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Berachos 36

The Gemara concludes that if one eats a secondary product of a plant -- that is, a part of the plant for which the plant is not normally grown -- one recites before eating it the blessing of "sheha'Kol Nihyeh bi'Dvaro," rather then ha'Etz or ha'Adamah. What, then, is the proper blessing for watermelon or pumpkin seeds? Watermelons and pumpkins are presumably planted for their fruit and not for their seeds?

The Poskim (among them Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Zatzal; Harav Benzion Aba Shaul) conclude that one recites Borei Pri ha'Adamah on these seeds. Among the reasons for this conclusion:

(a) The watermelon and pumpkin seeds sold in the markets today come from melons and pumpkins of a unique species, which is planted primarily for its *seeds*, and not for it flesh.

(b) (According to Rashi, our Gemara itself concludes that only on parts of the plant which will cause a *destruction of the plant* if they are eaten, do we say sheha'Kol. Otherwise, -- such as is the case with Tzelaf -- the one who plants has in mind to take advantage of any possible fruit of the plant.)


The Gemara concludes that Kafrisin (the shell of the caper fruit) is not subject to the laws of Orlah, because the Kafrisin are not considered to be a "Shomer" (guard) of the fruit and thus it is not considered a fruit. This implies that the blessing for Kafrisin should be "Borei Pri ha'Adamah." What is the Halachah?

(a) The BAHAG, RIF, and RAMBAM indeed conclude that the proper blessing for Kafrisin is "Borei Pri ha'Adamah," and that Kafrisin are not considered to be fruit at all.

(b) TOSFOS (DH v'Hilchasa), the ROSH, ARUCH, and other Rishonim rule that we recite "Borei Pri ha'Etz" over Kafrisin. Even though the Gemara concludes that the laws of Orlah do not apply to Kafrisin, that refers only to outside of Israel. Within the land of Israel, though, Orlah does apply to Kafrisin. Since the status of "fruit" cannot possibly change in or out of Israel, we may conclude from this that Kafrisin are considered fruit. Therefore, with regard to which blessing to make, whether in or out of Israel the proper blessing for Kafrisin is "Borei Pri ha'Etz."

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