blessing over fruit and vegetables

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blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby Sander » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:05 am

For many kinds of things that we eat, we say the blessing "Shehakol niyeh bedvaro" (that everything shall be according to his word).

So why do we make a special case for vegetables, for which we say "Boray pri ha'adama" (who creates "fruit" of the earth) ?

And then why are vegetables blessed differently than fruit, for which we day "Boray pri ha'aytz" (who creates fruit of the tree) ?

Why make different blessings for different kinds of food? It is all food.
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby Enora » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:08 pm

What if we got a bunch of people in the room and instead of calling them by their names, let's just call them "human".
That wouldn't be respectful now would it?
When you eat at someone's house do you say "Thank you for the food"? Imagine the wife cooked everything from scratch, spent hours... perhaps even grew the veggies in her yard...
Hiddur mitzvah

I remember a shiur about this, very interesting. The more precise the bracha, the more "refined" the product. Ha gefen being the sommet of the pyramid and also used for kiddush.
Or motzi, bread isn't "just" grain salt and water. It's grain that has been planted, watered, grown, harvested and made into flour. Somebody bought it, mixed it, kneaded it, baked it... all this has occurred only because Hashem has willed it.
It's not "just" food, it's a miracle
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby Enora » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:26 pm

sander's taking his time hehe...
I hope I didn't give a wrong answer ;)
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby Sander » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:30 am

I don't know what the answer is.

20 years ago I belonged to one synagogue, and I thought I knew the correct answers. But then I changed neighborhoods, joined a different synagogue, and I find that the rules are a bit more confusing than I had previously known.

Are grapes more important than water? Also, I think bread is more important than grapes. You do make a good point, that on grapes we say "fruit of the vine", on apples "fruit of the tree", on carrots "fruit of the earth", but on bread we say "raises bread from the earth".

Can we say that water is less important than any other food? Do we make a blessing to drink water?
What about air to breathe? Do we make a blessing on air?

Here is what confuses me. I used to think that if you said hamotzi (blessing on bread), then you were covered for all the other items in a meal. Now my neighbor tells me, we should also make a blessing on fruit even though we said hamotzi. I ask why, and he says, because the fruit is dessert, and dessert is separate. So I ask, if dessert is separate, we should say bircat hamazon before dessert.

I am not saying my neighbor is correct on everything. I just seem to have lost my clarity.
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby Sander » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:54 am

Tonight is full moon, and I noticed on yahoo news, this is a "blue moon", so called because this is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons.

Which is all an excuse for me to discuss, in the jewish calendar, there are 7 leap years in 19 years.

Here is how it works.
A solar year is approximately 365.25 days.
A lunar month is approximately 29.5 days.
So in 19 years there are this many days:
365.25 days per year x 19 years

= 6939.75 days.

which in months is this many months:

6939.75 days / ( 29.5 days per month )

= 235.25 months.

which does not seem right. How can there be a a quarter month left over?

if 19 years had 12 months each, the number of months would be:

19 years x 12 months per year = 228 months.

Plus there are seven extra months for the 7 leap years:

228 months + 7 months = 235.

So I guess the discrepancy of a quarter month is because the year is not exactly 365.25 days, but actually slightly less, and/or a month is not exactly 29.5 days, but actually slightly more.
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby Enora » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:27 am

Sander wrote: So I ask, if dessert is separate, we should say bircat hamazon before dessert.

I am not saying my neighbor is correct on everything. I just seem to have lost my clarity.


desert is separate because it's not something you eat as a meal but as a bonus, for it's sweetness. Since it's not considered as being part of "THE meal", it's not covered by motzi. So you say the according bracha depending on the fruit (haetz or adama) and then wrap things up with birkat.
See Shulkhan Arukh chap.177 par.1 + commentaries
Things get more complex with ice cream.
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby rivka » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:00 am

Enora wrote:Since it's not considered as being part of "THE meal", it's not covered by motzi.
Actually, that depends upon who one asks.

Does one say a bracha on water? Yes, if one is drinking because on is thirsty (and not because one is trying to swallow something). Does one say a blessing on air? Well, there's a practical issue with that: as one would inhale to speak the bracha, one has already breathed in. Consider it included in "she'ha'chazartah bi nishmasi", which you say every morning.
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby Enora » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:19 pm

Actually, that depends upon who one asks.

So I've been told before but I'm not aware of what their arguments are in particular about fruit. (I know ice cream is debatable)
Those that include fruit under motzi are rare in my neck of the woods. Unless they eat their fruit with bread or the meal was so tiny.
But then halakhic diversity in France stops at lubas vs sephardim (no wait sephardim converted luba vs sephardim) and in morocco...ha..sigh forget it. :|
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby rivka » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:47 pm

The main argument (I think) is that today people consider it an integral part of the meal, no different than when serving fruit salad or a slice of cantaloupe as a first course.
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Re: blessing over fruit and vegetables

Postby Enora » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:30 pm

Ahh but the cantaloupe you can eat with bread (and prosciutto for some hehe) and with appetite!
This is nothing new and I was always taught that the difference between the two cases (entrées vs dessert) were distinct.
Hmm hmm hmm
anyone have a source?
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