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Berachos 41


OPINIONS: In the Mishnah, Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabanan argue what blessing one says when he has two foods before him and one of them is of the seven species. Rebbi Yehudah maintains that the food which is one of the seven species takes precedence, while the Rabanan maintain that one may recite the blessing on whichever one he wants (that is, whichever he likes better).

The Gemara explains (according to the first opinion in the Gemara) that the argument is only when the two foods have the same blessing, and one is reciting a blessing on one of them to cover both. When the two foods have *different* blessings (such as a radish -- "ha'Adamah" -- and an olive -- "ha'Etz"), then everyone agrees that one recites a blessing on one and then on the other. In such a case, on which food does one recite a blessing *first*?

(a) The BEHAG (cited in Tosfos and Rosh) and the RITVA rule that one recites the more *specific blessing*. If one food is a "sheha'Kol" and the other is a "ha'Adamah" or "ha'Etz," the "ha'Adamah" or "ha'Etz" is said first. If one is a "ha'Etz" and the other is a "ha'Adamah," the "ha'Etz" is a more specific blessing and therefore it comes first.

(b) TOSFOS (DH Aval b'sh'Ein), RASHBA in the name of RAV HAI GA'ON, RABEINU YONAH in the name of the RIF, and other Rishonim explain that in such a case, Rebbi Yehudah completely agrees with the Rabanan. According to everyone, one recites a blessing on the one he likes better ("*Chaviv*"), even if one is a "ha'Etz" and the other "ha'Adamah." One only recites the more specific blessing first when it is a choice between a "*sheha'Kol*" and a blessing such as "ha'Adamah" or "ha'Etz." (The difference in specificity between "ha'Etz" and "ha'Adamah," however, is not great enough to warrant saying "ha'Etz" first if one prefers the "ha'Adamah" food.)

(c) The ROSH (6:25) and RASHI (DH Aval b'sh'Ein) assert that when the two foods require two separate blessings, there is no precedence of the "Chaviv" food, and one may recite a blessing first on *whichever* he chooses. (They agree with Tosfos (b) that "ha'Etz" and "ha'Adamah" are considered to be of equal specificity.)

[2] HALACHAH: When there are two foods in front of a person, what blessing should he say first? Do we rule in accordance with Rebbi Yehudah or the Rabanan?
(a) The RACH, RIF, RAMBAM, RE'AH, RITVA, RAV HAI GA'ON cited by the Rashba, and other Rishonim rule like the Rabanan, that "Chaviv" takes precedence when the two foods require the same blessing.

(b) The BEHAG, TOSFOS, ROSH, and RA'AVAD rule like Rebbi Yehudah, that one recites the blessing on whichever food is of the seven species (when the blessings of the different foods in front of him are the same).

The SHULCHAN ARUCH (111:1-2) cites both opinions, and the MISHNAH BERURAH (111:13) says that it seems from the words of the Shulchan Aruch that the accepted opinion in practice is like that of Rebbi Yehudah (b).

HALACHAH: When the two foods before him require two different blessings, what is the Halachah?

Although the BEHAG (as cited in Tosfos, DH Aval b'sh'Ein) rules that the argument between Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabanan also applies when the two foods require different blessings, most Rishonim maintain that the argument is only when the two foods have the same blessing. When the foods require different blessings, Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabanan agree that the first blessing is made on the "*Chaviv*." (See Insights to 40:4 for the Halachic definition of Chaviv. The opinion of the ROSH, who rules that one may recite the first blessing *on whichever one he wants*, see above [1]:c, is a minority opinion according to the Bi'ur Halachah [beginning of DH v'Yesh Omrin sh'Gam ba'Zeh]). If no food is "Chaviv," it is best to recite a blessing first the food that is of the seven species.


QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that the order in which the seven species are listed in the verse (Devarim 8:8) teaches us the order of precedence for reciting blessings on those foods. How can we learn the laws of the precedence of blessings from a verse in the Torah, when blessings themselves are only d'Rabanan?
(a) RASHI (DH u'Pliga) explains that the verse's order teaches which food tastes better. Consequently, we learn which food to recite a blessing on first. (P'NEI YEHOSHUA)

(b) The Gemara is referring to which food is mentioned first in a Berachah Acharonah, an after-blessing, according to those opinions that maintain that Berachah m'Ein Shalosh is d'Oraisa (see Insights 35:2). When one recites a Berachah m'Ein Shalosh after eating a wheat product and a fruit of the seven species and he must mention both "Al ha'Michyah" and "Al ha'Eitz," the verse teaches which one is mentioned first. (TZELACH)


QUESTION: Rav Sheshes maintains that if one eats figs and grapes during one's meal, one must recite a blessing both before and after eating them. RASHI (DH Bein l'F'neihem Bein l'Achreihem) explains that Birkas ha'Mazon does not exempt the fruits from their own after-blessing because the fruits are not items that are nourishing ("Zayin").

How can Rashi make such a statement? On 35b the Gemara said that all foods are nourishing ("Zayin") except for water and salt! (M'LO HA'RO'IM)


(a) It could be that Rashi means to say that these foods are not considered "Mazon" (a meal-food), and not "Zayin" -- as he indded says later on the Daf (DH v'Lo l'Achreihem) and as the Behag says as well. (Further support for this can be brought from Rashi 44a, DH Mezona, and DH v'Hu Mezono.) (M. Kornfeld)

(b) SEFER BEIS YOSEF explains that when one eats these fruits not because he is hungry but because he wants to put a sweet taste into his mouth, they are not covered by Birkas ha'Mazon. This is what Rashi means when he says that these foods are not nourishing; that is, the person is not eating them with the intention to be nourished, but in order to sweeten his mouth.

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