Brachot

From the Mailbag (reworded).

We have brachot that we make at every moment in the day. We make brachot (blessings) on food that we enjoy eating, and on seeing a beautiful sight like a rainbow, on circumcising a baby and on celebrating a marriage, and even on exiting the bathroom. When we meet a king or queen there is an appropriate bracha to be made, when it thunders and lightnings – there’s one for that too. There seems to be a bracha for almost everything we do in our Jewish lives. So how come we don’t have a bracha for sex?

Good question. Anyone?

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15 Comments

  1. batya from NJ says:

    We say “yotzer arayos” under the Chuppah at a wedding & at sheva brachos. That should qualify…

  2. Yossi Ginzberg says:

    There’s an old line about why you don’t say “shehechayanu” on your first cigarette: Because you always smoke it in the bathroom…

    I’d say likewise for sex, you can’t make a bracha because of the inappropriate circumstances for saying brachot.

    Although there is the bracha of “tzag egoz” on deflowering….. it’s a puzzle.

  3. Mark says:

    I also always wondered about this. Why doesn’t the man have a bracha to say when his wife returns from the mikvah (and presumably they will have sex during the next few days).

    Obviously he can’t make a bracha at the exact moment because it’s not an appropriate setting, and he probably can’t make a bracha beforehand because they might get interrupted (kids wake up, a storm, cossacks invade, etc) and never actually do the act rendering it a bracha levatala. But why not a bracha similar to shecheyanu that is said more generically at the start of an event (like a holiday)?

  4. Noah Roth says:

    TB Brachot cites a difference of opinion as to the reason. It is either because you cannot make a bracha when naked or because it would distract from the mood, potentially reducing the amount of pleasure a man gives his wife, and since he is contractually obligated to satisfy her, he may not pause to make a blessing, just an hourly worker should not daven while ‘on the clock.’

    Note that both opinions take it as a given that no bracha is said, and the dispute is only in regard to the reason.

    • Mark says:

      What about my other suggestion of saying the bracha at a different time? Or of a more general bracha after mikvah?

      Also, I have a question about the bracha on thunder and lightening. We say it after the event occurs. There is a possibility that it doesn’t occur again after that, so that is a case of saying a bracha after an event. Couldn’t that have also been done in this case?

      • Noah Roth says:

        Is there any other general bracha that we say? (hint: no). Shehecheyanu always accompanies another mitzvah…

        How would you propose to say a bracha before thunder and lightening? Like Netilat yadayim, we sometimes say a bracha after the event starts and before it is over.

        • Mark says:

          Okay, fair enough.

          Hmmm, what about the brachot on lighting the Chanukah candles on erev shabbat? That’s an example of a bracha whose time is shifted due to necessity!

  5. mekubal says:

    Noah stole my answer. Though according to some opinions there is a L’shem Yichud before hand.

  6. shualah elisheva says:

    but don’t we say the brachot in the mikveh while unclothed? why is that permitted but a bracha before sex would not be?

    makes me think the “hourly worker davening” reason is more consistent.

  7. Chav says:

    Beacause if it’s really great sex, you’re screaming, “OH GOD! OH GOD!” over and over again. Hereby, mentioning his name and blessing him.;)
    And mediocre sex doesn’t need a Bracha.

  8. Y Kohn says:

    I am reminded by a famous saying why we don’t make a bracha on the mitzva of giving tzedaka.

    As a great chasidic Rebbe explained; that until you are going to grab a hat and a gartel and a sidur to say the right bracha with Kavana; the poor man will expire from hunger.

    I guess its the same here until I’ll find the sidur and the hat ….I’ll fall asleep.. or something else will ex.. ooops this is a family blog.

    The real answer (I guess) is that the act itself is not the intended mitzva (pru i’rvu) that happens when the child is born but by then the mitzva has long been forgotten.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Do these same children see parents in separate bedrooms at menstruation or that the beds are separated? If so, do they question this?

  10. Avi says:

    שולחן ערוך אבן העזר סימן סג סעיף ב

    ד ב] ויש אומרים (ז) שאחר שמצא בתולים מברך: בא”י אלהינו מלך העולם אשר צג אגוז בגן עדן וכו’. (ה וי”א (ח) דאין מברכין אותה בלא כוס) (תא”ו נתיב כ”ח בשם רבינו ניסים).

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