Monday, June 2, 2008

A Shabtai Tzvi legacy

We all almost automatically say Boruch Hu boruch Shmoy (when hearing the first part of a brocho). This is a rarely discussed minhag. We are supposed to learn and understand every minhag that we follow. Yiddishkeit is a faith based on thinking.

Jews in Europe had one good reason for not responding this to brochos they heard.

Beside the fact that this expression is never mentioned in Gemoro, and Rosh mentions this by a way of learning that if someone is being yotzey on a brocho, responding Boruch Hu is a problematic interruption of the brocho .

Turns out that in Makor Boruch (Toroh Tmimoh, R. Epshtein of Pinsk, lehavdil, the shtetl of Shimon Peres), that the fanatics of the Shabtai Tzvi movement loved to say Boruch Hu Boruch Shmo because its full gematria is equal to the gematria of his name, 814.

Whoever is bothered by this fact is naturally free from the obligation to keep saying the response to blessings.

As Mesillas Yoshorim teaches in the Cleanliness chapter that one should be free of dubious practices.

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