reaches a settlement should publicly recite "...Who has bestowed all goodness on me".3 Other benedictions were instituted for one who sees unusual creatures or natural phenomena, or the new moon, as well as for many other occasions.b

b) Benedictions over Food

The basic benediction before eating or drinking is "...by Whose word everything comes into existence"; but special benedictions were instituted over specific types of food: on things that grow in the ground, "...Who creates the fruit of the ground"; on the fruit of trees, "...Who creates the fruit of the tree"; on wine, "...Who creates the fruit of the vine"; on bread, "...Who brings bread forth from the earth"; and on certain other foods made from grain, "...Who creates kinds of food".c Before eating bread or any food having liquid ingredients one must wash his hands by pouring fresh water (a volume equal to 1.5 eggs) over them from a vessel and then dry them.d

After eating an amount the size of an olive or drinking a volume equal to 1.5 eggs the basic benediction is "...Who is the life of all the worlds". After foods made from grain, or wine, or grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, or dates,4 one recites a benediction ending "...For the land and for the sustenance (or: the fruits)".e After bread one recites four benedictions: "...Who feeds all", "...for the land and for the food", "...Who builds Jerusalem", and "...Who is good and does good..."; these were instituted by Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon, and the sages of the Mishnah, respectively.f If three or more men eat bread together they should recite these benedictions together and precede them by reciting responsively "...Blessed be He (for ten or more men: our G-d) Whose food we have eaten and by Whose goodness we live."g

Sources:

1. Deut. 8:10 a. 1:1-5, 13; 11:16
2. Psalms 145:2 b. 10:1-3, 8, 12ff.; 11:9
3. See Psalm 107 c. 8:1-2, 10; 3:2ff.
4. See Deut. 8:8 d. 6:1, 6-7, 20
e. 8:1-2, 14; 3:2ff., 12-13
f. 3:2; 2:1
g. 5:2, 4



 


ARTICLES ON VAYIGASH AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Lighting Up the Streets
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Vayigash
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Straightening Out The Cause And The Effect
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Little Background Information
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Parshas Vayigash
Shlomo Katz - 5770

“So you Think You’re The Man, Alexander?” (Insights for Chanukah)
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Into the Hands of the Few
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

'Mehadrin' - An Understanding of the Concept
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Enlightening the Present From the Past
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

> Dreaming in Real-Time
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Time Study
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

Tightening the Hellenistic Screws: A History of Chanukah, Part I
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5774

ArtScroll

A Little Light Chases Away a Lot of Darkness
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

A Dialog That Got To The Heart of The Matter
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

A Matter of Approaches
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Yosef Recognizes His Brothers
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information