Does one recite the morning blessing of Elokaiy Neshama if he did not sleep at night?

Does one recite the morning blessing of Elokaiy Neshama if he did not sleep at night?

Background:[1]

It is disputed amongst the Poskim[2] whether the fifteen morning blessings starting from Hanosein Lasechvi Vina, are to be said even if one did not sleep at night, and did not receive the benefit for which the blessing was established. Practically, we rule that one is to recite all fifteen morning blessings even if he did not sleep at night, and hence did not receive their corresponding benefits, as they were established based on the normal daily routine benefits and not based on personal benefits.[3] The question, however, is raised regarding whether this custom likewise applies to the blessing of Elokaiy Neshama, which is said prior to these 15 blessings, thanking Hashem for the return of the soul. Perhaps it should be said even if one did not sleep at night, due to the custom of thanking Hashem for the normal daily routine benefits. On the other hand, perhaps this blessing was never established in this manner and hence requires one to actually receive the benefit of waking from sleep in order for it to be said. Practically, this matter is debated amongst the Poskim based on different ways of learning the Peri Eitz Chaim, and the practical ruling of the Siddur differs from the accepted Chabad custom today. The following are the details of this matter:

The Law:

Some Poskim[4] rule Elokaiy Neshama is to be recited in the morning even if one did not sleep at night, just as is customarily done regarding the other morning blessings, and so is the widespread Sephardi custom. Other Poskim[5], however, rule that if one did not sleep at night, or slept for less than 60 breaths worth [i.e. thirty minutes[6]], then the blessing of Elokaiy Neshama may not be recited.[7] [According to this opinion, if one is in doubt whether he slept for 60 breaths, then he is to recite the blessing without Hashem’s name.[8]] Other Poskim[9] conclude that due to doubt, one is to hear the blessing from another person, and so is the widespread Ashkenazi custom.

The Chabad custom:[10] Admur in his Siddur [unlike his implied ruling from the Shulchan Aruch] holds of the latter opinion that the blessing is not to be recited [and that there is no need to even hear it from someone else], and seemingly so was the Chabad custom in previous times.[11] The public directive from the Rebbe Rayatz likewise follows this ruling, although emphasizing one may hear it from another person who did sleep. However, the private directive of the Rebbe Rayatz is that one should say the blessing, as rules the first opinion above.[12] It is implied from the above directives that unless one received a private directive from the Rebbe otherwise, then he is not to say the blessing, as is the public directive. Nonetheless, the accepted, widespread, custom amongst Chabad Chassidim today is to follow the private directive and recite the blessing of Elokaiy Neshama even if one did not sleep the night before.[13] [The blessing is to be said after Alos[14], immediately after washing hands with a blessing.[15]]

 

Summary:

The widespread Sephardi custom, and the widespread Chabad custom of today, is to recite the blessing of Elokaiy Neshama in the morning even if one did not sleep at night. The widespread Ashkenazi custom is to hear this blessing recited from another.

 

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[1] See Admur 46:7

[2] First opinion-Rambam: Some Poskim rule that if one did not receive the corresponding pleasure of a particular blessings then he may not recite that blessing. Hence if one did not hear the rooster crow, or did not walk or did not get dressed or did not wear a belt, (or stayed awake the entire night and hence did not need to remove the slumber from his eyes) then he may not say the blessings that correspond to these pleasures. [1st opinion in Admur ibid; Michaber 46:8; Rambam Tefila 7:7-9]

Second Opinion-Rosh: Other Poskim rule that all blessings said over the natural order [and public benefit] of the world, such as “Hanosein Lasechvy Bina” and “Roka Haaretz Al Hamayim” may be recited even if one did not receive their pleasure. However, those blessings which are said for a person’s personal benefits, such as “Malbish Arumim” and “Hameichin Mitzadeiy Gaver” and “Ozer Yisrael Begevura” and Oter Yisrael”, then if he did not receive their corresponding pleasure, such as if he is still lying unclothed in his bed, then they may not be said at all. [2nd opinion in Admur ibid; Tur 46; Rosh 9:23; See Tosafus Brachos 60b; Rabbeinu Yona in Sefer Hayirah; Levush 46:8]

Third Opinion-Ramban: Other Poskim rule one can say all the morning blessings even if he did not receive any of the corresponding pleasures at all. The reason for this is because the blessings are not only being said for his personal benefits but rather as a blessing that Hashem created the needs of man which the general populace receive benefit from, irrelevant of whether or not he received this benefit. [3rd opinion in Admur ibid; Rama 46:8; Ramban Pesachim 7b; Shut Min Hashamayim 12; Sefer Heshkol Birchas Hashachar; Sefer Hamichtam Brachos 60 in name of Rav Nutraiy Gaon, Rav Amram Gaon]

[3] Admur 46:7 “The widespread custom is like the third opinions and one may not swerve from it.”; Siddur Admur; Rama ibid; Peri Chadash 46:8; Birkeiy Yosef 46:12; Rav Poalim 2:8; Kaf Hachaim 46:49 in name of many Poskim; Ketzos Hashulchan 5:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 46:14

Ruling of Sephardim: Although the Michaber 46:8 rules like the Rambam, nevertheless even the Sefaradim follow the Rama in this regard to recite the blessings even if they did not receive its benefit. [Peri Chadash 46:8; Birkeiy Yosef 46:12; Rav Poalim 2:8; Kaf Hachaim 46:49 in name of many Poskim; Piskeiy Teshuvos 46:14]

