Monday, September 1, 2014

Birkat haGomeil on a trip with multiple stops

Hi,

One who takes a trip involving multiple brief stops should wait to recite the Birkat haGomeil blessings of thanks until arriving at the final destination, even should that be the point from which the journey originated. [Rivivot Ephraim does not define "brief", although one example is "a day or two".]

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:155)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A berachah after drinking

Hi,

We are supposed to recite a berachah acharonah blessing after eating, as a way to express gratitude to Gd. That gratitude is most clearly expressed when it is closely tied to the meal. Therefore, one who eats may recite the closing berachah acharonah blessing only until the food has passed through the initial stages of digestion, a period we normally define as 72 minutes.

It is difficulty to define a parallel period for beverages. Therefore, one who is drinking a beverage outside of the context of a meal should make sure to sip some of the beverage every few minutes, and to recite the berachah acharonah no more than a few minutes after concluding the drink.

Note: Wine is in a unique category, and one may recite its berachah acharonah for up to 72 minutes after drinking.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:153)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What if I missed hearing shofar in Elul?

Hi,

In the event that a community does not blow shofar after Shacharit in the month of Elul, they can make it up at minchah, before sunset.

(Rav Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe Orach Chaim 4:21:5)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The start of Elul: Psalm 27

Hi,

We customarily recite Psalm 27, “l’Dovid HaShem Ori,” at the end of Shacharit in the morning and at the end of Maariv in the evening, from the first day of Elul through Sh’mini Atzeret.

There are many reasons to recite this psalm in particular, but the general reason is that this chapter of Tehillim discusses Divine acceptance of our repentance.

(Mishneh Berurah 581:2)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Berachah on vegetable soup

Hi,

One who cooks vegetable soup, and who views the vegetables as the main part of the soup (rather than as flavouring for the water), should recite borei pri ha'adamah as the opening blessing, and should not recite any shehakol for the liquid or for other things, like meat, that are mixed in as minority items.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:151:9)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Monday, August 25, 2014

Water and wine

Hi,

One who drinks wine as well as water (or any other beverage) recites the closing berachah acharonah blessing appropriate for the wine, and that includes the water automatically.

This assumes that the water was present when the opening berachah was recited on the wine, or that the wine was a central component of one's meal. If the wine was only incidental, and the water was not present when the opening berachah was recited for the wine, then one recites a separate berachah acharonah for the water.

(Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 208:16; Mishneh Berurah 208:72)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The blessing to recite for medicine

Hi,

One who enters to let blood says, "May it be Your will, Gd, my Master, that this be a cure for me, for You heal at no cost." After he lets blood, he should say, "Blessed is the Healer of the sick."
(Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 230:4)


And so in every healing endeavour he should say this, and not think that any particular entity will heal him, only the Creator. Via this prayer he will place his trust in Gd, and ask that this should heal him.
(Mishneh Berurah 230:6)



Therefore, when one takes medication as well - even many times in a day – and for every medical action (i.e. putting in eye drops, smearing on a paste, or giving an injection), or for every surgical action, however minor, we must turn to Gd with this prayer, for Gd, and only Gd, is the true healer. Also before any exercise of any kind that one performs at the instruction of a doctor because of his illness, one must turn to Gd with this prayer. Even for something which seems to be minor, such as when a mother places a bandage on a child's small cut, she should be careful to recite with him this y'hi ratzon, for a cut can develop infection despite the bandage and [yet] some heal without anything at all – it is all in the hands of Heaven. And my mentor Rabbi Neuvirth said to me, "This is obvious." Further, with this she will take the opportunity to teach her child that it is not the bandage that heals, but it is Gd, and there is no other.
(Rabbi Dr. Avraham Sofer Abraham, Nishmat Avraham Orach Chaim 230:1)

Have a great day,
Mordechai