Practical Judaism II: Mizmor L’Todah part 2

8 01 2012

Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rabbi Ari Jacobson 

Does one recite Hagomel after a flight? Some authorities rule not to say the bracha, because flights have become routine. Others say that if one flies over an ocean or desert then one should recite it. Rav Moshe Feinstein held that one says Hagomel after every flight because it is an act of overcoming nature. Other poskim disagree. When there’s a questionable situation, one should receive an aliyah and have in mind while answering to Barchu, to thank Hashem. Hagomel should be recited in the presence of a minyan, ideally in front of a sefer Torah, while receiving an aliyah. The Chasam Sofer explains that the bimah represents the altar and itis as if one offers a korban todah.

Several authorities say women are also required to say Hagomel. Some rule that one man and eight other women are enough to count as a quorum for this. Others maintain that ten men are necessary. Some authorities worry about modesty issues and rule that the men should be relatives. Others say she should recite the blessing from the women’s section. Some rule that because Hagomel generally requires a minyan of men, the mitzva requirement was never imposed on women. Different communities have different customs. However everyone agrees that a woman can say Mizmor L’todah.

There’s a dispute among the Rishonim as to whether one only recites Hagomel when one is saved from the four scenarios Some authorities rule that for a different hazardous situation, the blessing should be recited without shem u’malchut. Ashkenazim follow the view that any dangerous predicament requires Hagomel. Sefardim don’t say the blessing as frequently, following the view of the Shulchan Aruch. However in a situation where one is unsure if Hagomel is required, one can have special concentration in the daily recital of Mizmor l’todah.

In the future, all the various songs of praise for Hashem will be nullified except Mizmor l’todah. We say it every day because in reality we should be thanking Hashem all the time for the natural order of the world. It is recited standing up and with great joy as if one is offering a thanksgiving offering.

On Shabbat and Yom Tov we don’t say Mizmor L’todah because korbanot nedava (voluntary sacrifices) were not brought then. It is also not recited Chol Hamoed Pesach and Erev Pesach because the korban todah wasn’t offered on these days. Of the forty loaves that had to be brought, ten of them were leavened bread, which couldn’t be offered on Pesach. An offering that would have to be burnt earlier than usual was not brought either. Therefore, we don’t recite Mizmor L’todah on Erev Yom Kippur because the thanksgiving offering could not be eaten on Yom Kippur evening

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