Holding the food in one’s right hand upon saying a blessing

Holding the food in one’s right hand upon saying the blessing:[1]

The ruling is that one is not to say the blessing over a food until the food is in one’s hands.[2] The following article will discuss which hand the food is to be held in, the right or left, and what a lefty is to do.

The law: Upon saying a blessing over a food, one is to hold the food in his right hand.[3]

 

Q&A

In which hand is a lefty to hold the food?[4]

Some Poskim[5] rule that even a left-handed person is to hold the item in his right hand, as the right hand is the side of life and is the side of Chesed according to Kabbalah.[6] Other Poskim[7], however, rule, that a lefty always gives precedence to his left side.[8]

 

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[1] Admur Seder 9:4; 206:8; 167:7; Michaber 206:4; Brachos 43b; Beis Yosef 212; Mordechai in name of Ravayah; Ataz 162:6

[2] Admur and Poskim ibid; So rule regarding bread and the same applies by all foods: Admur 167:6; Michaber 167:3; Rokeiach 329; Ketzos Hashulchan 37:6

The reason: As one may only recite a blessing over a Mitzvah in close approximation to the Mitzvah, when the Mitzvah is prepared in his hand for him to fulfill it and not prior, as explained in 25:17. [Admur ibid; M”A 167:9]

[3] The reason: As all matters which one says a blessing over must be held in the right hand during the time of the blessing. [ibid] This is due to the importance that the Torah gives the right hand. [M”B 206:18; Levush 297:5; See Admur 183:7; Tzemach Tzedek ibid] Alternatively, it is due to the fact that the right hand represents Chesed and life. [Seder Brachos “Lechoz”, brought in Admur 206:8 regarding holding it with a knife; Elya Raba 206:6; Peri Megadim 206 A”A 6; All Poskim in next footnote who hold a lefty is to hold it in his left hand]

[4] See Sefer Dinei Iter p. 182; Piskeiy Teshuvos 206:15

Opinion of Admur: Admur ibid omits writing the reason of the Seder Brachos regarding why the right is to be preceded, thus implying like those Poskim who rule that the right is preceded due to its importance, and hence by a lefty, he is to hold it in his left hand. See Dinei Iter ibid and footnotes below.

[5] Implication of reason of Seder Brachos “Lechoz”; Elya Raba 206:6 based on Seder Brachos ibid; Peri Megadim 206 A”A 6 leaves this matter in question; Sdei Chemed Brachos 1; Kaf Hachaim 206:30 that so is custom; Orchos Chaim 206:5 in name of Divrei Mordechai 15; See also P”M 158 A”A 1; M”B 4:22 in name of Artzos Hachaim; Amudei Hashulchan 2:2; Kaf Hachaim 4:35; Miasef LeAkol Hamachanos 4:53; Piskeiy Teshuvos 206:15

[6] The reason: As the main reason for holding it in one’s right hand is due to the right representing life and kindness, which is applicable even to the right hand of a lefty. [Poskim ibid]

[7] M”B 206:18 that so is implied from M”A 183 and Rav Akiva Eiger 206; Mur Veahalos 48; Beir Moshe 1:3; Rivivos Ephraim 8:80; Cheishev Haeiphod 3:30; Sefer Dinei Iter p. 182 and 43-46 based on Tzemach Tzedek Orach Chaim 4:6 and 5:8 regarding Netilas Yadayim, and based on Admur 183:7 that a lefty is to hold the Kos Shel Bracha in his left hand; 651:14 that a lefty is to hold the Lulav in his left hand; So writes also Rav Ginzberg in Haaros Ubiurim 783 p. 74

[8] The reason: As the main reason for holding it in one’s right hand is due to the respect one is required to show to his more distinguished hand, which for a lefty is his left hand. [Poskim ibid]

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