Volume 6 Number 14

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bracha on Get
         [Dave Novak]
Bracha on Procreation
         [Steven J Epstein]
Brachot on Get and Procreation
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
Brachot on Mitzvot
         [Morris Podolak]
Brachot on Procreation and Giving Tzedakah
         [Mike Gerver]
Marriage Berachos
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Marriage Berachot
         [Michael Shimshoni]
Mitzvoth Without Brachos
         [Danny Skaist]


From: Dave Novak <novak@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 93 14:31:07 -0500
Subject: Bracha on Get

I would like to respond in a general way to various postings on the
subject of why there is no b'racha for giving a get.

First, giving a get is a positive mitzva; it is positive mitvza number
222 in Rambam's Sefer Hamitzvot.  In my paraphrase, the Rambam says that
the command is to specifically use a written document to perform the
divorce (as opposed to any other means), if one wishes to divorce.  This
conditional form is like that of many positive mitzvot, such as
performing sh'chita if one wishes to eat meat.  It is still certainly a
mitzva despite the condition.

Second, I do not know why there is no b'racha for this mitzva.  It is
clear that, in Eitan Fiorino's formulation, this mitzva depends only on
the will of the parties (mid'oraita [according to the Torah] only on the
will of the husband, but since the takana [decree] of Rabbenu Gershom,
also on the will of the wife), yet there is no b'racha.  (There are also
examples in the other direction, such as the b'rachot for seeing natural
events which do not depend at all on the will of the person.)

Finally, various suggestions have been made about what b'racha one might
think to make when giving or receiving a get.  "Baruch dayan haemet",
recited on very unhappy occasions, does seem like a good choice.
Certainly, we might with wry humor (what my mother, aleha hashalom, used
to call "a bittere gelecther" [a bitter laugh]) make many other
suggestions.  In all seriousness, some might feel like saying "gomel"
because they have been extracted from a dangerous situation.  Perhaps
the Rabbis were very wise not to institute a particular b'racha because
in this way they gave recognition to the uniqueness of each situation.
I hope that Hashem will grant all of us the gift of being spared from
experiencing this situation ourselves in the future.

                                        - David Novak


From: <steviep@...> (Steven J Epstein)
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 93 15:38:40 -0500
Subject: Re: Bracha on Procreation

I imagine that the reason there is no need to make a brocha before
marital relations is the following. The mitzvah of P'ru U'revuh is
fulfilled by one's having children. Since marital relations do not
always lead to procreation, it is questionable whether any act of
marital relations is fulfilling any miztvah. Thus, based on the
principle of 'safek brachot lehakel', one does not make a brocha.

Note: Onah is a chiyuv (responsibility) of a man to his wife. 
One does not make a brocha on a chiyuv to another person 
(or else a man would have to make a brocha every time he bought his 
wife clothes).

Steve Epstein


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 93 14:10:55 -0500
Subject: Re: Brachot on Get and Procreation

There is no bracha on a get since there is no mitzva to get a get, one
has to get a get if one wants to annul a marriage it is simmilar to a
class of commandments called "lav hanitak la'aseh" the classical example
for that is that there is a positive commandment (an aseh) to return an
item that one stole (veheishiv et hagzeila) but that positive
commandment is linked to the act of stealing which is a "lav" (a
commandment of what not to do) also here in divorce we have the same
  The reason that there is no bracha on procreating is firstly that
there is no commandment on the woman to procreate. secondly as one
person here pointed out is that the mitzvah of pru u'revu is not
fulfilled at birth actualy even after having the required two kids of
different genders,the mitzvah is still not fully fulfilled until the
children have children.


From: Morris Podolak <morris@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 93 05:21:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Brachot on Mitzvot

Just a note on why there are certain mitzvoth on which we do not make a
bracha.  The RASHBA, in a responsum, offered the reason that if the
mitzvah depends on another person as well, then we do not make a bracha
because that other person may decide not to cooperate.  In giving
charity, for example, the giver might make the bracha, and give the
money, but the taker may decide he doesn't want it after all.  In
procreation, one party might make the bracha, and the other party might
get a headache.  Possibly the same reasoning applies to a get.  The
husband might make the bracha and then the wife might refuse to accept.
I say "possibly" because the consent of the wife is a rather recent
invention, dating back to Rabbenu Gershom (10th cent.), but I could see
how considerations of this type might apply.

There are other reason's besides that of the RASHBA.  I'll mention one
that I think is cute.  If we were to make a bracha on charity, then when
the poor man comes to the door begging for food, you first have to go
wash your hands, tie a gartle around your waist, put on a hat, start
swaying, and say the bracha slowly and with kavanah [concentration].  By
the time you get around to doing the mitzvah, the poor man will have
died of hunger.  Hence no bracha.

Morris Podolak


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 93 00:43 EST
Subject: Brachot on Procreation and Giving Tzedakah

An explanation I heard (I don't remember where) for not making a bracha
before the act of procreation is that, when making a bracha for a
mitzvah, one is supposed to concentrate on doing the mitzvah in order to
do the will of Hashem, and it is difficult to achieve such a mental
attitude before the act of procreation. This is a disturbing
explanation, since I don't find it so easy to achieve that degree of
kavanah [concentration] while making _any_ bracha. As for giving
tzedakah, I have heard the explanation that you don't make a bracha
because you cannot be sure that the person you are giving tzedakah to
will accept it, and if he doesn't then you will be making a bracha
levatala [in vain].

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 93 15:16:01 -0500
Subject: Marriage Berachos

Sheva Berachos

        To the best of my recollection, the berachos under the chuppa
are berachos hashevach, not berachos hamitzvah. This is in accordance
with the view of the Rashba in his teshuvos that one does not make a
beracha over any mitzva which requires the participation of another


From: <MASH@...> (Michael Shimshoni)
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 93 15:12:05 +0200
Subject: Re: Marriage Berachot

Aryeh Frimer said:
>        Freda Birnbaum suggests that the Sheva Brachot are in fact the
>brachot before procreation. This is peculiar since there is no mention
>whatsoever of procreation in the sheva Brachot. On the contrary, Chazal
>emphasize companionship, joy, happiness, love, and friendship - but not
>one word, not even a hint, about procreation. While, marriage is the
>proper venue for procreation - it is not the sole purpose for marriage
>or even the major purpose.

I wonder  if that is  so.  I think that  the words there  "vehitqin lo
mimenu binyan ade ad", is more than just a "hint" about procreation.

Michael Shimshoni


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 93 03:54:57 -0500
Subject: Mitzvoth Without Brachos

>Jonathan B. Horen
>"Lichtov sefer kritut" (to write a Get) is a positive mitzva from the
>Torah -- that is, in order for a husband to divorce his wife. However,
>Also: why a brocha for brit mila, but not for the *act* of procreation?

The *acts* specified, 1) procreation and 2) "Writing" a get, do not
guarentee the accomplishment of the mitzva.  The mitzva is not
considered performed until 1) a son and daughter are born and 2) the get
is delivered.  Until the "get" is delivered it isn't really a "get",
just a piece of paper.  When later developements prove that the mitzva
was actually already performed, it is too late to make a brocha.  You
can't make a brocha on a mitzva you have already finished.

>taking-up the Arba Minim, or washing one's hands, or, or, or... there

My point exactly. Note that with Arba minim we do take special care that
we don't perform the mitzva before the brocha.  "Washing hands" includes
drying and we make the brocha before we finish.



End of Volume 6 Issue 14