Gra and Chazon Ish: The Chazon Ish rules that according to the Gr”a one may not recite the blessings of any pleasure that one did not receive. He would direct people to follow this opinion. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 46 footnote 147]

The blessing of Hamaavir Sheiyna until Hagomel Chassadim Tovim: Some Poskim rule that if one did not sleep the night before he is not to say the blessing of Hamaavir Sheiyna, being that it is said for removing the slumbers of sleep from one’s eyes [see Admur 46:7 in parentheses]. [Ateres Zahav 46:6; Elya Raba brought in M”B 46:24] Other Poskim however rule it is to be recited. [Shaareiy Teshuvah 46:12 in name of Arizal; Birkeiy Yosef 46:12; Kaf Hachaim 46:49; Shulchan Hatahor 46:8; Aruch Hashulchan 46:13; Ben Ish Chaiy Bracha 3; Oar Letziyon 2:4-9] Other Poskim arbitrate that one is to hear the blessing from another person. [Peri Megadim 46 A”A 2; Shaareiy Teshuvah 46:12; M”B ibid; Siddur Yaavetz; Chayeh Adam 8:9; Derech Chaim; Birchas Habayis 35:2; Likkutei Mahrich; Toras Chaim Sofer 7] According to the Siddur of Admur and Admur 46:7 one is to recite the blessing of Hamaavir Sheiyna even if he did not sleep the night before. [Ketzos Hashulchan 5:6] Regarding why according to the Siddur one does not recite Elokaiy Neshama but does recite Hamaavir Sheiyna-see Ketzos Hashulchan 5 footnote 8 and Shaar Hakolel 1:10

[4] Implication of Admur 46:7 and 494:3; Shaareiy Teshuvah 46:12 in accordance to his understanding of the Arizal in Peri Eitz Chaim; Birkeiy Yosef 46:12; Ben Ish Chaiy Bracha 3; Shulchan Hatahor 46:8; Aruch Hashulchan 46:13; Kaf Hachaim 46:49; Or Letziyon 2:4-9

Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch: Admur does not explicitly state in the Shulchan Aruch whether one is to say the blessing of Elokaiy Neshama if he did not sleep at night. However, it is implied from 46:7 and 494:3 that it is to be said. See glosses of Rav Raskin on Siddur p. 8

[5] Admur in Siddur based on Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Habrachos 4, as explained in Shaar Hakolel 1:10 [unlike understanding of Shaareiy Teshuvah 46:12 in Peri Eitz Chaim]; Hagahos Ateres Zahav 46:6; M”B 46:24 in name of Elya Raba; Ketzos Hashulchan 5:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 46:15; See Ketzos Hashulchan 5 footnote 8; Shaar Hakolel 1:10 and Rav Raskin on Siddur p. 8 for the proofs against the understanding of the Shaareiy Teshuvah in the Peri Eitz Chaim; See also Yagdil Torah Jerusalem 5:40.

[6] See our Sefer “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 4 Halacha 17 Q&A

[7] The reason: This blessing of Elokaiy Neshama refers to one’s personal benefit of awakening and not the general pleasure that the world receives. Therefore, it may not be said if one did not receive this personal benefit. [Ketzos Hashulchan 5 footnote 8; Peri Megadim 46 A”A  2]

[8] Ketzos Hashulchan 5:5

[9] Peri Megadim 46 A”A 2; Shaareiy Teshuvah 46:12; Siddur Yaavetz; Chayeh Adam 8:9; Derech Chaim; M”B ibid; Birchas Habayis 35:2; Likkutei Maharich; Toras Chaim Sofer 7; See Rebbe in Likkutei Sichos 9 p. 276

[10] See Likkutei Sichos 9 p. 276; Shulchan Menachem 1:6; Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag vol. 1 page 25; Heichal Menachem 2:213; Hiskashrus 931; Shevach Hamoadim p. 240 footnote 7 in name of Rabbanei Anash; Rav Raskin in footnotes on Siddur p. 8

[11] As is evident from the rulings of the Shaar Hakolel 1:10 and Ketzos Hashulchan 5:5 to follow this ruling of Admur in the Siddur

[12] Background: In a letter dated on the 9th of Tishreiy 1949 the Rebbe responded as follows to the question of whether one is to recite the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim and Elokaiy Neshama in a case that he did not sleep at night: “The public directive follows the ruling in the Siddur of Admur that it is not to be said, although one may hear it from another person who did sleep. (However, the private directive is to say it. This is what I heard from my father in law the Rebbe Rayatz).”

[13] Shevach Hamoadim p. 240 footnote 7 in name of Rabbanei Anash that although from this letter it remains unclear as to whether a Chassid is to follow the private or public directive, in actuality, the custom has become to follow the private directive and so rule Rabbanei Anash; See also Heichal Menachem ibid for a Yechidus recorded in which the Rebbe told a Chassid that one is to follow the private directive.

[14] Based on Siddur and 47:7 that the other blessings of Birchas Hashachar may only be said after Alos [in a case that one did not sleep] as this is the time that people wake up.

[15] See our Sefer “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 4 Halacha 16

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