Chapter 11י״א
1 א

כָּל הַבְּרָכוֹת כֻּלָּן פּוֹתֵחַ בָּהֶם בְּבָרוּךְ וְחוֹתֵם בָּהֶם בְּבָרוּךְ חוּץ מִבְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה שֶׁל קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּבְרָכָה הַסְּמוּכָה לַחֲבֵרְתָהּ וּבִרְכַּת הַפֵּרוֹת וְהַדּוֹמֶה לָהּ וּבִרְכַּת עֲשִׂיַּת הַמִּצְוֹת. וּמֵאֵלּוּ הַבְּרָכוֹת שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ שֶׁהֵן דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁבַח וְהוֹדָיָה יֵשׁ מֵהֶן פּוֹתֵחַ בְּבָרוּךְ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹתֵם בְּבָרוּךְ. וְיֵשׁ מֵהֶן שֶׁהוּא חוֹתֵם בְּבָרוּךְ וְאֵינוֹ פּוֹתֵחַ בְּבָרוּךְ, אֶלָּא מְעַט מִבִּרְכַּת הַמִּצְוֹת כְּגוֹן בִּרְכַּת סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וְרוֹאֶה קִבְרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֵלּוּ שֶׁהֵן דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁבַח וְהוֹדָיָה. אֲבָל שְׁאָר בִּרְכוֹת הַמִּצְוֹת כֻּלָּן פּוֹתֵחַ בָּהֶן בְּבָרוּךְ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹתֵם:

All blessings begin with the formula "Blessed art Thou O Lord" and conclude with the same formula; with the exception of the blessing said after the recital of the Shema, or a blessing immediately following a blessing connected with it, the blessing for fruits, and similar blessings as well as those said at the fulfillment of religious duties. Among these blessings, of which we have spoken, and which are in the nature of praise and thanksgiving, some begin with the formula "Blessed art Thou, etc." but do not so conclude; while others conclude with this formula but do not begin with it. There are still a few blessings recited at the fulfilment of religious duties, such as the blessing said at the reading of the Law and that said on viewing the graves of Israelites, which are in the nature of praise and thanksgiving (and nevertheless open and close with the formula "Blessed art Thou etc"). All other blessings said at the fulfilment of religious duties, begin with the formula "Blessed art Thou" but do not so conclude.

2 ב

יֵשׁ מִצְוֹת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁאָדָם חַיָּב לְהִשְׁתַּדֵּל וְלִרְדֹּף עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה אוֹתָהּ כְּגוֹן תְּפִלִּין וְסֻכָּה וְלוּלָב וְשׁוֹפָר וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַנִּקְרָאִין חוֹבָה. לְפִי שֶׁאָדָם חַיָּב עַל כָּל פָּנִים לַעֲשׂוֹת. וְיֵשׁ מִצְוָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ חוֹבָה אֶלָּא דּוֹמִין לִרְשׁוּת כְּגוֹן מְזוּזָה וּמַעֲקֶה שֶׁאֵין אָדָם חַיָּב לִשְׁכֹּן בְּבַיִת הַחַיָּב מְזוּזָה כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה מְזוּזָה אֶלָּא אִם רָצָה לִשְׁכֹּן כָּל יָמָיו בְּאֹהֶל אוֹ בִּסְפִינָה יֵשֵׁב. וְכֵן אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִבְנוֹת בַּיִת כְּדֵי לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲקֶה. וְכָל מִצְוֹת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם בֵּין מִצְוָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ חוֹבָה בֵּין מִצְוָה שֶׁהִיא חוֹבָה מְבָרֵךְ עָלֶיהָ קֹדֶם לַעֲשִׂיָּתָהּ:

There are some affirmative precepts in regard to which there is an obligation sedulously to strive to fulfil them; as, for example, to put on phylacteries, dwell in a booth on the feast of Tabernacles, take in the hand a palm branch together with the other plants on that feast, hear the sound of the ram's horn on the New Year. These are termed obligatory because there is an unconditional obligation to fulfill them. Again there are religious duties which are not obligatory but are in a sense permissive; for example, to affix a Mezuzah to the doors of a house or build a parapet on the roof; since there is no obligation to dwell in a house that requires a Mezuzah to be affixed to it. One may, if one chooses, live all one's lifetime in a tent or on a ship. Similarly there is no obligation to build a house in order to erect a parapet round the roof. Every duty to God, whether permissive or obligatory, requires a blessing to be said before its fulfilment.

