This website is dedicated L’ilui Nishmas R’ Shmuel Yitzchak ben R’ Moshe A”H ר’ שמואל יצחק בן ר’ משה ע”ה
For Halachik questions please contact Rabbi Reingold at

1183 – Birchas Hareiach – (Klal 61 Siman 10) – Bracha on Smell 13 – Esrog

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
1183 - Birchas Hareiach - (Klal 61 Siman 10) - Bracha on Smell 13 - Esrog

 We are beginning siman 10. The Chayei Adam returns to the rule he stated previously that birchos hareiach are only recited on an item whose function, or primary function, is for smelling. The bracha of hanosein reiach tov bapeiros would appear to contradict this rule, as a fruit is assumed to function primarily for eating, yet a bracha is recited on its smell. We explained that if one picks up the item for the purpose of eating, they would not make a bracha; a bracha on the smell is only recited when the fruit is picked up for the purpose of smelling. If a person picks the fruit up for both purposes, it is a machlokes. The Shulchan Aruch appears to hold that one would make a bracha on the smell, and the Chazon Ish understood that, according to the Gra, no bracha would be recited.

In light of these halachos, the Chayei Adam now discusses an esrog during Sukkos. The primary function of an esrog over Sukkos is for the mitzvah. The Shulchan Aruch brings two opinions regarding whether one makes a bracha on the smell over Sukkos. One opinion is that one can have both functions in mind, and therefore will make a bracha; the other opinion is that the mitzvah function is so significant it overrides any other function. The Mishnah Berurah points out that the Shulchan Aruch is referring to when one has picked up the esrog for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah. If one picks the esrog up later, after having fulfilled the mitzvah, all would agree that one would make a bracha. 

The Chayei Adam understands the question differently. He understands that the opinion which holds that the mitzvah function is so significant it overrides any other functions applies not only when one is fulfilling the mitzvah, but throughout the entire day. Therefore, throughout the entire sukkos, even when one is not attempting to fulfill the mitzvah, one does not make a bracha on an esrog. 

Due to the machlokes, one should avoid the safeik. However, the Mishnah Berurah and Chayei Adam differ on the case which one should avoid. According to the Mishnah Berurah, one should avoid thinking that they are picking up the esrog for the dual purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah and smelling it. However, if one wishes to pick up the esrog later for the purpose of smelling, they may do so.  According to the Chayei Adam, one should avoid picking up the esrog at any point during Sukkos for the purpose of smelling it, regardless of whether they are attempting to fulfil the mitzvah at the same time or not.

Due to the machlokes Mishnah Berurah and Chayei Adam, one should follow the stringent opinion of the Chayei Adam. However, if one wishes to follow the opinion of the Mishnah berurah, they have what to rely on.


  • One should avoid smelling an esrog over the entire Sukkos.
    • If one wishes to smell an esrog after they have used it to fulfil the mitzvah, they have what to rely on, but ideally should avoid doing so.

You Might Also Like

Sign Up to Receive Our Free Daily Email That Includes:

[email-posts-subscribers namefield="NOT" desc="" group="Public"]
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors