Time to Say Birchas Hachama; What if it’s Cloudy?


sun11. Lechatchila, the bracha of Birchas Hachamah should be said as early as possible after netz hachama (sunrise in NYC will be 6:28 a.m.) to fulfill the rule of “zerizin makdimin l’mitzvos” (the diligent hurry to fulfill their mitzvah obligations). The minhag of the Chazon Ish and the Steipler Geon, and many others, was to daven Shacharis kevosikin, and then the kehillah would go outside and say the bracha, berov am, after  kaddish following Uva Letziyon, (before Aleinu and the Yom).

{Shulchan Aruch 229 see Shaarei Tshuva 3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:7, R’ Yechiel Michel Tikutchinsky in Tekufas Hachama U’birchasa, Orchos Rabbeinu 1:pg95}

2. Bidieved, one may make the bracha until Chatzos (12:58 p.m. in NYC). Sefardim however, should not make the bracha later than 3 (halachic) hours into the day (9:43 a.m. in NYC).

{Shulchan Aruch w/Mishnah Brurah 229:2 MB8, Ben Ish Chai Parshas Eikev 19, Kaf Hachaim  SK17}

3. Before making the bracha one should look at the sun and then immediately make the bracha. If however, one looked at the sun and did not make the bracha, one may still look at the sun again later and make the bracha.

{Piskei Tshuvos 229:5, S’U Betzail Hachochma 5:27}

4. (If it is a cloudy day), one may make the bracha lechatchila as long as one can see at least an outline of the sun through the clouds.

{Shulchan Aruch w/Mishnah Brurah 229:2 MB8 citing The Chasam Sofer}

5. On a cloudy day, one may wait for the (outline of the) sun to appear, until as late as xhatzos (12:58 p.m. in NYC) in order to make the bracha. However, if the sun does not appear, one should nevertheless make the bracha before chatzos without the name of Hashem and say, “Boruch Oiseh Maaseh Bereishis.

{Shulchan Aruch w/Mishnah Brurah 229:2 MB8, Piskei Tshuvos 229:7}

6. For Sefardim, however, the ruling of the Ben Ish Chai and Kaf Hachaim is that the bracha should not be said after 3 (halachic) hours into the day. Therefore, on a cloudy day, one should only wait until then (9:42 a.m. in NYC) for the sun to appear, and if it has not appeared, make the bracha without Hashem’s name.

{Ben Ish Chai Parshas Eikev 19, Kaf Hachaim  SK17}

{Matzav.com Newscenter-Dovid Bernstein/Dailyhalacha@aol.com}