We make a bracha asher yatzar thanking Hashem for the gift of being able to expel waste from our body. Why don’t we make the same bracha for sneezing or blowing the nose?
And the answer is, why don’t you make a bracha for breathing? Each time you breathe, it’s so important. When you breathe in oxygen or when you exhale, you’re exhaling the carbon dioxide from your lungs, that’s a big gift from Hashem.
The answer is you cannot make a bracha every minute. אין הקדוש ברוך הוא בא בטרוניא עם בריותיו. Hakodosh Boruch Hu is not a tyrant who makes you make brachos all the time. And therefore, the Sages obligated us in brachos only at certain more important occasions.
But of course when a person sneezes or blows his nose, if he’s grateful to Hashem, that’s certainly a fine thought to have. He’s cleansing his nose of irritants. He’s sneezing; he’s removing something that’s irritating his nasal passages. You want to do it? You want to be grateful and thank Him? Very good! כל המוסיף מוסיפין לו. You want to be a chossid beyond the shuras hadin? Very good.
But at least, the minimum is when you’re making asher yatzar, make it with kavanah at least. Think, “What a wonderful miracle took place just now!”
And therefore if you’re looking for more mitzvos, go ahead and do it! But the Chachomim cannot load the whole Jewish nation with brachos for every small event in life.
TAPE # E-1 (February 1995)