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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Celebrating Yom Yerushalayim


Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha

Question: Is there anything special that one should do on Yom Yerushalayim?

Answer: The Talmud (Berachot 54a) tells us that when a person hears besorot tovot (good tidings) he should recite the blessing of “hatov vehameitiv – who is good and bestows good.”

What kind of good news requires this blessing? HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv (Meromei Sadeh, Berachot 59b), contends that it must be something that happened to klal Yisrael. The mishnah specifically states that one should make this berachah upon “hearing” good tidings. This wording indicates that the blessings is required even if the individual was not present and did not directly benefit from the good event. He must make the berachah, nonetheless, out of happiness for the Jewish people.

The fact that Jerusalem – our holiest city, our ancient capital and the site of the Holy Temple – is now within Jewish dominion is one of the best examples of a besorah tovah impacting klal Yisrael. Jerusalem’s liberation, thus, certainly deserves a blessing – even all these years later.

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


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