Halacha for Thursday 10 Sivan 5778 May 24 2018

“Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach”

Question: If one is praying alone and thus cannot answer “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed,” may one recite “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach” on his own or not?

Answer: It is well-known that the recitation of “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach” was enacted to be recited only in the presence of a quorum of ten Jewish men. If ten men are not present, this may not be recited. Thus, if one recites this alone, one transgresses the grave prohibition of uttering Hashem’s name in vain.

The Words of the Midrash
Nevertheless, our Sages in the Midrash Ruth expound the verse, “Cease from the man who has a soul within him, for of what importance is he” to mean that one’s soul does not resettle properly within him after one has slept a sleep of an established character until one recites “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed.” If one did not merit reciting these words, the soul leaves him. This is a very serious matter, as is explained there regarding the words of the verse.

It is for this reason that every Jewish man should take care to always pray with a Minyan in order to be able to recite “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed.” Similarly, a woman who merits answering “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed” is especially praiseworthy although this is very difficult at times.

What One May Recite Instead of “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach”
The Sefer Ha’Rokeach quotes several teachings of our Sages and writes that if one recites them, this is tantamount to answering “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed.” Maran Ha’Chida writes in his Tziporen Shamir that one should recite the following Baraita: “Rabbi Akiva said: There is a certain creature in Heaven and its name is ‘Yisrael’ and the word ‘Yisrael’ is engraved on its forehead. It stands in the middle of Heaven and proclaims, ‘Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach’ at which point all celestial regiments reply, ‘Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed.’”

Thus, reciting this Baraita will be tantamount to answering “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed” with the congregation and one’s soul will properly resettle in one’s body.

The Opinion of Maran zt”l
Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that one who recites this Baraita should omit the actual name of Hashem, for this is not the actual recitation of “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed” which is recited along with Hashem’s name. Rather, one should merely recite “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed” without actually uttering Hashem’s name.

Maran zt”l continues and writes that since one is not actually uttering Hashem’s name when reciting this Baraita, the benefit is not as great as one who actually recites “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed” along with the congregation. It is therefore not correct to insert the recitation of this Baraita between Yishtabach and the “Yotzer Ohr” blessing (which is where “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed” is recited in the synagogue); rather, one should postpone the recitation of this Baraita until the conclusion of the Shacharit prayer, prior to “Aleinu Le’Shabe’ach”.

Summary: It is extremely important to answer “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed” in the synagogue. One who cannot pray with the congregation, such as if one is ill or a woman who is not accustomed to praying in the synagogue, can somewhat make up the lack of reciting “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed” by reciting the following Baraita: “Rabbi Akiva said: There is a certain creature in Heaven and its name is ‘Yisrael’ and the word ‘Yisrael’ is engraved on its forehead. It stands in the middle of Heaven and proclaims, ‘Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach’ at which point all celestial regiments reply, ‘Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed.’” The recitation of this Baraita should not include the uttering of the actual name of Hashem; rather, one should merely recite the word “Hashem”. This Baraita should be inserted following Shacharit prayers, before “Aleinu Le’Shabe’ach”. (See Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 2, Orach Chaim, Chapter 4, Section 7)

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

One Who Eats Less than a Kezayit of Bread With other Foods- The Halachic Pitfall Present in Some Halls

In the previous Halacha we have explained that one does not recite a blessing on foods eaten during a bread meal, for the “Hamotzi Lechem Min Ha’aretz” blessing recited on the bread exempts them. We have also quoted the words of the Ritba who explains that this is not because of......

Read Halacha

Tu Bishvat Customs

Tonight, Sunday night, marks Tu Bishvat. There are unique customs observed on the night of Tu Bishvat, as we shall explain. The Prohibition of Fasting and the Customary Reading of the Zohar It is forbidden to fast on the day of Tu Bishvat. Some customarily hold an order of learning on the eve of......

Read Halacha

Mentioning Hashem’s Name in Invitations and Letters

Question: Is one permitted to write “ב"ה” (acronym for “Be’ezrat Hashem”) at the top of letters, adorn wedding invitations with verses, and the like or should one not do so out of concern that they may be thrown out into the waste basket, causing disgrace to Hashem......

Read Halacha

Eye Ailments on Shabbat

Our Sages teach us in the Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah (28b): “A man’s eyes are connected to his heart.” Thus, if we see that one’s eye is in danger, it is tantamount to revealing an ailment in the person’s heart and we must certainly rush to desecrate Shabbat in ord......

Read Halacha


Some Detailed Laws Regarding a Person Suffering from a Life-Threatening Condition on Shabbat

In the previous Halachot we have discussed that there is a Mitzvah to desecrate Shabbat for one whose life is in danger such as to transport him to the hospital, turn on a light in order to afford him proper treatment, and the like. We shall now discuss some details about this matter, based on what ......

Read Halacha

One Whose Life is in Danger on Shabbat

If one experiences a life-threatening situation or illness, there is a Torah obligation to desecrate the Shabbat on his behalf, for instance, by rushing him to the hospital by car; indeed, there is a Mitzvah to perform any other forbidden work on Shabbat that is necessary to save the individual&rsqu......

Read Halacha

The Blessing on Puffed Wheat and Farina

Question: We would like to partake of all of the Seven Species on Tu Bishvat. We wished to use puffed wheat as one of the species. What is the correct blessing on puffed wheat? Answer: Anything made out of the five types of grain (wheat, barley, oat, spelt, and rye) such as, cakes, cookies, and o......

Read Halacha

Rice Cakes and Puffed Rice Cereal

In the previous Halacha we have discussed that any grain, such as wheat, which is eaten raw requires the “Boreh Peri Ha’adama” blessing. For this reason, the blessing for puffed wheat is “Boreh Peri Ha’adama.” Only if the grains were cooked together until they sti......

Read Halacha