3 ג

וְכֵן כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁהֵן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים בֵּין מִצְוָה שֶׁהִיא חוֹבָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם כְּגוֹן מִקְרָא מְגִלָּה וְהַדְלָקַת נֵר בְּשַׁבָּת וְהַדְלָקַת נֵר חֲנֻכָּה. בֵּין מִצְוֹת שֶׁאֵינָן חוֹבָה כְּגוֹן עֵרוּב וּנְטִילַת יָדַיִם. מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַכּל קדֶם לַעֲשִׂיָּתָן אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת. וְהֵיכָן צִוָּנוּ בַּתּוֹרָה. שֶׁכָּתוּב בָּהּ (דברים יז יא) ״אֲשֶׁר יֹאמְרוּ לְךָ תַּעֲשֶׂה״. נִמְצָא עִנְיַן הַדְּבָרִים וְהֶצֵּעָן כָּךְ הוּא. אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו שֶׁצִּוָּה בָּהֶן לִשְׁמֹעַ מֵאֵלּוּ שֶׁצִּוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חֲנֻכָּה אוֹ לִקְרוֹת אֶת הַמְּגִלָּה. וְכֵן שְׁאָר כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁמִּדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:

So too, all religious duties ordained by the Scribes, whether these are according to their dicta, obligatory; (for example, to read the Scroll of Esther on the Feast of Lots, to kindle lights on the Eve of the Sabbath and during the feast of Chanucah); or whether these duties are optional,—for example, to make an Erub*Setting aside food on the eve of a festival, to permit the cooking of food on the festival for the Sabbath, or on the eve of a Sabbath to permit carrying on the Sabbath in a court or a town. or to wash the hands*for prayers or meals. all require, before they are performed, the recital of a blessing, containing the formula "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandment and commanded us (to perform that particular duty). Where in the Torah did God so command us? In the text (Deut. 17:11) "… and according to the judgment which they tell thee, thou shalt do." Hence, the meaning and purport of the Benedictory formula is as follows "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments among which Thou hast commanded us to give heed to those spiritual leaders who ordained that we should kindle the Chanucah light or read the Scroll of Esther." This applies to all the other duties ordained by the Scribes.

4 ד

וְלָמָּה אֵין מְבָרְכִין עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם בָּאַחֲרוֹנָה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא חִיְּבוּ בְּדָבָר זֶה אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי הַסַּכָּנָה וּדְבָרִים שֶׁהֵם מִשּׁוּם סַכָּנָה אֵין מְבָרְכִין עֲלֵיהֶם. הָא לְמָה זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְמִי שֶׁסִּנֵּן אֶת הַמַּיִם וְאַחַר כָּךְ שָׁתָה בַּלַּיְלָה מִפְּנֵי סַכָּנַת עֲלוּקָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ וְצִוָּנוּ לְסַנֵּן אֶת הַמַּיִם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

Why is no blessing said, when washing the hands at the close of a meal? Because this was only ordained as a precaution against danger to health,*Touching or rubbing the eyes with fingers to which strong salt may be adhering. and acts that are of a precautionary character do not require the recital of a blessing. This is similar to the rule that, before drinking water at night, one strains it to avoid the risk of swallowing a leech. One does not, on such an occasion, recite a blessing "And commanded us to strain water." The same principle applies to all similar cases.

5 ה

העוֹשֶׂה מִצְוָה וְלֹא בֵּרֵךְ. אִם מִצְוָה שֶׁעֲדַיִן עֲשִׂיָּתָהּ קַיֶּמֶת מְבָרֵךְ אַחַר עֲשִׂיָּה וְאִם דָּבָר שֶׁעָבַר הוּא אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ. כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁנִּתְעַטֵּף בְּצִיצִית אוֹ שֶׁלָּבַשׁ תְּפִלִּין אוֹ שֶׁיָּשַׁב בְּסֻכָּה וְלֹא בֵּרֵךְ תְּחִלָּה חוֹזֵר וּמְבָרֵךְ אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְעַטֵּף אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהִתְעַטֵּף בְּצִיצִית. וְכֵן מְבָרֵךְ אַחַר שֶׁלָּבַשׁ לְהָנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין. וְאַחַר שֶׁיָּשַׁב לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּאֵלּוּ:

