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Berachos 39


QUESTION: The Gemara states that the blessing for Mei Shelakos, or the water in which vegetables were cooked, is "Borei Pri ha'Adamah." How is this to be reconciled with the Gemara on 38a that says that honey which oozes from a date rates the blessing "sheha'Kol," because it is nothing more than a liquid discharge (and is not really part of the fruit itself)? When is it fruit-juice considered a liquid discharge, and when is it considered part of the food itself?


(a) The ROSH (6:18) says that *cooking* vegetables causes their taste to go into the water. Therefore, when vegetables are cooked in water, the blessing for the water is "Borei Pri ha'Adamah." Liquid that oozes forth from a fruit by itself does not have the taste of the fruit (because it was never cooked with the fruit), and therefore its blessing is "sheha'Kol." The Rosh adds that perhaps if one cooks a fruit, one would recite "Borei Pri ha'Etz" on the water. (We will see soon what the Rosh's doubt is.)

(b) The RASHBA writes that vegetables are *normally* cooked. Since this is the normal way of preparing vegetables, one recites "Borei Pri ha'Adamah" on the water in which they were cooked. For a fruit which is not usually cooked (such as dates and other fruits), one recites "sheha'Kol" on the water in which it was cooked.

The RAMBAM (Hilchos Berachos 8:4) agrees with the Rashba but adds one condition. Not only must it be something that people usually cook in water, but people must also *usually drink that water*.

(The Rosh (a) was in doubt whether to accept the Rashba's requirement that it normally be cooked. Although he maintains that cooking transfers the taste of the item, it could be that in order for the water to have the same blessing as the item, it must *also* be normal to cook the item in water -- MISHNEH BERURAH)

(c) TALMIDIEI RABEINU YONAH explain that if the item is cooked in water and the water is normally *consumed as part of a meal*, it is considered a cooked dish on which one recites "ha'Adamah."

(d) The RE'AH, RITVA, and ME'IRI write that the Gemara is not discussing what blessing one recites on the water; everyone agrees that the blessing on the water is only "sheha'Kol." Rather, the Gemara is discussing whether one who recites a blessing on the vegetable ("ha'Adamah") needs to recite a *separate blessing* ("sheha'Kol") on the water. Since the vegetable was cooked in the water, he does not have to recite a sheha'Kol on that water if he eats the vegetable with it.

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 202:8,10) cites the opinions of the Rosh (a) and the Rashba (b) and rules that we follow both of them out of doubt. Therefore, when someone cooks a fruit in water, and cooking it in water is not the normal, most widely accepted way to eat that fruit, one recites "sheha'Kol" on the water (out of doubt, we act in accordance with the opinion that says one recites "sheha'Kol" -- the Rashba). If someone plants a fruit-tree with the specific intent to make juice out of the fruit that is grown, and he squeezes juice out from the fruit without cooking the fruit (such as orange juice made from oranges grown specifically for that purpose), we act in accordance with the Rosh, out of doubt, and recite only "sheha'Kol."

The Mishnah Berurah (205:9) adds that if one recites a blessing on the fruit itself ("Borei Pri ha'Etz"), then one does not recite a blessing on the liquid of the fruit, like the ruling of the Re'ah and Ritva (d). The Mishnah Berurah (205:10) also cites the ruling of the Teshuvas ha'Rosh (4:15) that if one cooks something in order to *eat the cooked food*, then the water is secondary to the food and one recites on the water the same blessing as on the food. If one cooks the food *only for the water*, one recites "sheha'Kol" on the water.


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