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Hirhurim Muttarim

In a previous post ["A Question Filled With Heart"] we asked about a seeming contradiction with respect to making a bracha on a mitzva done b'hirhur [in ones heart].

Answer: There is a basic distinction between the nullification of chametz which is an act of "hashbasa" according to Rashi, meaning that you WANT TO RID YOURSELF of the chametz or according to Tosaphos it is an act of HEFKER meaning that you are making the chametz ownerless. So bittul chametz is essentially a negative ["shlila"] act. In such a case you don't make a bracha on hirhur.

In contrast, the study of Torah and the seperation of Terumah are POSITIVE acts. In such cases a bracha is called for - even though they are done non-verbally. [Based on Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz ztz"l and Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg shlita]

However it must be noted that the self-same Rav Yosef Karo who rules that one does not make a bracha on bittul chametz because it is done b'hirhur also rules that one does not make a bracha on the study of Torah when it is only done b'hirhur.

May we all have positive thoughts!!!!!!!!!!

I assume that the distinction is being made because typically, we don't make ברכות on negative acts, accordingly, such should be the case for thoughts. But burning חמץ is a negative act, and we do say a ברכה. And indeed, ביטול is a form of ביעור as ביטול בעלמא סגי. So it would seem that since ביעור is a negative act the requires a ברכה, then its mental counterpart, ביטול, should as well.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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