If a person fulfilled a religious duty and omitted to say the appropriate blessing, he still says the blessing as long as the duty is in course of fulfilment. Once the fulfilment is past, he does not say the blessing. For example, when a man puts on a garment with Zizith (ritual fringes) or puts on phylacteries, or sits down in a booth on the Feast of Tabernacles, without reciting the appropriate blessing, he says, after having put on the garments with fringes, "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments, and commanded us to enwrap ourselves in a garment with fringes." Similarly, after having put on phylacteries, he says the blessing "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us to put on phylacteries;" or after sitting down in the booth, he says "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us to dwell in a booth." And so in all similar cases [where the fulfillment of the duty is continuing, the blessing may be recited during its continuance, if he has not done so at the beginning].

6 ו

אֲבָל אִם שָׁחַט בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר אַחַר שְׁחִיטָה וּמְבָרֵךְ אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל הַשְּׁחִיטָה. וְכֵן אִם כִּסָּה הַדָּם בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה אוֹ הִפְרִישׁ תְּרוּמָה וּמַעַשְׂרוֹת אוֹ שֶׁטָּבַל וְלֹא בֵּרֵךְ אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר וּמְבָרֵךְ אַחַר עֲשִׂיָּה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

But if he ritually slew a beast or fowl without reciting the blessing, he should not, after the slaying, recite the blessing "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us concerning ritual slaughter." So too, if he had already covered the blood (of a fowl or clean wild beast), or set apart the priest's dues or levite's tithes, or taken a ritual bath, without saying the appropriate blessing, he should not say it after the religious duty had been discharged. The principle applies to all similar cases.

7 ז

אֵין לְךָ מִצְוָה שֶׁמְּבָרְכִין אַחַר עֲשִׂיָּתָהּ אֶלָּא טְבִילַת הַגֵּר בִּלְבַד שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִתְקַדֵּשׁ וְלֹא נִצְטַוָּה עַד שֶׁיִּטְבּל. לְפִיכָךְ אַחַר שֶׁיִּטְבּל מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַטְּבִילָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה דָּחוּי מֵעִקָּרוֹ וְלֹא הָיָה רָאוּי לְבָרֵךְ:

There is one religious duty only where the blessing is said after the act to which it refers, namely the immersion of a proselyte (at his reception into Judaism). The reason is that, previously to the rite, he could not have said "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us," as he was neither sanctified nor commanded till he had taken the ritual bath. Hence he recites the blessing after the immersion, because, till that act had been performed, he was primarily ineligible and not qualified to say the blessing.

8 ח

כָּל מִצְוָה שֶׁעֲשִׂיָּתָהּ הִיא גְּמַר חִיּוּבָהּ מְבָרֵךְ בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּה. וְכָל מִצְוָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ אַחַר עֲשִׂיָּתָהּ צִוּוּי אַחֵר אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ אֶלָּא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה הַצִּוּוּי הָאַחֲרוֹן. כֵּיצַד. הָעוֹשֶׂה סֻכָּה אוֹ לוּלָב אוֹ שׁוֹפָר אוֹ צִיצִית אוֹ תְּפִלִּין אוֹ מְזוּזָה אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּה אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת סֻכָּה אוֹ לוּלָב אוֹ לִכְתֹּב תְּפִלִּין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ אַחַר עֲשִׂיָּתוֹ צִוּוּי אַחֵר. וְאֵימָתַי מְבָרֵךְ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיֵּשֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה אוֹ כְּשֶׁיְּנַעֲנֵעַ הַלּוּלָב אוֹ כְּשֶׁיִּשְׁמַע קוֹל הַשּׁוֹפָר אוֹ כְּשֶׁיִּתְעַטֵּף בַּצִּיצִית וּבִשְׁעַת לְבִישַׁת תְּפִלִּין וּבִשְׁעַת קְבִיעַת מְזוּזָה. אֲבָל אִם עָשָׂה מַעֲקֶה מְבָרֵךְ בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּה אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲקֶה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

