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(File size: 4.71 MB)
If One Remembered During the Beracha of “Yoser Or” That He Had Forgotten to Recite Birkot Ha’Torah

The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 47:7) rules that if one forgot in the morning to recite Birkot Ha’Torah – the special blessings over the study of Torah – he has the opportunity to fulfill this obligation through the recitation of the "Ahabat Olam" blessing before Shema. Both in Shaharit and in Arbit, we recite a Beracha – "Ahabat Olam" – which speaks of the study of the Torah, and the Shulhan Aruch writes that one who forgot to recite Birkot Ha’Torah can fulfill the requirement through the recitation of "Ahabat Olam." The only condition is that one learns – even just a couple of verses of Humash – immediately after completing his prayer. Some authorities require him in this case to read verses immediately after the Amida prayer, whereas others maintain that it suffices to learn after the completion of the entire service, at the conclusion of "Alenu."

Hacham Ovadia Yosef, in his Yabia Omer (vol. 4, Orah Haim 7:5), addresses the case of one who remembers his mistake before "Ahabat Olam," during the preceding Beracha, of "Yoser Or." He writes that although one may not interrupt during the recitation of this Beracha, he should, after concluding this Beracha (meaning, after reciting, "Yoser Ha’me’orot"), recite Birkot Ha’Torah. Rather than proceeding to "Ahabat Olam" and having in mind for that Beracha to satisfy the requirement of Birkot Ha’Torah, the individual should instead recite Birkot Ha’Torah in between the Berachot of "Yoser Or" and "Ahabat Olam." Hacham Ovadia compares this situation to the case addressed by the Magen Abraham (Rav Abraham Gombiner, 1633-1683) of one who hears thunder while reciting the Beracha of "Yoser Or." The Magen Abraham ruled that the individual in this case should recite the Beracha over thunder ("She’koho U’gburato Maleh Olam") in between the Berachot of "Yoser Or" and "Ahabat Olam." By the same token, Hacham Ovadia ruled, one who realized while reciting the Beracha of "Yoser Or" that he had forgotten to recite "Birkot Ha’Torah" that morning should do so after completing "Yoser Or," before beginning "Ahabat Olam."

Interestingly, Hacham Ovadia’s son, Hacham David Yosef, disagrees with his father’s ruling. In his Halacha Berura (vol. 3, p. 392), Hacham David writes if one realized while reciting the Beracha of "Yoser Or" that he had forgotten to recite Birkot Ha’Torah, he should continue as usual and have in mind during "Ahabat Olam" to fulfill his requirement of Birkot Ha’Torah.

In practice, it seems that we should follow Hacham Ovadia’s position, that a person in this case should recite Birkot Ha’Torah upon completing the Beracha of "Yoser Or," before beginning "Ahabat Olam."

Summary: If one forgot to recite Birkot Ha’Torah in the morning, he can fulfill his requirement through the recitation of "Ahabat Olam" before Shema, and then reading some verses immediately after the prayer (either after the Amida, or after "Alenu"). However, if he realized his mistake before he began "Ahabat Olam," during the Beracha of "Yoser Or," then he should recite Birkot Ha’Torah after concluding the Beracha of "Yoser Or," before he begins "Ahabat Olam."


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