Friday, June 27, 2008

Halocho #110 - Why do we cover our eyes after candle lighting?

We always make the Bracha before doing the Mitzva. The Bracha said on Shabbat candles ushers in the Shabbat, after which one cannot light candles. Therefore the candles are lit first, and then one hides them from sight by putting ones hands in front of ones face. One then says the Bracha and looks at the candles, seeing them for the first time on Shabbat. This is as close as one can get to saying the Bracha before "lighting" the Shabbat candles. Similarly, since one cannot make a Bracha with unwashed hands, one first washes, and then makes the Bracha of Al Netilat Yadayim and then dries ones hands. Since drying is an integral part of "washing", it's as close as one can get to saying the Bracha before washing. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 75:4, 40:5 Shabbat Shalom, - Danny

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  1. Why not say the brachot during the course of the mitzvot? This must have been discussed by rabbonim and their reasoning for rejecting this approach - if they did - might be interesting. I write "if they did" because there may be some traditions where they do just that.


  2. Hi Charles

    Thanks for bringing this up.

    In order to say a bracha properly one has to concentrate carefully on every word; it's impossible to do so while doing something else at the same time.

    As a rule you will find that we are never expected to fulfill 2 halachot at the same time, so that we can concentrate fully on everything we do.

    Hope this helps,

    - Danny