Whenever the performance of a religious duty definitely completes the obligation, the blessing is recited at the time it is performed. Whenever the fulfillment of a precept is an antecedent to another precept, the blessing is said at the fulfillment of the latter. For example. A person builds a booth for the Feast of Tabernacles, prepares the palm branch for that festival, fashions a ram's horn for the New Year, puts fringes on a garment, or prepares phylacteries or a Mezuzah.*slip of parchment containing passages of Scripture and affixed to the doors of rooms for habitation. He does not, when preparing any of these articles of religious use, say the blessing "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us to build a booth, prepare the palm branch, write phylacteries"; because the act in each of these cases is followed by another precept. When is the blessing said? When one sits in the booth (on the feast of Tabernacles), handles the palm branch, listens to the sound of the ram's horn (on the New Year) enwraps himself in the fringed garment, puts on phylacteries, affixes the Mezuzah. If however one erects a parapet on the roof, he recites, at the time of erection, the blessing "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us concerning a parapet"; and so with similar precepts.

9 ט

כָּל מִצְוָה שֶׁהִיא מִזְּמַן לִזְמַן כְּגוֹן שׁוֹפָר וְסֻכָּה וְלוּלָב וּמִקְרָא מְגִלָּה וְנֵר חֲנֻכָּה. וְכֵן כָּל מִצְוָה וּמִצְוָה שֶׁהִיא קִנְיָן לוֹ כְּגוֹן צִיצִית וּתְפִלִּין וּמְזוּזָה וּמַעֲקֶה. וְכֵן מִצְוָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ תְּדִירָה וְאֵינָהּ מְצוּיָה בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא דּוֹמָה לְמִצְוָה שֶׁהִיא מִזְּמַן לִזְמַן כְּגוֹן מִילַת בְּנוֹ וּפִדְיוֹן הַבֵּן, מְבָרֵךְ עָלֶיהָ בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּתָהּ שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ. וְאִם לֹא בֵּרֵךְ עַל סֻכָּה וְלוּלָב וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּה מְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיֵּצֵא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ בָּהֶן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן:

A precept which is fulfilled at definite periods, for example, listening to the sound of the ram's horn, sitting in the tabernacle, handling the palm branch, reading the Scroll of Esther, lighting the Chanucah light; likewise every precept, connected with private property, e.g. putting on a fringed garment or putting on phylacteries for the first time, fixing the Mezuzah, erection of a parapet on the roof; as also a precept, not of a continuous character, and for which the opportunity of fulfillment does not always occur, e.g. circumcision of a male infant, redemption of the first born,—each of these requires the blessing "Who hast preserved us in life, etc." to be said at the time of performance. If one omitted to say this blessing when building the tabernacle, or preparing the palm branch, he says it, when he fulfills his obligation connected therewith. This principle obtains in all similar cases.

10 י

אֶחָד הָעוֹשֶׂה מִצְוָה לְעַצְמוֹ וְאֶחָד הָעוֹשֶׂה אוֹתָהּ לַאֲחֵרִים מְבָרֵךְ קֹדֶם עֲשִׂיָּתָהּ אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ אֶלָּא עַל מִצְוָה שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה אוֹתָהּ לְעַצְמוֹ. הָיוּ לְפָנָיו מִצְוֹת הַרְבֵּה אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל הַמִּצְוֹת אֶלָּא מְבָרֵךְ עַל כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָהּ:

Whether one fulfills a religious duty for oneself or on behalf of others, he always, before doing it, says the blessing "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us to do, etc." The blessing "Who hast preserved us in life, etc." is only said when a precept is fulfilled on one's own behalf. If a person has several duties to perform, he does not say "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us concerning the precepts", but, at the performance of each precept, he says the blessing appropriate to it.

11 יא

כָּל הָעוֹשֶׂה מִצְוָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה חוֹבָה עָלָיו בֵּין שֶׁאֵינָהּ חוֹבָה עָלָיו אִם עָשָׂה אוֹתָהּ לְעַצְמוֹ מְבָרֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת. עָשָׂה אוֹתָהּ לַאֲחֵרִים מְבָרֵךְ עַל הָעֲשִׂיָּה:

When fulfilling a religious duty—whether it be a personal obligation or not, if one does it for himself, he says, "… and commanded us to do (the particular duty)". If he does it on behalf of others, he says "… and commanded us concerning the duty."

