Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rav Zvihi on Birkat Hahama

R' Pinhas Zvihi has halachot of Birkat Hahama in English here. A Hidush to me is the last halacha:
28. It is best to look at the face of a man called “Abraham” while making the blessing on the sun. (Similarly, one should look at the face of a man called “Isaac” while blessing the New Moon).

Also note a comment made by Anonymous on a previous post:
Its worth it to purachse Hagon Rav Pinchas Zabichi Shlita new sefer "Ateret Paz" on Birchas Hachama, in it he writes that before he was going to publish the sefer, he went in to his Rebbi Maran Shlita and mentioned to him what the Ostravtza Goan says regarding Birchas Hachma on Erev Pesach re: Moshiach, and immediatly Maran started crying etc...


At Tue Feb 24, 03:54:00 PM 2009, Anonymous josh waxman said...

aside from it being a chiddush, any theories on "why?"


At Tue Feb 24, 04:11:00 PM 2009, Blogger yaak said...

Well, Avraham Avinu is compared to the sun, Yitzhak Avinu to the moon, and Yaakov Avinu to the stars.

In the עת שערי רצון Piyut that Sepharadim say on Rosh Hashana that describes the Akeida, here's what the angel tells Avraham Avinu:

אָמַר לְאַבְרָהָם אֲדוֹן שָׁמַיִם
אַל תִּשְׁלְחָה יָד אֶל שְׁלִישׁ אוּרַיִם

meaning don't harm one-third of the Me'orot.

At Tue Feb 24, 04:37:00 PM 2009, Anonymous josh waxman said...


At Tue Feb 24, 06:42:00 PM 2009, Blogger Devorah said...

Never heard that before... but I love it. thanks.

At Tue Feb 24, 09:32:00 PM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to add: Rav Zabichi told that after he pulished his sefer, he went into Maran (after shachris)and again mentioned to Maran the Ostrovtzer, and Maran again started to cry !

Re: Looking at someone with the name Yitzchak after Birchas Levana.

The Minhag of Tunisian Jews is to say after Birchas Levana the name Yitzchak 3x. For sources and explenation look in Shut Rivid Hazhav Vol 1 (siman 17) from Hagoen Rav Dovid Barda Shlita.

At Wed Feb 25, 06:57:00 AM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Maran?

At Wed Feb 25, 07:50:00 AM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rebbi Ovadya Yosef Shlita

At Fri Feb 27, 11:44:00 AM 2009, Blogger joshwaxman said...

On a related note to this post, here is another booklet on Birkat haChama that someone forwarded to me, and thought was well put together, called Masechet Hachamma:


It is from the conservative movement but appears to be just a collection of classic sources on the sun, in Hebrew and translation.

Personally, my own take on this is that if one makes the blessing, that is the mitzvah; and all these extra tehillim, people named Shmerl to look at, or to say or sources to read about it were not mentioned in the gemara, and are added to make more of a "ritual" of it. And that I would avoid.

Tell me when to go out, not to stare directly at the sun, and to make the bracha, and that is sufficient and optimal, IMHO.

Shabbat Shalom,

At Sat Feb 28, 01:40:00 PM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recommended reading for Josh and the Maran worshipper:


At Sat Feb 28, 10:56:00 PM 2009, Anonymous josh waxman said...

It is not that I don't think that there *is* an interior, or that the interior is superfluous. Rather, that the interior that is often suggested is nonsense and is made up, and not in accordance with the true interior. Which may simply be that this anniversary marks an occasion where we can mark our appreciation of the Borei and the glory of His creation. Thus, we say Oseh Maaseh Bereishit. What a wonderful and meaningful "interior" that is!

Why is that not enough of an "interior" that we need to invent rituals and add Tehillim which are not recorded in the gemara, where they certainly could have if it were part of the ceremony, and read later fictions and theologies into Chazal?

In the meantime, check out that link I put in. You might like it...

Kol Tuv,

At Sun Mar 01, 01:43:00 AM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All rituals are external. Thanks for the link.

At Sun Mar 01, 05:40:00 AM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the document, Josh. It saddens the heart that the majority of orthodox Jews are leading utterly artifical without any awareness of Nature.

At Sun Mar 01, 06:30:00 AM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

artifical lives

At Wed Mar 04, 12:36:00 AM 2009, Blogger רפאל said...

I trust that Rav Yosef is crying because of the disaster that was caused by the psak he invested his greatest efforts in. The psak regarding the most urgent national matter, which he verified in consultations with numerous gedolim. A psak by a gaon in Halacha, who is served by a phenomenonal memory and wide view of opinions, who worked literally years to get this one right. Disaster was the result.

Considering that the disaster was foreseen by many and that their opinion was discarded explicitly, and considering the magnitude of the disaster, the matter is indeed a reason for crying.

At Wed Mar 04, 01:29:00 AM 2009, Blogger yaak said...


You're treading on thin ice. Be very careful what you say against Rav Ovadia, shlit"a.

May we only show ahdut toward one another in this era before Mashiah.

At Wed Mar 04, 06:00:00 AM 2009, Blogger רפאל said...

Amen. But do not forget that Geula is foremost the redemption of the truth. I tried to formulate sensitively. I know that the matter I write about is very much in the mind of Rav Yosef, now even more than before. Because of his son, as you are aware.


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