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1219 – Birchos Hodaah – (Klal 63 Siman 6) – Bracha on Melech HaMoshiach 8

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
1219 - Birchos Hodaah - (Klal 63 Siman 6) - Bracha on Melech HaMoshiach 8
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 We have finished siman 6 and there is a point we need to discuss. We mentioned yesterday that there is a bracha made on melech hamoshiach. In truth, there are a few brachos which will need to be made. 

The first is the bracha made on a Jewish king, shecholak mi’kevodo lireiav. Additionally, we will learn about the bracha made on a talmid chochom, shecholak mi’chochmaso lireiav. Melech hamoshiach will be a chochom, so this bracha will apply as well. 

There is a shaalah from Rav Shmuel Hominer, ztl, to Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, ztl, discussing the brachos made on melech hamoshiach. In the teshuva, Rav Hominer asked Rav Shlomo Zalman whether these two brachos should be combined (shecholak mi’kevodo v’chochmaso li’reiav). Rav Shlomo Zalman responded that they should not be combined, because each bracha is its own praise. (The teshuva can be found in the back of the first volume of Minchas Shlomo.) 

We learned (shiur 1218) that a blind person can make the bracha on a king, because one does not need to see the king to make the bracha, but just feel the awe and reverence the monarchy generates. However, a blind person cannot make the bracha on a talmid chochom, because that bracha is dependent on seeing the chochom.

It follows, then, that since there will be a massive crowd when melech hamoshiach arrives, we may not be able to make the bracha of shecholak mi’chochmaso immediately, but rather may need to wait until (or if) we are able to see him. However, the bracha on a king, which is recited due to the feelings of awe generated by the gathering, can be recited immediately, because being part of the massive crowd will still generate those feelings. 

The poskim discuss whether seeing something through binoculars or the like allows one to make these brachos (both regarding melech hamoshiach and regarding any other sights we have discussed). One should not make a bracha in such a case.

In the shaalah to Rav Shlomo Zalman, Rav Shmuel Hominer assumes there are two other brachos which should be made on melech hamoshiach. One is shehecheyanu. Although it is no longer our minhag, we have learned that one recites shehecheyanu upon seeing a friend they have not seen in 30 days (see shiur 1200). However, we learned that even when the minhag was to make the bracha, it was not made upon the first time meeting, because there was not yet an established cyclical element to the relationship, one of the requirements to make shehecheyanu (see shiur 1200). Nevertheless, there appear to be two exceptions. The Mishnah Berurah writes that one recites shehecheyanu upon seeing their new-born daughter for the first time. Apparently, the simcha generated by seeing the new daughter is strong enough to require a shehecheyanu. The same thought process can be applied to melech hamoshiach as well, and therefore generates the requirement to make a shehecheyanu.

Rabbi Kaganoff points out that when one hears the news that melech hamoshiach has arrived, they should recite hatov vehametiv, as we have learned that hatov vehametiv is recited on good tidings which are relevant to oneself and to others (see shiur 1194).

The final bracha made when seeing melech hamoshiach is chochom horazim, which is made on a gathering of more than 600,000 Jewish people.

Hopefully, this shiur will be halacha l’maaseh very soon!! 

Summary

  • Upon hearing that melech hamoshiach has arrived, one recites hatov vehametiv.
  • Upon seeing melech hamoshiach, one recites shecholak mi’kevodo lireiav, shecholak mi’chochmaso lireiav, and shehecheyanu. 
    • Shecholak mi’chochmaso lireiav and shehecheyanu are not recited until one is able to see melech hamoshiach.
  • One recites chochom horazim over the crowd gathered.

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