12 יב

כֵּיצַד. לָבַשׁ תְּפִלִּין מְבָרֵךְ לְהָנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין. נִתְעַטֵּף בְּצִיצִית מְבָרֵךְ לְהִתְעַטֵּף. יָשַׁב בְּסֻכָּה מְבָרֵךְ לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה. וְכֵן הוּא מְבָרֵךְ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת וְלִגְמֹר אֶת הַהַלֵּל. וְכֵן אִם קָבַע מְזוּזָה לְבֵיתוֹ מְבָרֵךְ לִקְבֹּעַ מְזוּזָה. עָשָׂה מַעֲקֶה לְגַגּוֹ מְבָרֵךְ אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲקֶה. הִפְרִישׁ תְּרוּמָה לְעַצְמוֹ מְבָרֵךְ לְהַפְרִישׁ. מָל אֶת בְּנוֹ מְבָרֵךְ לָמוּל אֶת הַבֵּן. שָׁחַט פִּסְחוֹ וַחֲגִיגָתוֹ מְבָרֵךְ לִשְׁחֹט:

For example, on putting on phylacteries, one says the blessing concluding "… and commanded us to lay Tephillin (phylacteries)". When putting on the Tallith (fringed garment), he says the blessing ending "… to enwrap oneself in the fringed garment." On taking a seat in the tabernacle (on the feast of Tabernacles), the blessing to be said ends "to dwell in the tabernacle". And so other blessings end "to kindle the light for the Sabbath"; to read the Hallel*The manuscript has ligmor. This means to complete the Hallel (Psalms 113-118). (Psalms 113-118) recited on Festivals and on the Feast of Dedication. So too, if a person affixes the Mezuzah, to rooms in his own home, he ends the blessing—"to affix the Mezuzah." If he builds a parapet for his own roof, he says the blessing "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us to make a parapet." If a person sets aside the priest's dues from his own produce, he says a blessing ending "to set aside the dues". If he circumcises his son, the blessing he says ends "to circumcise the son". If he slays his own paschal lamb or brings his festival offering, he says the blessing ending "to slay, etc."

13 יג

אֲבָל אִם קָבַע מְזוּזָה לַאֲחֵרִים מְבָרֵךְ עַל קְבִיעַת מְזוּזָה. עָשָׂה לָהֶם מַעֲקֶה מְבָרֵךְ עַל עֲשִׂיַּת מַעֲקֶה. הִפְרִישׁ לָהֶם תְּרוּמָה מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַפְרָשַׁת תְּרוּמָה. מָל אֶת בֶּן חֲבֵרוֹ מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַמִּילָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ:

But if he affixes a Mezuzah to the door of another's home, the blessing he says ends "Concerning the affixing of a Mezuzah". If he makes a parapet to the roof of a house belonging to others, he says a blessing concluding "concerning the making of a parapet." If he separates priests' dues for other owners' produce, he says a blessing ending "concerning the setting apart of dues." If he circumcises another person's male infant, he says the blessing ending "concerning the circumcision." The same principle applies to all similar cases.

14 יד

עָשָׂה הַמִּצְוָה לוֹ וְלַאֲחֵרִים כְּאֶחָד אִם הָיְתָה מִצְוָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ חוֹבָה מְבָרֵךְ עַל הָעֲשִׂיָּה. לְפִיכָךְ הוּא מְבָרֵךְ עַל מִצְוַת עֵרוּב. הָיְתָה חוֹבָה וְנִתְכַּוֵּן לְהוֹצִיא עַצְמוֹ מִידֵי חוֹבָה וּלְהוֹצִיא אֲחֵרִים מְבָרֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת. לְפִיכָךְ הוּא מְבָרֵךְ לִשְׁמֹעַ קוֹל שׁוֹפָר:

When a person fulfills a precept for himself and others jointly, and the precept is not of an obligatory character, he says a blessing which ends "concerning the fulfillment of the precept." Thus the blessing said, when making an Erub, ends "concerning the precept of the Erub." If the precept is obligatory and the intent was to discharge the obligation for himself and others, the blessing concludes "to fulfill the precept." Thus the blessing said at the sounding of the ram's horn (on the New Year) ends "to hear the sound of the ram's horn."

