29-4-2011 Royalty : In connection with the today British Royal marriage ] The beracha recited upon seeing royalty [From the internet ]



In connection with the today's British Royal marriage :

The beracha recited upon seeing royalty

 The beracha recited upon seeing royalty  Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz

I. Introduction. The Torah requires of the Jewish people that we 

relate any impressive events or experiences to the fact that God 

is the source of all that is impressive to us. We are all familiar 

with the blessings recited upon displays of the forces of nature 

such as the blessings upon hearing thunder and seeing lightning. 

Also in this category, but perhaps somewhat less known to us, is 

the blessing recited upon seeing a rainbow. We are also familiar 

with the obligation to recite berachos upon seeing certain places, 

such as those places that either have or once had avodah zara, a 

lions den, and a fiery furnace. The Torah also requires us to 

recite blessings upon seeing unusually impressive people, such 

as people who possess an unusual intellectual capacity, whether 

they are Jews or gentiles. In this article, we will focus on the 

obligation to recite a blessing upon seeing royalty. We will 

explain the nature of this blessing, and we will define the 

parameters of this obligation as  it relates to current political 


II. Source of the obligation. The  gemara Berachos 58a states 

that  when  one  sees  a  Jewish  king  he  should  say  “Baruch 

she’cholak mi’kvodo li’yirei’av” and if he sees a non-Jewish king 

he should recite the blessing “Baruch she’nosan mi’kvodo 

li’briyosav”. The gemara goes on to say that one should make an 

effort to see kings “and not only Jewish kings, but even gentile 

kings, because if he will merit,  he will be able to distinguish 

between Jewish and non-Jewish kings”. Rashi explains that this 

refers to those who will see the coming of  Moshiach who will 

appreciate how much greater the honor given to the  Melech 

Ha’Moshiach is than the honor given by the various nations to 

their leaders in this world. What emerges from this  gemara is 

that there are two distinct, but obviously related obligations 

when it comes to seeing a king. First, there is the obligation to 

recite a  beracha when seeing a king.  Second, there is the 

obligation to make an effort to see a king and the honor he is 

given (even if it involves taking off time from torah study to do so – see Mishna Berura 224:130


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