About Me

Rabbi Chaim Coffman
Rabbi Coffman has helped people from all across the spectrum to prepare themselves properly for Orthodox Conversion to Judaism. His students admire his vast knowledge and appreciate his warm, personal attention and endearing sense of humor.
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Welcome to Rabbi Chaim Coffman's Blog!

I would like to thank you for visiting my blog, Beyond Orthodox Conversion to Judaism.

The conversion process can be a lengthy and daunting one to say the least and I want you to know that I am here to help you through it.

I have been teaching newcomers to Judaism for over a decade and over the last few years I have seen that conversion candidates really lack the support and knowledge they need to navigate the conversion process and successfully integrate into the Orthodox Jewish community.

I created my mentorship program in order to help make this whole experience as smooth and as painless as possible! (Can't do much about the growing pains, though ;)

Feel free to get to know me a little through the posts on my blog and visit the mentorship and syllabus page if you are interested in possible joining us.

I sincerely wish you all the best in your search for truth and spiritual growth.

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Chaim Coffman

My Rebbe, Rav Moshe Sternbuch

In case you were wondering why I have all of these articles written by Rav Moshe Sternbuch, he is my Rebbe, and one of the gedolei hador (greatest Rabbis of our generation).

Rav Sternbuch fully endorses me and supports my mentorship program.

He is the address for all of my halachic or hashkafic (practical and philosophical) questions that I or my students may have.

The articles are based on his weekly talks on the Torah portion that the Rav gives in Jerusalem in his kollel. As a member of the kollel I get first dibbs on the photocopies and I type them up for my blog so you can all benefit from the Rav's erudition and insight.
Friday, January 20, 2012

Do I need to eat at a Sheva Brachos to be able to say on of the Sheva Brachos?

Question: Recently, during a sheva brachos, I was asked to say one of the sheva brachos at the end of the meal. However, when the host found out that I had not eaten anything during the seudah, he said that I should not recite the bracha. Can you please clarify this halacha?

Thank you.
Rabbi Yonason Lyons

Answer: One should only honor someone to recite one of the sheva brachos if he ate during the seudah.


Chazal understood that one day is generally not enough time for a chosson and kallah
to internalize the simcha of their new life together and therefore instituted seven days of rejoicing for them. During these seven days, sheva brachos are recited for the chosson and kallah. The Gemara does not clarify under which circumstances these brachos are recited.

Maseches Sofrim (19:11) states that the minhag is to recite sheva brachos
for a chosson and a kallah in the morning before ten people. If
there are ponim chadashos, then one recites them all
seven days. One also recites them at night before
the seudah.

Maseches Sofrim does not specify that the brachos were made in the morning before a meal. Furthermore, the implication is that at night the brachos were recited
before the seudah. The Ran (Kesubos 3b) learns from Maseches Sofrim
that one recites sheva brachos even without a

Other Rishonim disagree with the Ran and write that sheva brachos are only recited when a seudah is made. The Vilna Gaon, in fact, writes that the correct wording of the Maseches Sofrim is that sheva brachos were only recited after the meal. The halacha follows this understanding and we only recite sheva brachos after a seudah.


Although the consensus of the Rishonim is that one only recites sheva brachos during a meal, this does not mean that the person who recites the brachos has to have eaten. Some poskim write that one may recite them even if he did not partake in the actual meal (Be’er Moshe 2:118).

However, the Rambam (Brachos 2:9-10) cites the halacha of sheva brachos together
with the halachos of Birkas Hamazon. The placement of the Rambam implies that sheva
brachos are part of Birkas Hamazon. This means that one can only recite them if he ate bread during the meal.

In the same vein, the Shulchan Aruch (Even Ha’ezer 62:7) writes, “If there were
people who had not eaten previously at one of the seudos (ponim chadashos), then one can make sheva brachos after Birkas Hamazon.” The Shulchan Aruch implies that the brachos are part of Birkas Hamazon, and without eating bread one should not recite them.

One should try and follow implication of the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch and give
the sheva brachos to guests who washed and ate bread. However, it is permitted to honor a guest who did not wash for bread, but ate something significant during the meal, e.g., he came at the end of the meal. Since he partook of the meal, he is still included in the simcha of the seudah and can recite sheva brachos.


In addition to the requirement of eating bread, there are two other important halachos stated in the Shulchan Aruch. One can only make sheva brachos if there are ponim chadashos, people who have not attended any of the other wedding seudos. The exception to this rule is Shabbos, which is given the same status as an important
guest (Even Ha’ezer 62:7).

The Shulchan Aruch also writes that sheva brachos are only recited in the
house of the chosson. If anyone else makes the seudah, then only one of the sheva
brachos (asher bara) are recited. Sefardim follow this practice (Even
Ha’ezer 62:10).

Amongst Ashkenazi poskim, Rav Nosson Adler ruled that one should only say sheva brachos in the house of the chosson. However, the prevalent Ashkenazi
custom is that one recites all of the sheva brachos even if the seudah was not made in the house of the chosson.