Halacha for Sunday 28 Shevat 5780 February 23 2020

Question: When should “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” be recited?

Answer: Moshe Rabbeinu exclaimed, “When I call upon the name of Hashem, exalt our G-d.” Onkelos translates this verse to mean that Moshe Rabbeinu meant to say that when I mention Hashem’s name in prayer, give praise to Hashem our G-d. Based on this, the Tur (Chapter 124) writes that he heard his father, the great Rabbeinu Asher, recite “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” (“Blessed be He and blessed be His name”) on any blessing he would hear in order to fulfill the above verse which commands us to exalt and give praise to Hashem any time we hear His name recited in a blessing by reciting “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo.” This is indeed our custom and anytime the Chazzan mentions Hashem’s name during the repetition of the Amida prayer or other blessings, we all reply by exclaiming, “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo.” At the conclusion of the blessing, the congregation answers, “Amen.”

Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 124) rules likewise: “Upon hearing any blessing in any place, one should exclaim, ‘Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo.’”

Nevertheless, since reciting “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” is not a complete obligation, when one is in the middle of reciting Pesukei De’Zimra, although one must answer “Amen” to blessings he hears at this time (since answering “Amen” is completely obligatory), one should not answer “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” so as not to interrupt one’s Pesukei De’Zimra with something not completely obligatory. Many Acharonim rule likewise. Indeed, Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l writes in his Responsa Igrot Moshe (Volume 2, Chapter 98) that since answering “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” is not a complete obligation, one should not interrupt while reciting Pesukei De’Zimra in order to say it. He adds that since it is not a complete obligation, people are not so meticulous to recite it every time they hear a blessing being recited; rather, people are only careful to say it upon hearing blessing recited among the congregation, such as the blessings of the Chazzan’s repetition of the Amida prayer. In any case, although it is preferable to answer “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” upon hearing any blessing being recited alone (without a Minyan) as well, one must, nevertheless, not interrupt one’s recitation of Pesukei De’Zimra by reciting “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo.” Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules likewise in his Responsa Yabia Omer (Volume 2).

In the next Halacha we shall, G-d-willing, discuss whether “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” should be answered for every blessing one hears or if there are some blessings to which “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” should not be answered.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Making Toast on a Hotplate on Shabbat

Question: May one place a pita or a slice of bread on a hotplate on Shabbat in order to turn it into hard and crunchy toast? Answer: There are two prohibitions we must discuss with regards to our question of making toast on Shabbat out of bread that was already baked before Shabbat. The first ......

Read Halacha

Sitting on Food Items

Question: Is it correct that one may not sit on top of a box containing food or beverages? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (50b) states that it is forbidden to act in a degrading manner towards food. Thus, one may not, for instance, use a piece of cake to wipe up a drink that spilled on t......

Read Halacha

Salting Cucumbers on Shabbat

Question: Is it correct that one may not put salt on cucumbers on Shabbat? Answer: The root of this question lies in the fact that with regards to many Torah laws, we rule that “pickling is tantamount to cooking” meaning that a pickled food is considered like a cooked food. Thus, just......

Read Halacha

The Law Regarding a Woman Who Forgets to Recite the Blessings of the Torah

We have explained in the previous Halacha that if one forgets to recites the Blessings of the Torah and only realizes this after one has concluded Shacharit prayers, one may no longer recite these blessings, for one has already fulfilled his obligation with the “Ahavat Olam” blessing rec......

Read Halacha


The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women cu......

Read Halacha

Washing Dishes on Shabbat Night and Pouring Water on Dirty Dishes

Question: Upon the conclusion of the Shabbat night meal, may one immediately wash the dishes for the Shabbat day meal or should this only be done during the day closer to the start of the meal? Also, is it permissible to pour water onto soiled dishes (which one no longer needs for Shabbat) so that i......

Read Halacha

The Law Regarding One Who Forgets to Recite the Morning Blessings

The Morning Blessings (“Birkot Ha’Shachar”) are the blessings recited every morning beginning from the “Elohai Neshama” blessing until the end of the Blessings of the Torah. Both men and women must recite these blessings, as we have discussed in the laws of the Morning ......

Read Halacha

Question: May one recite the Amida prayer in front of a curtain (covering the Aron Kodesh) which is adorned with various designs?

Answer: The Rambam writes in one of his responses (Freiman edition, Chapter 20): “It is incorrect to pray in front of garments with designs on them, even if the designs are not protruding. We usually close our eyes when it happens that we must pray in front of a wall or garment adorned with de......

Read Halacha