From the Rav’s Desk: Is a blessing said when smelling honey

  1. Question: [Sunday, 20th Kisleiv 5781]

Is a blessing to be said upon smelling honey? We own a honey farm and often like to smell the honey and was wondering if a blessing should be said.



You do not say a blessing. The suggestive practice would be to say the blessing of Minei Besamim on cinnamon or cloves, and have in mind to include the honey as well. For this purpose, you can purchase a bag of clothes and leave it by your honey farm for whatever you would like to smell it.

The explanation: While one is required to see a blessing when lifting up a fruit for the sake of smiling it, there is debate as to whether a blessing should be said when smelling spices being that their main intent is for the sake of eating and not smelling, and seemingly the same debate would apply by honey which is mainly used for eating and not smelling. Thus, one should follow the arbitration regarding spices to avoid smelling them for the sake of pleasure unless you say a blessing on other Besamim first and have in mind to include it.

Sources: See Seder Birchas Hanehnin 11:9

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