(Q) Siman 217: Blessings for Fragrance

Siman 217 Seifim 8

1. If one enters the store of a spice seller who has many varieties of spices he should recite: בורא מיני בשמים. If he sat there the entire day he only recites the beracha once.  If he enters and exits and enters and exits he recites the beracha each time he enters.    This  is  true  if  he  did  not  have  intent  to return  but  if  he  had  intent  to  return  he  does  not repeat the beracha.

2.One does not recite a beracha on spices unless they were designated for smell.  Therefore, one does not recite a beracha on spices used for a corpse which are placed above the casket to counter the foul smell of the corpse.  If it is placed below the bed one does recite the beracha since it is assumed that it is done to honor the living.  One also does not recite a beracha on spices in a bathroom and oil used to counter a dirty smell.

3. One does not recite a berahca on incense that is used to infuse smell into utensils since the intent is not its own smell but to infuse  smell into other articles. Similarly, one who smells utensils that were infused with the smell of incense does not recite a beracha since the smell has no source, just smell.

4. Regarding spices of an ervah, for example, a box of spices worn around her neck or held in her hand or mouth, one does not recite a beracha since it is prohibited to smell it because it could  lead to kissing or physical contact with her.

5. One does not recite the beracha on spices used for idolatry since it is prohibited to smell them.

6. One does not recite the beracha on spices used at a festive meal of idolaters since their festive meals are generally a celebration of their idolatry.

7. If one was walking outside of a city and smelled spices and the majority of residents are idolaters one does not recite a beracha but if the majority of residents are Jews one does recite a beracha.

8. If a spice upon which one recites a beracha becomes intermingled with a spice upon which one does not recite a beracha the majority ingredient determines whether a beracha is recited.

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