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Using grape juice for the four cups
There is a discussion among the poskim as to whether grape juice is considered wine for use in the arba kosos. Those who allow it (The Chazon Ish, Brisker Rav, Tchebiner Rav, Rav Shlomo Zalman and Rav Nisan Karelitz, among others) point to the fact that grape juice is considered wine with regard to kiddush. Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Elyashiv and the Or L'Tzion do not accept grape juice for the arba kosos. They require an intoxicating grape beverage that can represent freedom. Only a wine with significant alcohol content qualifies. Even these poskim permit grape juice for those who cannot tolerate wine or those who would become intoxicated to the point that they would not be able to complete the Seder.
(ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 34)

 Hilchos Tefilla 117-118 (page 288)
 מסעיף ד עד סימן קיט

Making Up for a Missed V'sein Tal Umatar
The Conclusion of the Beracha of Hashiva Shofteinu
The Structure of Berachos

Making up for a missed v'sein tal umatar
Someone who forgot to say v'sein tal umatar in Birkas Hashanim and noticed his omission after reciting baruch atah Hashem at the conclusion of the beracha can make it up by inserting it in the beracha of Shomea Tefilla ( Shema Koleinu). The phrase is added before the words ki Atah shomea. It is added at this point because Shomea Tefilla is designated to include all types of requests. According to some poskim, it is enough to say v'sein tal umatar l'veracha and others add al pnei ha'adamah. If a person missed v'sein tal umatar, and --  forgetting that it can be added in Shema Koleinu - mistakenly returned to Baruch Aleinu, he should go back to where he had been holding when he first realized the omission and recite v'sein tal umatar during Shema Koleinu. For example, if he was up to Es Tzemach Dovid when realized that he skipped v'sein tal umatar and went back to Baruch Aleinu, he should stop saying Baruch Aleinu and continue from where he had left off. Someone who forgot v'sein tal umatar and realized his error after Shema Koleinu should return to Baruch Aleinu.
( סימן קיז, סעיף ה וס"ק טז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 20, 22, 23 ו־25)
The conclusion of the beracha of Hashiva Shofteinu
During most of the year, the beracha of Hashiva Shofteinu concludes with the words melech oheiv tzedaka umishpat (though there was a custom in some places to end with Ha'E-l oheiv tzedaka umishpat). During the aseres yemei teshuva, however , the beracha concludes hamelech hamishpat. Starting both of these words with a heh emphasizes that Hashem is both king and judge, and it is important that both words are pronounced correctly. If someone concluded with hamelech hamishpat during the year, the obligation is fulfilled. According to the Mechaber, if someone ended with melech oheiv tzedaka umishpat during the aseres yemei teshuva, he is not yotzei. According to the Rama, since he mentioned the concept of Hashem's rule, he is yotzei. If he realized his mistake immediately after concluding the beracha, he should correct himself and recite hamelech hamishpat.
( סימן קיח, סעיף א וס"ק א-ג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 2-3)
The structure of berachos
Berachos consist of four basic parts:  1. Baruch Ata Hashem-whether at the beginning, at the end, or in both places. 2. The main concept of the beracha (e.g. acknowledging Hashem as the creator of lightin the beracha of Yotzer Or before kriyas Shema, or bris and Torah in the second beracha of bentching). 3. Additional essential passages that cannot be omitted, whether praises (such as morid hageshem) or requests (such as v'sein tal umatar). 4. The balance of the beracha. If someone omitted any of the first three items he is not yotzei, although some omissions can be remedied by including them in Shomea Tefilla. If the initial Baruch Ata of a beracha that also concludes with Baruch Ata was omitted, the obligation has been fulfilled according to some poskim. If the fourth item was omitted or altered, the obligation is fulfilled.
( סימן קיז, ביה"ל ד"ה אם)

  • Someone who erred and recited v'sein tal umatar in the summer is not yotzei. If he said v'sein tal without the word matar, he is yotzei. If he did not say v'sein tal umatar or v'sein beracha, he is not yotzei.
  • A locale that needs rain during the summer, either naturally or because of drought, should include v'sein tal umatar in the beracha of Shomea Tefilla.
  • The poskim discuss whether someone who recited v'sein tal umatar in the days between Sukkos and the 7th of Marcheshvon must repeat Shemoneh Esrei, since there is a need for rain and it is only for the benefit of the pilgrims that the official inclusion is postponed.


  • Personal requests in the middle berachos

  • Personal requests during Shomea Tefilla

  • Personal requests at the end of Shemoneh Esrei



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.