King Making a Special Bracha? 

5

By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

In Devarim, Perek Yud Zayin, posuk tes vov the Torah commands Bnei Yisroel to appoint a king that will rule over them.

The Shailos UTshuvos Minchas Machvas asks; why doesn’t a king make a bracha every day boruch… sheasani melech? Men make the bracha shelo asani isha because they have more mitzvos than a woman and the bracha shelo asani eved is said because a person who is not a slave has more mitzvos than a slave. A king also has more mitzvos than the regular person; shouldn’t he make a special bracha?

There are a few answers to this question. The first answer is that the Minchas Machvas says that since a king has a special command “Levilti Rom Levavo,” (he should not be haughty) he therefore can’t say the special bracha since it will cause him to be a baal gaava.

Another answer from the Minchas Machvas is that these brachos we say in the morning are only based on things that we are born with. When we say shelo asani goy, we thank Hashem that we are born a Yid. In contrast, a king is not born a king, but rather gets appointed later in life thereby rendering it something that does not come from birth. The king therefore can not say the bracha of sheasani melech. The Avudraham says that a Ger can’t make the bracha shelo asani goy because he wasn’t born a Jew. The Rema argues with this position and says that a ger could say shelo asani goy. The Taz explains this is because a ger is like a re-born child. In any case, we see that for the bracha to be relevant, the person needs to be born with it or be “born-again.”

A third answer is that we only say brachos on things that are set and will stay that way, therefore a man is a man, a Jew is a Jew, and a free person is not a slave. This will never change. In contrast, a king may not rule until the day he dies, as we see Shlomo Hamelech lost his kingship for a while. A king therefore can’t make a special bracha.

A fourth answer is that the king can’t make a special bracha since he was appointed by man and was not born in that position.

A fifth answer is based on Rabbeinu Bachya who says that Hashem only gave the mitzva of appointing a king having known that the Jews are going to want to be like the rest of the nations in the world. In reality, Hashem is our king and the fact that we have a human king is not so good, it is a dieved. The king therefore does not have a special bracha.

The sixth and final answer we will give for this question is that really a king does not have more mitzvos than a regular Yid. Most of his mitzvos are “shev v’al taaseh” (refrain from doing rather than having pro active mitzvos.) As a matter of fact, a king can’t testify, can’t be judged, and can’t do yibum and or chalitza. According to Reb Yosi Haglili he can’t bring a korban oleh v’yored. A king is not allowed to get up in honor of a talmid chacham. With all the restrictions that a king possesses, the king has fewer mitzvos than a regular Yisroel. He therefore can’t say a bracha of sheasani melech.

May we be zocheh to see the Melech Hamashiach.

 

Do you have a topic or discussion you want to read about? Please send comments or questions to hymanbsdhevens@gmail.com or berachsteinfeldscorner@gmail.com

5 COMMENTS

  1. To draw the line further:
    Why does a Kohen or a Levi not make a special Bracha ?
    Your six Answers do not apply.

    A King does have a Positive Mitzvah to read the “Hakhail” text once every seven years.
    He also must carry a sefer Torah on his arm at all times.

  2. to further prove my point Rabbi you are quoting the Gemarah Talmud
    ”With all the restrictions that a king possesses, the king has fewer mitzvos than a regular Yisroel. ”
    THE TALMUD SAYS ”YISROEL”NOT ‘YID’, yet you go against our Chazal saying ‘yid’.

  3. ZS. matzav censored MY POST WITH THE REASON A VERY RESPECTFUL EXPLANATION I OFFERED. I GUESS MATZAV WILL NOT COMMENT ON A RABBI. NOTHING I CAN NOW SAY. I WOULD SAY THE CENSORS AT MATZAV ARE A BIT YOUNG INEXPERIENCED IN TORAH . RABBIS ARE PEOPLE. SUBJECT TO ERRORS. JEWS ARE TAUGHT TO QUESTION COMMENT EXAMINE THE ISSUES. IF WE CANNOT CRITIZE THEN HOW CAN WE IMPROVE. I READ A STORY THAT ABRAHAM WAS CHOSEN/ACCEPTED BECAUSE HE EXAMINED THE WORLD AND REALIZED THERE IS A SUPREME BEING. THROUGH EXAMINATION WE CAN UNITE..MATZAV…YOU GOT A LOT TO IMPROVE ON. I THINK YOU SHOULD WANT TO HELP BRING MASHIACH BY UNITING US. YIDDISH IS SEPARATING US. ””ZS””’I AM NOT A YID ACCORDING TO THE RABBI HIS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU A FELLOW YID…HE DOESNT KNOW THAT WE ARE ONE NATION UNDER HEBREW..NOT THE GHETTO BLACK DARK DEPRESSING REMINDERS OF THE MIDDLE AGES. I AM SURE THIS WILL NOT REACH THIS POSTING EITHER…..I GUESS ITS TIME FOR ALL SEPHARDS TO LEAVE ALL YIDDISH CONNECTIONS BECAUSE THE YIDS/ASHKANZ DESPISE US. BLACK HATS DO NOT MAKE A LEADER OR A JEW. FRANKLY I AM GOING BACK TO A COMPLETE SEPARATION FROM GEFILTA FISH TO THE BLACK SUITS THAT SADLY SOME OF THE SEPHARDIC RABBIS ARE DRESSING IN . SAD DAY…VERY SAD DAY. I AM SURE MASHIACH WILL BE WEARING WHITE…..AND BLUE AND RED…NOT MOURNING BLACK. MATZAV….VERY POOR OF YOU TO BLOCK MY VERY RESPECTFUL POST. THIS RABBI IS MERELY A MAN THAT ERRED GREATLY. DONT COME TO MY SIDE OF OCEAN PARKWAY AND I WILL NOT GO TO YOUR BORO PARK….KEEP BUYING HOUSES IN GERMANY…. SHELO ASANI SEPHARDI

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