Monday, January 19, 2009

Which blessing do we recite for smelling sweet spices?


One of the blessings of Havdalah is recited before smelling sweet spices.

We recite the blessing "Borei Minei Besamim (Who creates the different types of spices)," which is a catch-all for all types of spices, whether they come from bark or flowers or other materials.

Technically there are materials-specific blessings, and we use those other blessings at general times when we smell sweet spices, but for Havdalah we use this catch-all blessing in order to prevent people from making the wrong blessing; most people are not expert in the different types of spice-blessings.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 297:1; Mishneh Berurah 297:1)

Have a great day,

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