Why Do We Say the Brachah of Sheasah Nisim? by Effie Richmond


The Rav, zt”l, quoted by Rav Schachter Shlita in Nefesh HaRav, discusses the Brachot of Nerot Chanukah.  He quotes the Mishnah in Masechet Soferim which says that one makes the Brachah of Lehadlik Ner Shel Chanukah and then, interestingly, says Hanerot Hallalu, Only then does he finally say Sheasah Nisim and Shehechiyanu.  This seems rather troubling – why does Masechet Soferim say that one should make a Hefsek and say Hanerot Hallalu after the first Brachah?  The Rav explains that just like the person who sees the candles says Sheasah Nisim and Shehechiyanu after they are lit, the person lighting the candles says these Brachot in the capacity of a person seeing the candles instead of saying these Brachot before they are lit, this is against the Rama in Orach Chaim 676 (quoting the Maharil), who says that all Brachot are said before the candles before they are lit (Over Laasiatan).

 It seems, based on the Masechet Soferim, that saying Hanerot Hallalu is an integral part of Nerot Chanukah in regard to Pirsumei Nisa, as it has to be done through speech (just as we see by the four cups of wine drunk on Pesach, and with the reading of the Megillah).  Therefore, Masechet Soferim says that the Brachot of Sheasah Nisim and Shehechiyanu are said after the candles are lit.  The Rav said, quoting the decision of his father, that on the first day, one has no choice but to light as per the opinion of the Rama, but on other nights, one lights as per a combination of the two opinions.  He should say the Brachah of Lehadlik Ner, light one candle, say the Brachah of Sheasah Nisim, and then finish lighting the rest of the candles.  This works well with both opinions in that the Maharit says that one must say the Brachah of Sheasah Nisim before one lights the candles, and thus, one still has more candles to light.  This approach also works well with Masechet Soferim in that once one lights one of the candles, he has looked at that candle and thus can say the Brachah of Sheasah Nisim as an observer.  Thus it is possible to light the Chanukah candles in accordance with all the opinions.

Father Knows Best by Simcha Tropp

Leadership on the Line by Moshe Glasser