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Bracha on Mitzvas Maakeh

Bracha on Mitzvas Maakeh

Question:
I am an investor in apartment buildings and we are currently in the process of renovating a building. As part of the renovation we will be converting a roof area to a roof top deck for tenants to use. Currently there is a fence around the area but we will be removing and replacing the current fence as part of the renovation. A non jewish company has been contracted to the work. Can I make a bracha on the new fence even though it is being installed by a non jew and does one make a bracha on the replacement of a fence if there was one there before ? Lastly if one does make a bracha in such a circumstance when is the bracha made – does it need to be made at the actual time of installation or can it be made after it has been installed later ?
Answer:

For a number of reasons you would not make a bracha on this Maakeh.

A bracha is only made before the maakeh is completed, not afterwards. According to the Chasam Sofer the bracha should be made right before the Maakeh is completed.

No bracha is made when a non Jew puts up the Maakeh. If the Jewish owner puts up the fence, even if the worker will fix and strengthen it afterwards he may make a bracha [as long as the fence could actually provide some protection].

Being that you own but do not live in the building, your obligation to build the maakeh is questionable and you would not make a bracha.

Sources:

Timing of Bracha: See Shu”t Chasam Sofer O:C Siman 52, Shu”t Shevet Halevi 4:225, Shu”t Tshuvos V’Hanhagos 2:725. Pri Megadim M”Z end of O:C 432.

Non Jew putting up Maakeh: Shu”t Divrei Malkiel 4:5, Commentary Of Rav Chaim Kanievsky on Maseches Mezuza, Mezuza Besecha s”k 1.

Owner putting up Maakeh: Commentary Of Rav Chaim Kanievsky on Maseches Mezuza, Shaar Hatziyun 15.

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