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1179 – Birchas Hareiach – (Klal 61 Siman 7) – Bracha on Smell 9 – Oils and Water 1

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
1179 - Birchas Hareiach - (Klal 61 Siman 7) - Bracha on Smell 9 - Oils and Water 1

We are beginning siman 7. The Chayei Adam will discuss the brachos on liquids. 

The Chayei Adam does not discuss the bracha of borei shemen areiv, a bracha which the Shulchan Aruch holds is made on tzari oil. There is debate regarding the exact definition of tzari oil, but most poskim hold it refers to a type of balsam oil.

Besamim oils are generally made by soaking good-smelling besamim in water or oil until the smell from the source infuses into the water or oil. 

The Chayei Adam writes that if one has good-smelling water/oil which they know was created from an item which would receive a bracha for its smell, the water will receive a bracha as well. The water receives the same bracha as the source item. If the source is a safeik, but one is certain that the smell was created through an item eligible for a bracha, one recites borei minei besamim. 

The Chayei Adam clarifies that this halacha only applies when some of the liquid of the original item is actually squeezed or crushed into the item. If the item is cooked without any of the liquid transferring into the water (e.g., the liquid is filtered off during the cooking process), it is a machlokes whether one makes a bracha or not. The machlokes is based on whether such a liquid is considered a rei’ach she’ein bo ikar, a smell which does not have a source, or if there is sufficient source material in the water for it to be considered rei’ach she’yeish bo ikar, a smell which does have a source. Therefore, the Chayei Adam suggests that one refrain from smelling such a liquid. If one decides to smell the liquid, they should recite the bracha of borei minei besamim


  • One makes a bracha on good-smelling liquid, provided that:
    • The source of the smell is an item which itself is eligible for a bracha
    • Part of the original item is squeezed or crushed into the item
      • If the liquid does not have part of the original item in it, one should refrain from smelling it. If one does decide to smell it, they should make the bracha of borei minei besamim.

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