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Blessings on Combination

Blessings on Combination

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Whether eating a snack or a complete meal without bread, there are specific laws that apply to how the blessings are said on more than one food type.

  • When eating several different foods in the same category, say only one blessing. For example, when eating apples, oranges, and peaches, say only one blessing ha-aitz. The blessing is made over the preferred item, with the intention of including all foods of that category.
  • When eating several foods from different categories, say a separate blessing over each type of food. For example: mezonot on crackers, ha-adamah on coleslaw, shehakol on eggs.

Order Of Blessings: When one is eating foods requiring different blessings, the priority of the blessings is as follows: 1) mezonot; 2) ha-gafen; 3) ha-aitz; 4) ha-adamah; 5) shehakol. For example, first say mezonot on crackers and then ha-aitz on grapes; or ha-adamah on celery and then shehakol on milk.

Two exceptions are:

  • On Shabbat and Yom Tov, kiddush over wine precedes the blessing over bread or cake.
  • When eating foods requiring the blessing of ha-aitz and ha-adamah, such as an apple and a banana, say the blessing over the preferred food first.

After saying the blessing borai pri hagafen over wine, additional blessings before and after other liquids or drinks are not necessary.

Blessings On Combined Foods: When a dish contains different kinds of food from different blessing categories mixed together, the following criteria apply:

  • If one food is clearly the main food, then even though many other types are combined, a blessing is made over the main food only. For example, for tuna salad with vegetable bits added, the blessing is said over the tuna. If the different foods are equally important, then the blessing is made on the one that constitutes the majority of the dish.
  • When foods contain mezonot ingredients, the mezonot is considered the main ingredient even if it is the minority ingredient. The blessing mezonot is then said over the entire dish and includes the other ingredients. Examples are fruit pie and macaroni and cheese.
  • If the mezonot ingredient is present only for the sake of binding, thickening, or adding color, the blessing is determined by the other ingredients. E.g., flour added to thicken soup.

When Food Is in Changed Form: Most juices and totally strained or ground foods require the blessing shehakol. However, if the food still resembles its original form and is conventionally eaten in such a manner, we say the blessing which would be made over the food in its raw form, such as ha-aitz on chunky applesauce.

When In Doubt As To The Correct Blessing:

The following options apply:

  • Wash hands ritually and eat bread, saying hamotzi. The food in question may then be eaten during the course of the meal. If the food over which there is a question is a fruit, then at least the first bite should be eaten in the same mouthful with the bread.
  • If in doubt as to which of two blessings should be said over a particular food, you can first eat a bite of two different foods, one for each blessing, having in mind also the food in question. Then that food may be eaten.
  • If one said the blessing shehakol instead of the specific blessing that applies to a particular food, then one has fulfilled the requirement for saying the blessing. However, this alternative may be used only if there are varying opinions among halachic authorities as to the proper blessing for this food.
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Discussion (2)
July 21, 2013
To Tom
After reciting each blessing, some of the appropriate food is eaten before reciting the next blessing.
Rochel Chein for chabad.org
July 16, 2013
When saying brachot, blessings, on multiple foods, does one stop to eat a piece of each food before going to the next bracha, or does one say all of them before eating anything?
Tom Bledsoe
GA, USA
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