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Summary

The Jewish day is punctuated with reciting a variety of blessings (in Hebrew, brachot), acknowledging that our food and other pleasures come from God.

This course will primarily discuss the rules of reciting brachot over food -- both before eating, and after eating. It also covers blessings said on special occasions and when seeing natural phenomenon. You’ll gain a foundation in the principles of brachot, and explore the philosophical underpinnings of the bracha concept. This 44-part course delivers it all in a thorough, step-by-step, user-friendly fashion.

Sample class

This course will give you the confidence to handle a myriad of common situations:

  • What to do when eating a variety of foods with the same bracha?
  • What is the order of priority when eating foods with different brachot?
  • When changing locations, is a new bracha required?
  • When is a new bracha required after a lapse of time?
  • What is the proper pronunciation and meaning of God’s Names?

Each class is available online, or as a user-friendly PDF version, so you can print out the material and study at your own pace -- anywhere, anytime.

For a self-check of understanding, each class has interactive online testing: 8 questions based on the written material. And all your test results are stored in your personal online account, so you can track your progress as you study the material.

And finally, there are dynamic video segments that present common scenarios, to guide you through the practical halacha in each case.

Author

Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Rabbi Shraga Simmons holds a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He is the chief editor of Jewish Pathways, and the senior editor of Aish.com. Rabbi Simmons previously served as Director of Outreach for Aish HaTorah in Los Angeles, and is also the founding editor of HonestReporting.com. His work has been translated into Hebrew, Spanish, French, Indonesian and German. He lives with his wife and children in the Modi'in region of Israel.

Rabbi Yair Spolter

Rabbi Yair Spolter is originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, where he attended the Yeshiva High School of Greater Washington. He studied in Jerusalem for six years under the tutelage of Rabbi Zvi Kushalevsky. Rabbi Spolter is a trained cognitive behavioral therapist and has published articles in a variety of periodicals on subjects ranging from parenting to prayer. He is currently teaching at Yeshiva Gevuras Yitzchok ("Kesher") in Jerusalem. He and his family reside in Kiryat Sefer, Israel.

Rabbi Chaim Gross

Rabbi Chaim Gross was born in London and graduated from Cambridge University. For the past seven years he has been studying at the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and lecturing on a range of Torah topics. He recently published a textbook on kashrut and co-authored an ArtScroll book about Sheva Brachot. Rabbi Gross lives with his wife and children in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Syllabus

The Basics

  1. What is a Bracha?
  2. Text and Meaning
  3. When is a Bracha Not Required?
  4. Eating without a Bracha?!
  5. Six Types
  6. Altered States
  7. Fruit Juice & Wine
  8. Ha'gafen Covers All Drinks

Grain Products

  1. Introduction to Mezonot
  2. Three Mezonot Categories
  3. The Mezonot Meal
  4. Non-Hamotzee Bread
  5. Other Foods at a Bread Meal
  6. Fruit During a Meal
  7. Drinks During a Meal

Multiple Foods

  1. Sequence of Brachot – Part 1
  2. Sequence of Brachot – Part 2
  3. Including Other Foods – Part 1
  4. Including Other Foods – Part 2
  5. Primary and Secondary Foods - see sample class
  6. Special Status of Mezonot
  7. Soups & Cereals

More Basics

  1. Unauthorized Brachot
  2. Honor for Brachot
  3. The Right Environment
  4. Terminating a Bracha's Effectiveness

Change of Location

  1. Introduction to Shinuy Makom
  2. Leaving the House
  3. Outdoor Eating
  4. Shinuy Makom: Wrap-Up and Review

After-Bracha

  1. Bracha Achrona - Introduction
  2. Which Bracha Achrona to Say
  3. Bracha Achrona on Mixtures
  4. Birkat Hamazon – Part 1
  5. Birkat Hamazon – Part 2
  6. Time and Space
  7. Bracha Achrona: After the Fact

Multiple People

  1. Being Motzi Others
  2. Answering Amen

Non-Food Blessings

  1. She'hecheyanu & Other Events
  2. Fragrances
  3. Natural Phenomenon
  4. 100 Blessings Each Day

Food Guide

  1. The JewishPathways Brachot Food Guide

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Sample class
Key features:
  • 44 class modules
  • PDF printouts
  • Instructional videos

Comprehensive online curriculum explores:
  • Hundreds of practical, common cases
  • The principles underlying the brachot laws
  • Philosophy of the meaning and importance of blessings

Self-paced, easy-to-use modules:
  • You have complete control over your learning schedule
  • Easy to absorb new concepts and information
  • Self-testing on each class to check your comprehension

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