Halacha for Thursday 24 Sivan 5778 June 7 2018

The Blessing of “Asher Yatzar Etchem Be’Din”

Question: If one sees a cemetery every day while travelling by car near the entrance to Jerusalem, must one recite the blessing of “Asher Yatzar Etchem Be’Din” every time one sees it?

Answer: Indeed, one who sees Jewish graves must recite the blessing of “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam Asher Yatzar Etchem Be’Din Ve’Zan Etchem Be’Din Ve’Yode’a Mispar Kulechem Ve’Hu Atid Le’Hachayotchem Ul’Kayem Etchem Baruch Ata Hashem Mechaye Ha’Metim” while looking at them. (The translation of this blessing is: Blessed are You Hashem, our G-d, King of the Universe, who has formed you with justice and sustained you with justice and knows the number of you all; He shall one day resurrect you and cause you to exist. Blessed are You Hashem, He who resurrects the dead.) Nevertheless, only one who has not seen these graves for the last thirty days recites this blessing; however, if one has seen the graves during the last thirty days and is now seeing the same graves again, one does not recite the blessing. Thus, regarding our question, one who sees Jewish graves on Har Ha’Menuchot (a large cemetery at the entrance to Jerusalem) every day as one is driving into Jerusalem would not recite a blessing upon seeing the graves unless thirty days have passed since one has last seen these graves and recited the blessing last.

Another point we must raise regarding our question is that even if thirty days have indeed passed since one has last seen these graves, one may still not recite the blessing upon seeing the graves based on what the Tosefta says, “If one walks in a cemetery, one recites the blessing of ‘Asher Yatzar Etchem Be’Din’ etc.” This implies that only if one comes as close as possible to the graves would one recite the blessing; however, if one merely sees the graves from afar, one would not recite the blessing. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules likewise in his Chazon Ovadia-Berachot (page 420) that one must actually be standing near the graves in order to recite this blessing. This seems to be the opinion of Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l as well.

Summary: If one sees Jewish graves, one recites the blessing of “Asher Yatzar Etchem Be’Din.” This blessing is recited only once every thirty days. Nevertheless, if one sees other graves in the meantime (for instance, if one travels to visit the graves of righteous individuals), one should indeed recite this blessing again. This blessing is only recited when one is actually near the graves; however, if one merely sees the graves from afar as one is travelling, one does not recite this blessing. May we merit seeing the Resurrection of the Dead speedily in our days, Amen.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Pausing Silently in the Middle of the Amida Prayer

The Amida prayer must be recited with continuity. One may not interrupt one’s Amida prayer for any reason. In the previous Halacha, we have written that if one begins reciting the Amida prayer and senses a foul odor emanating from a baby and the like, one must stop praying immediately, for......

Read Halacha

If One Must Rise Before a Rabbi Every Time He Enters the Room

Question: The custom in our community is to rise every time the rabbi of the synagogue enters the sanctuary. Even if the rabbi enters the synagogue several times, we rise for him every time. Recently though, one of the members of the synagogue raised issue with this and said that the more observant ......

Read Halacha

Question: What should one do if one senses a foul odor, such as from a baby and the like, while one is standing and reciting the Amida prayer?

Answer: The Torah states, “And your camp shall be holy.” We derive from this verse that one may not pray, recite a blessing, or any other words of holiness when there is something repulsive, such as excrement or a foul odor in the area. Thus, one may not pray when a child is running a......

Read Halacha

Cooking by Non-Jews in Restaurants or Hotels

Question: We have written in the past regarding a restaurant where a Jew ignites the flame in the morning that although a non-Jewish cook places the foods on the fire, it is nevertheless permissible to eat in such restaurants and this does not constitute a prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew. R......

Read Halacha


Prayer Texts

The various texts of the prayer found among the various communities of the Jewish nation all have strong and holy roots. Therefore, one should not deviate from the prayer text that one’s forefathers were accustomed to. Hence, a Sephardic individual should not adopt the prayer text of Ashkenazi......

Read Halacha

The Obligation to Stand While Kaddish and Barechu are Recited

Question: When the Chazzan or an individual receiving an Aliya to the Torah recites “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach” and the congregation replies “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed,” must the congregation rise completely or partially or is there n......

Read Halacha

Praying in Pajamas

Question: Can one pray while wearing pajamas? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have established that before praying, one must prepare a fitting place, proper attire, and cleanse one’s body and thoughts, as the verse in the book of Amos states, “Prepare yourself before your G-d, Isra......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b)......

Read Halacha