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Shevat 7, 5771

Bircat baalat habayit


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Question:
In the last seven years, I see more and more siddurim and benchers with a paragraph for baalat habayit with instructions that the husband should say it for his wife. The give OH 201:1 for a source.

Of course, there is nothing like this in the Shulchan Aruch or in Meschet Brachot.
Any ideas where this comes from and why do siddurim keep pasting it blindly on the text?
What is your opinion on this matter?


Answer:
Shalom!
I also could not find this custom in any of the siddurim of the geonim
or rishonim. Its interesting to note that even on the Seder night,
where the custom is for the host to lead the zimun (as opposed to the
rest of the year where the guest leads the zimun), we find in the
Haggada of Prague from 500 years ago, only that the son blesses his
parents, and no mention of one blessing himself and his wife. In the
Hagada Shleima of Rav Kasher he writes simply: Bless us and all that
is ours. In short, there is no specific source, but if our rabbis
teach us that the blessing of any person should not be treated lightly
(Brachot 7a), and we obviously should not want to anger our wives, one
would be wise to continue taking the opportunity to bless his wife!
Especially when the Rambam (Brachot 2, 7) mentions explicitly that one
is allowed to add on to this bracha of the baal habayit.
With Love of Israel,

Rav Ari Shvat


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