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Berachos 44


QUESTION: Raban Gamliel explains the verse, "You will eat, be satisfied, and bless Hashem your G-d" (Devarim 8:10) to be referring to all seven species of the land of Israel that were mentioned in a previous verse (Devarim 8:8). Therefore, according to Raban Gamliel, one must recite Birkas ha'Mazon after eating any of the seven species. The Rabanan, on the other hand, say that since verse 9 interrupts between the list of the seven species (verse 8) and the verse that says, "And you shall bless" (verse 10), it must be that the blessing in verse 10 refers only to bread and not to the seven species.

How is this Gemara to be reconciled with the opinion of the Rishonim (see Insights 35:2) that the after-blessing of Berachah m'Ein Shalosh for the seven species is mid'Oraisa? If verse 9 interrupts between the source for reciting an after-blessing and the seven species, there remains no source for the after-blessing of the seven species as being d'Oraisa! (TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH)

ANSWER: The RITVA and the RASHBA answer that since the seven species *are* mentioned in the same Parshah as the source for reciting an after-blessing, it must be that the interruption is only a partial limitation. That is, the interruption limits Birkas ha'Mazon to bread, but it does not limit another type of after-blessing from all of the seven species. Therefore, reciting an after-blessing (Beracha m'Ein Shalosh) on the seven species is indeed d'Oraisa.

QUESTION: We would expect that, being an abbreviated version of Birkas ha'Mazon, Al ha'Michyah would contain only ideas that are contained in Birkas ha'Mazon itself without any new additions. However, upon examination we see that there are indeed some added phrases found in the Al ha'Michyah blessing that are not found in the "parent" blessings of Birkas ha'Mazon.
(a) First, in Birkas ha'Mazon we pray for the restoration of "Jerusalem and Zion." In Al ha'Michyah we pray for the restoration of these and *also* for the restoration of "Your altar and Your Temple ('Mizb'checha')" (this is the Girsa of the Gemara and most Rishonim, although the Rambam, in Hilchos Berachos 3:14, does not mention it).

(b) Another addition in Al ha'Michyah that is not found in Birkas ha'Mazon is the prayer that Hashem once again "bring us up [to Jerusalem] and cause us to rejoice in its rebuilding...." What is the nature of these two additions, and why were they included in the shorter Al ha'Michyah, yet omitted from the longer, more inclusive, Birkas ha'Mazon?

ANSWER: The following answer has been cited in the name of the BRISKER RAV. First of all, it should be noted that there actually is one other addition in the Al ha'Michyah blessing which is not found in Birkas ha'Mazon. In Al ha'Michyah we specify that Hashem gave us Eretz Yisrael "so that we may eat of its fruits, and be satiated by its bounty" -- and we ask Him to return Eretz Yisrael to our hands for the same purpose. Why do we stress our appreciation for Israel's fruits in this particular blessing?

The answer to this is obvious. Birkas ha'Mazon is recited after a meal consisting of *any* kind of food (provided it was eaten with bread). Al ha'Michyah, on the other hand, was instituted to be recited only after partaking of one of the Seven Species of Israel. It is appropriate that we offer praise to Hashem that relates specifically to what we have just enjoyed (Berachos 40a). Therefore, after eating the fruits of Israel, we thank Hashem for giving us Israel with *its unique fruits and satiating bounty*.

With this in mind, we can answer our questions regarding the additions in the Al ha'Michyah blessing. Why do we add a special prayer for the restoration of the *altar*? Perhaps it is because -- aside from the enjoyment we derive from the seven fruits of the land -- we also use these fruits to perform the Mitzvah of bringing Bikurim, which must be chosen from the Seven Species (Bikurim 3:6). As mentioned above, the Mitzvah of Bikurim entails placing the fruit-basket at the corner of the *altar*. Therefore, after partaking of these species we ask Hashem to (1) return us to His land so that we may *eat again* of its special fruits, and (2) rebuild *His altar*, so that we may again bring those fruits as Bikurim!

A similar approach can explain the other addition found in Al ha'Michyah. After eating any of the Seven Species, we ask Hashem to "bring us to Jerusalem," i.e. in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Bikurim. Bikurim must be brought to Jerusalem and eaten there, as we mentioned above (section I). (Heard from Ha'Rav Nasan Lesinger of Jerusalem, as told by the Brisker Rav. A similar thought can be found in the Brisker Haggadah, p. 272.)

QUESTION: Our text of the Berachah m'Ein Shalosh differs in a number of significant ways from the text that Rav Dimi told to Abaye in our Gemara. The text in the Gemara does not include the words, "v'Nochal m'Piryah v'Nisbah m'Tuvah" -- "and may we eat [Israel's] fruits and be satisfied from her goodness." The TUR (OC 208) quotes the Gemara and says that in the BEHAG's text these words appear. The Tur, however, prefers not to include them in the Berachah, pointing out that we should not ask to be in Israel in order to its fruits.

