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Advanced Laws of the Blessings Before Food

Advanced Laws of the Blessings Before Food

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• One should say a blessing before partaking of any food, no matter how small the amount may be.

• If one is not sure whether he said the blessing or not, he does not say over the blessing.

• Prior to saying the blessing one should hold the food upon which the blessing is said (or the spoon or fork containing the food) in his right hand (left-handed people should hold it in their left hand) and only then say the Blessing. If he did not hold the food but it was before him when he said the blessing he does not need to say the blessing anew.

• For a list of the blessings click here.

• If one said in error a Ho'adama on foods requiring Ho'eitz, he has fulfilled his obligation and does not need to say the regular Blessing. Opinions vary as to the acceptability of Ho'adama said in error for foods requiring HaMotzi or Mezonot.

• If one said in error Ho'eitz on foods requiring Ho'adama, it is necessary to say the proper blessing. [One should say after the erroneous blessing "Baruch shem kvod malchuso le'olom vo'ed.]

• If in error one said Hagafen on grapes, it is acceptable and no other blessing is to be said.

• If one said in error Shehakol on any food, it is acceptable and there is no need to say another blessing.

• If one started eating and did not say a blessing and realizes his error while the food is in his mouth and the food is such that if he took it out of his mouth, it would not be repulsive (such as hard candy), he needs to remove the food and say the blessing. If however it would be repulsive (such as a chewed piece of meat), then he should push the food to the side of the mouth and say the blessing.

• If one put a drink into his mouth without saying a blessing and realizes that he did not say the blessing while the liquid is in his mouth: If he has more of the same liquid then he should spit out the liquid and say a blessing and take more of the same drink. If he does not have any more of that drink, he should swallow it and then say the blessing. In this case, he does not say an after-blessing even if he had a reviiy of that liquid. The only exception is wine.

• Whenever one has fulfilled his obligation with a different blessing, such as saying a Shehakol on cake in error (as discussed above) he is not permitted to say the correct blessing even if he wishes to since it would be considered a blessing in vain.

• One is not permitted to talk after saying the blessing before eating the food. If one did talk and it did not pertain to matters of the meal, he would be required to say the blessing over again. If however it was matters that pertained to the meal, such as "where is the salt?" he would not say over the blessing.

• One should be aware that the Shehakol blessing is not a "one size fits all" blessing. Each food requires its proper blessing. If one is unsure of the proper blessing, he must inquire as to the correct blessing. Ignorance is not an allowance to say Shehakol on any other food other than those that require shehakol. The exception to this is if the rabbis themselves were not able to reach a conclusive decision, or one is in a situation where it is impossible for him to find out the correct blessing. Otherwise, when in doubt do without.

• If one is not sure as to which blessing to say, he should not rely on saying the less exclusive blessing (such as Ha'adama or Shehakol for a food possibly requiring Ha'etz) unless there is absolutely no way for him to find out the blessing, or it is a food where no decision has been reached by the Rabbis themselves. Otherwise, when in doubt he should do without.

• The following is a list of some of the problematic foods in regard to the blessing recited (in no particular order).

Papaya -- According to the majority of contemporary authorities, the blessing for papaya is Ho'adama.

Cranberries -- While there are some authorities who state that the blessing for cranberries is Ho'adama, the majority of contemporary works dealing with blessings rule that the blessing is Ha'etz.

Rice -- According to the Alter Rebbe it is preferable to eat rice as part of a meal. Otherwise one should say Shehakol. (Many people who do not plan on washing but want to play it safe first eat foods requiring Mezonot, Ho'adama and Shehakol).

Licorice Candy (e.g.Twizzlers) -- For years it has been said that the blessing is Mezonot, but it seems from the contemporary authorities that one should say a She'hakol. Since this has always been a food where no consensus has been able to be reached, it would seem appropriate for one to say She'hakol.

Fruity Pebbles -- One should be aware that this cereal is produced in two different ways. The ones commonly found in the U.S. are made from rice (See above). The ones in Canada are predominately made from wheat and therefore it requires a Mezonot.

Corn Flakes -- Corn Flakes is either made by pressing pieces of cooked corn or from cornmeal. If it is made from pressed pieces the Blessing is Ho'adama. If it is made from cornmeal it would receive a Shehakol. From my knowledge, Kellogs and Post uses the former method. General Mills and Weetabix uses the latter method. One should realize that companies may change procedures at any time. If one is not sure what method is used, then according to some authorities one should say Ho'adama while others say to say She'hakol.

Hydroponically grown vegetables -- Shehakol

Breaded fish, chicken -- Since the breaded layer is generally not thick, a Shehakol is said. If however it is a thick layer (batter dipped) than one would need to say a Mezonot on it.

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Anonymous Houston, TX May 18, 2006

Hydroponically Grown Vegetables As one is not required to label the vegetables as hydroponically grown, what assumptions does one make in making a blessing? Reply

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