Birkat Hatorah for Girls



To the Rabbi:
I am in Bet Yaakov and before we start the Tefilla h of the day the teacher says a Dvar Torah for Chizuk or a story or something like that. It occurred to me that we don’t say Birkat Hatorah until we start the Tefilla so maybe this is not allowed. Do we need to say Birkat Hatorah on Chizuk?



Answer: women and girls also must say Birkat Hatorah before they say a Dvar Halacha or read Pesukim from the Torah. Stories of Tzaddikim it is better to say it, but on chizuk stories you don’t have to.

The Gemara in Brachot 11b says: What bracha do you make (on Torah)? Rav Yehuda says in the name of Shmuel, “Asher Kideshanu Bmitzvotav Vtzivanu La’asok B’Divrei Torah,” And R Yochanan added, “Vhaarev Na…Baruch Atta Hashem Hamelamed Torah L’Amo Yisrael.” Rav Hamnuna added, “Asher Bachar Banu …Baruch Ata Hashem Notein HaTorah. And Rav Hamnuna added this is most special therefore you should say all three.”
We see there are three Brachot for the Torah, 1) La’asok B’divrei Torah, 2)V’Haarev, 3) Asher Bachar Banu. The Rishonim argue over how many Brachot there really are. Rabbeinu tam and the Rosh said a Vav to Haarev, -V’haarev-makeing it an extension of the first bracha and therefore there are on only two brachot.
The Rambam (Tefilla 7:10) and the Ba’al Hamaor don’t have a Vav , so there are three separate brachot.
Shulchan Aruch OH 47:6 sys to say it with a Vav.

The Rema ways the minhag was to say without a Vav but it is better to say with. (Some says even with a Vav you may answer Amen after al three- Kaf Hachaim.)
Woman definitely have connection to the second bracha of haarev because they also pray for their children to enjoy learning Torah. The last bracha as well because it is a praise to Hashem for choosing us and giving us the Torah.
The first bracha, making a bracha on the actual learning of it the Poskim argue.
The Shulchan Aruch 47:14 ruled that women say all three brachot.
The Bet Yosef quotes the Agur in the name of Mahari Moelin that women say Birchat Osek B’torah sine they also need to learn Tanach and even though Divrei Torah seems to be Torah Shebal Peh we don’t change the words of the Brachot. It also goes on Tefilla which is in place of Korbanot.

The Semak says there are required to study the Halachot which pertain to them. The Gra (OH 589:6) writes that they are allowed to say a bracha on any mitzvah even if they are too obligated. (This however is a Machloket and the Shulchan Aruch (17:2) does not agree.)
The Ketav Sofer (Shu”t OH siman 20) sys that she makes the bracha of La’asok Batorah on her husband’s learning which she shares a part in and if not, her husband she brings her kids to learn Torah.
What things do we need to make a bracha for?
Brachot 11b: Rav Huna said for tanach one needs to say Birkat Hatorah for Midrash you do not. R’Elazar says for Tanach and Midrash but not for Mishnayot. R’ Yochanan sis even for Mishna but not for Talmud. Rava said even or Talmud, as Rav Chiyya bar Ashi said I sometimes would go to Rav early to study Sifra and he would say Birkat Hatorah first.

The Shulchan Aruch (47:2) rules that one must make a bracha before Tanach, Mishna and Talmud. The Rema adds even for Midrash.
The Aruch Hashulchan is not sure if one needs to make a Bracha before Aggadah, stories since there are no halachot so maybe one does not need to make a bracha. On the other hand, they were also given at Har Sinai as the Yerushalmi (Peah 2:4) anything that even a student comes up with was said before by har Sinai, even stories are Torah and you must say a bracha.

So, if you say over Halachot then you definitely have t say Birkat Hatorah. Soto with any Dvar Torah from the Parsha or midrashim that mention pesukim. Stories for Chizuk probably don’t need. Stories of Tzaddikim give over Yirat Shamayim so even though they are not exactly Aggadah, it is best to say Birkat Hatorah beforehand.