15 טו

נָטַל אֶת הַלּוּלָב מְבָרֵךְ עַל נְטִילַת לוּלָב שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגְבִּיהוֹ יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ. אֲבָל אִם בֵּרֵךְ קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּטּל מְבָרֵךְ לִטּל לוּלָב כְּמוֹ לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה. מִכָּאן אַתָּה לָמֵד שֶׁהַמְבָרֵךְ אַחַר שֶׁעָשָׂה מְבָרֵךְ עַל הָעֲשִׂיָּה. אֲבָל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם וּשְׁחִיטָה הוֹאִיל וּבְדִבְרֵי הָרְשׁוּת הֵן אֲפִלּוּ שָׁחַט לְעַצְמוֹ מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַשְּׁחִיטָה וְעַל כִּסּוּי הַדָּם וְעַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם. וְכָךְ הוּא מְבָרֵךְ עַל בִּעוּר חָמֵץ בֵּין שֶׁבָּדַק לְעַצְמוֹ בֵּין שֶׁבָּדַק לַאֲחֵרִים שֶׁמִּשָּׁעָה שֶׁגָּמַר בְּלִבּוֹ לְבַטֵּל נַעֲשֵׂית מִצְוַת הַבִּעוּר קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּבְדֹּק כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

When a person takes the palm branch (on the feast of Tabernacles), he says the blessing ending "concerning the taking of the palm-branch;" because, as soon as he has taken it, he has discharged his obligation. If however one says the blessing before taking the palm branch, the blessing ends "to take the palm-branch," on the analogy of the formula "to dwell in the tabernacle." Hence the general rule that when the blessing is said after the precept has been performed, the blessing ends with the formula "concerning the precept." But when one washes the hands or slaughters cattle for food, even for one's own consumption,—since these are optional, the blessings end with the respective formulas "concerning the slaughtering of cattle;" "concerning covering the blood (of birds or deer);" "concerning washing of the hands." So also the blessing said "when searching for leaven on the evening after the 13th of Nisan" ends "concerning the destruction of leaven"—whether the search is on one's own behalf or for others; because, as soon as he has resolved in his mind to annul the leaven, the duty of destroying it has been discharged, before he begins the search,—as will be expounded in the proper place.

16 טז

כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא מִנְהָג אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּנְהַג נְבִיאִים הוּא כְּגוֹן נְטִילַת עֲרָבָה בִּשְׁבִיעִי שֶׁל חַג וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר מִנְהַג חֲכָמִים כְּגוֹן קְרִיאַת הַלֵּל בְּרָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים וּבְחֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד שֶׁל פֶּסַח אֵין מְבָרְכִין עָלָיו. וְכֵן כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁיִּסְתַּפֵּק לְךָ אִם טָעוּן בְּרָכָה אִם לָאו עוֹשִׂין אוֹתוֹ בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה. וּלְעוֹלָם יִזָּהֵר אָדָם בִּבְרָכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה וְיַרְבֶּה בַּבְּרָכוֹת הַצְּרִיכוֹת. וְכֵן דָּוִד אָמַר (תהילים קמה ב) ״בְּכָל יוֹם אֲבָרְכֶךָּ״:
סְלִיק הִלְכוֹת בְּרָכוֹת

For a practice that is only customary, even if traced to the prophets, for example, taking the willow branch on the seventh day of the feast of Tabernacles, and—needless to add—if it is ascribed to the Sages, for example, reciting the Hallel*Psalms 113-118 omitting 115:1-11 and 116:1-11. on new moons and the intermediate days of Passover, no blessing is to be recited at its performance.*In the Ashkenazi ritual, a blessing is recited. Thus also any act, in regard to which you are in doubt whether it requires a blessing or not, should be performed without a blessing. One should always carefully avoid saying blessings unnecessarily; and should be heedful to recite, as often as there may be occasion, the blessings that are requisite. And so David said "Every day I will bless Thee and praise Thy name forever" (Ps. 145:2).