The German Jewish community of Washington Heights recites the Bircas Hatorah each morning at the juncture between the bracha “Mekadesh es Shimcha Barabim” and the beginning of the recital of korbanos.

This is at odds with the minhag recorded in the standard Roedelheim siddur.

In the essay linked here I have suggested (this was written close to 20 years ago) that the reason for this minhag might be either 1) to make a bracha over a communal Torah rite; the recitation of korbanos, or 2) because the recitation of a part of the Torah to accomplish a mitzvah other than Torah learning is itself deserving of a bracha- and so the recital of the standard bracha there would accomplish both tasks. (This explanation explains the need to make a bracha when caslled to the Torah reading and why the recitation of Ahavah Raba befor Shema is considered a bracha on the Torah. Support is cited for this.)

The discussion was brought to light at the time when a member of the shul who was a regular daf-yomi participant was observing his year of mourning for his father. He had a conundrum: He will need to recite bircas haTorah before giving the “daf”, but then will need to recite it again out loud when davening before the amud!

One of the community Rabbonim showed him the view of the “Hagahos Maimoni” that cites the Rishonim in Maseches Brachos who relate that Rashi himself (!) had this conundrum when learning in the morning and then davening at the amud. Rashi would recite the bircas hatorah twice!

The person mentioned above was advised to follow this if he could not find a member of the congregation to listen to his bracha. (In truth, one cannot rely on making the bracha for someone else if that person is personally capable of doing it for himself. וצ”ע)


By the time he was in his year of mourning for his mother, the shul rearranged the order of who would daven for the amud so that he would not be there for this part of davening. (This itself is a parting from the normal procedure at the amud- but the halacha was an imperative.)

Gut Voch!


Our Way in Bircas Hatorah

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