The Tur's words are based on the Gemara in Sotah (14b), which asks why Moshe Rabeinu wanted so much to go into the land of Israel. The Gemara says that it certainly was not simply because he wanted to partake of its tasty fruits. This implies that we should not desire to be in Israel merely to eat its fruits.

If so, why today do we include this phrase in our text of the Berachah m'Ein Shalosh?

ANSWER: The BACH (OC 208) explains that there is a special property of the fruits of the land of Israel. Since the Shechinah is most concentrated in Israel, its holiness is even absorbed into the fruits that grow there. By eating the fruit of the land of Israel, we are Metaher and Mekadesh our bodies.

Why, then, does the Gemara in Sotah say that Moshe certainly did not want to go into Israel just to eat its fruits?

We could answer that since the fruits of Israel are suffused with the holiness of the Shechinah, by eating those fruits a person strengthens his faith in Hashem and his awe of Him. (This may be alluded to by the Gemara in Shabbos (31a) that says that Seder Zera'im corresponds to Emunah in Hashem.) The Gemara in Berachos (33b) says that Moshe Rabeinu considered the fear of Hashem to be a simple and easy character trait to acquire, because that is the way it indeed was for him. Therefore, the Gemara in Sotah asks why *Moshe* wanted to go into Israel, since *Moshe* certainly did not need to eat of the fruits in order to acquire a greater degree of fear of Hashem. For us, though, it is certainly appropriate to pray that we go into Israel in order to eat its fruits for the spiritual qualities that they will endow to us.

(a) In the text of the Berachah m'Ein Shalosh in the Gemara, the end of the blessing does not mention the words, "Al ha'Kalkalah." The TUR (OC 208), however, adds "v'Al ha'Kalkalah" to the end of the blessing.

(b) However, almost all of the Rishonim do not include those words in their text of the blessing. The BEIS YOSEF argues with the Tur, citing the Rishonim who leave out this phrase.

HALACHAH. The Magen Avraham cites the opinion of the Tur, that one should end with "v'Al ha'Kalkalah." However, the later Poskim (see Mishnah Berurah 208:50, and the Sha'ar ha'Tzion 208:52) say that since the only one who mentions "Al ha'Kalkalah" is the Tur, it is a minority opinion. Therefore we should not say "Al ha'Kalkalah." However, in prayerbooks with Nusach Sefard (used by Chasidim) the words "Al ha'Kalkalah" are included. The Sefardic (Edot ha'Mizrach) prayerbooks include the words "Al ha'Kalkalah" right before the end of the blessing, but not actually at the end itself. Each person should follow the practice of his family. If unsure, he may follow the most widely accepted practice (which is not to include it).

(In Europe it was common practice to avoid the question by adding at the end of the blessing, "vAl ha'Kalkalah -- it is a doubt [whether we should say it]" in order to mention it in case it should be mentioned, but not to mention it in case it should not be mentioned.)


OPINIONS: In Ma'arava (the land of Israel), the Jews would recite a blessing after the performance of Mitzvos, such as when they removed their Tefillin at the end of the day. After which Mitzvos did the people in Ma'arava recite a blessing?
(a) RABEINU TAM (quoted by TOSFOS, Nidah 51a, and here, DH vli'Vnei) explains that in Ma'arava they only made a blessing when they *removed their Tefillin* before nightfall, since the verse, "v'Shamartah Es *ha'Chukah*" forbids wearing them at night. They did not recite a blessing after they completed any other Mitzvah or after removing their Tefillin in the morning, since the Torah does not call such acts "Chukah."

If they did not recite a blessing after any other Mitzvah, why did the Gemara conclude that the ruling of the Mishnah (that a Berachah Rishonah is sometimes recited without a Berachah Acharonah) was made with regard to scents? The Gemara could have simply answered that it is referring to all other Mitzvos besides Tefillin! RABEINU TAM answers that the Gemara could have in fact explained that the Mishnah was referring to other Mitzvos.

(b) The RASHBA and RITVA in Nidah reject RABEINU TAM's ruling. They explain that in Ma'arava they recited blessings after *all Mitzvos* whose obligations come to an end (either because the Mitzvah has been completed, such as with Lulav or Shofar, or because the obligation ceases to apply, such as Tefillin or Tzitzis at night).

The ROKEACH explains that they recited the blessing of *Lishmor Chukav* after they completed any Mitzvah based on the verse, "u'Shamartem Es Chukosai" (Vayikra 18:5).

(c) The Ritva in Nidah also explains that in Ma'arava a blessing was recited after *every Mitzvah*, but only after they removed their Tefillin did they recite Lishmor *Chukav*, based on the verse "v'Shamartem Es ha'*Chukah*." After they completed other Mitzvos they recited Lishmor *Mitzvosav*.

HALACHAH: The TUR (Orach Chayim 29) quotes RAV HAI GA'ON who rules that a person may recite a blessing when he removes his Tefillin at the end of the day. The TUR disagrees. He rules that since there is no obligation to recite such a blessing, it will be a Berachah l'Vatalah if recited.
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