Halacha Club

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried

Chapter 7 : The Morning brachos


After (the blessing) "To engage in the study of the Torah" the authorities disagree whether or not the listener should respond Amen. Some (authorities) hold that the blessing does not end there, but that "and make pleasant..." is a continuation of it, and it is all one benediction; therefore no Amen should be responded to it. Others hold that the blessing does end here, "and make pleasant" is a separate benediction, and therefore Amen must be said. Therefore the one blessing should pronounce that blessing quietly, so that his neighbour doesn't hear, and be put in (a situation of) doubt.


The blessing "He that gives the cock understanding..." should not be said before daybreak.


The blessing "Who opens the eyes of the blind" may be said even by a blind person, for he, too, gains benefit, in that (non-blind) others can show him the way. If one said first the blessing "Who raises the bowed down" before he blessed "Who sets the captives free" 1 one need not repeat the (latter) blessing, "Who sets the captives free", because this is already covered by "Who raises the bowed down" because the act of straightening up includes loosening the limbs.

  1. This means He loosens the joints of one's body to give one free movement and coordination of muscles.


After "He who removes sleep from my eyes...", one does not respond Amen because this is not the end of the blessing. Rather "May it be Thy will..." is also part of this blessing, and the end of the blessing is "He who bestows kindly favors upon His people Israel".


One who was awake all night says in the morning all the morning blessings, apart from the blessing "concerning the washing of the hands" which is not said. The blessings "my G-d, the soul, etc.", and "He who takes sleep away" and the blessings over the law, there is a doubt whether to say or not. It is, therefore, a good practice to hear these from others and respond (to them) Amen.


All the morning (dawn) blessings, if one has not said them before praying he can say them after the (other) prayers, except the blessing on washing the hands (for some (authorities) hold that the washing of the hands in the morning was ordained because of the prayers, and so after he has (already) prayed, there is no longer any need for this blessing). Neither should he say "My G-d, the soul, etc.", (for this has already been covered in the blessing, "Who quickenest the dead" ).


Concerning the blessings over the Torah, if he did not say them before praying, the authorities disagree as to whether one need say them after the prayer or not. Some hold that he should not say them, because he has already been exempted by "With abounding love", (or "everlasting love") for this blessing, is also similar to the blessings over the Torah: "And put it into our hearts to understand and to discern, to hearken, learn and teach," etc. There are others who hold that the prayer "With abounding love" does not exempt him from the blessings over the Torah, unless he does (the Torah) learning immediately after his prayers without a break. Therefore, from the beginning, we must be careful to say the blessings of the Torah before praying, but post facto, if we forget to recite them before the prayers, we should study some (Torah) topic immediately after praying. If we forget to do this, too, then due to the divergence of opinions, we also need to say again the blessings over the Torah.


If one is called to go up to the Torah, then before saying the blessings over the Torah, if one is able to first say all the Torah blessings, and also to read at least one (Torah) verse, like, for instance, "May He bless thee", etc., one should do so, and then go up to the reading of the Torah and bless. But if it's impossible for one to do so, one should go straightway to the Torah. And, since one has already said the blessing "Who has chosen us", etc., one need not repeat it (privately) again, but read: "Who has sanctified us", "And make pleasant...", up to "to His people Israel", and then say "The Lord bless you", etc.