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Berachos 38

The Gemara discusses what blessing is recited on "Terimah," or mashed dates. When the dates were mashed into a somewhat solid paste, the blessing is "Borei Pri ha'Etz," because they are essentially in the same form as they were before. Rashi (DH Terimah Mahu) explains that this pressed fruit is only crushed a little but not entirely pulverized. If they were entirely pulverized, the blessing is "sheha'Kol."

The question of "Terimah" is a common, practical issue. What blessing does one recite on mashed potatoes, mashed avocado, apple sauce, etc.? From our Gemara, the Halachah is clear that mashed potatoes and mashed avocado retain their original blessings because their form has not been essentially changed. On the other hand, the blessing for apple sauce or any fruit placed into a blender or reconstituted such that the original fruit is no longer discernible will be "sheha'Kol."

There are several exceptions to this rule:

(a) If there are actual pieces of the original fruit remaining in the mashed product, one should recite "Borei Pri ha'Etz" on the pieces of fruit and exempt the rest with that blessing. (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt'l, points out that since there are opinions that maintain that the mashed product is "Borei Pri ha'Etz" even if it is completely pulverized (unlike the opinion of Rashi), one may rely on that opinion when there are actual pieces of fruit mixed in.)

(b) If the fruit is *usually eaten* when it is completely crushed (i.e. in its changed form), then one recites the blessing that one would have made on the original fruit (Mishnah Berurah 202:44). For this reason, one recites "Borei Pri ha'Adamah" on popcorn (which is produced from a special species of "popping corn").

(c) If one eats a mashed fruit that is one of the seven species one recites "sheha'Kol" before eating it. However, if he ate enough to recite an after-blessing, then there is a doubt as to what blessing to recite after it. The Mishnah Berurah (202:42) writes that it is best to eat something for which one must definitely recite "Al ha'Peros," and eat something else for which one must definitely recite "Borei Nefashos," and recite both after-blessings in order to stay clear of the doubt.


QUESTION: The Gemara states that saying "Motzi" in the blessing over bread is valid according to all opinions. "*Ha*'Motzi" is subject to dispute, but the Gemara concludes that it is also a valid blessing. The Halachah is that we recite "ha'Motzi."

Why does the Gemara conclude that we should say "ha'Motzi" if "Motzi" is an even clearer form of the blessing?

ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH v'Hilchasa) answers that we should say "ha'Motzi" in order to create a break in the blessing between the word "ha'Olam," which ends with a "m" sound, and the word "Motzi," which begins with a "m" sound, so that we do not inadvertently slur the words and say "ha'Olamotzi."

The Gemara says that any fruit or vegetable that is cooked retains the blessing that is recited on the original fruit or vegetable, unless it becomes worse after it is cooked (such as garlic and leek). Therefore, if someone cooks apples, pears, or plums, he recites "Borei Pri ha'Etz" even after they are cooked because they did not become worse.

Garlic, on the other hand, becomes worse when it is cooked (it loses some of its taste), and therefore its blessing is "sheha'Kol." One who eats raw garlic recites "Borei Pri ha'Adamah." The Mishnah Berurah (205:5) points out (in the name of the Achronim) that "ha'Adamah" is only recited on raw *soft* garlic, which may be eaten raw. If someone eats raw *hard* garlic, though (i.e., normal garlic), he recites "sheha'Kol," because hard garlic is something that is not normally eaten alone. The same Halachah applies to onions.

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