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Brachot Handbook

An in-depth exploration of the laws associated with the recitation of blessings

Texts of Blessings Before Eating
There are six different blessings, each beginnning with the same six words . . .
Laws of the Blessings Before Food
The rules of blessings on foods are intricate. Here are some of the most basic rules.
Laws of Blessings After Eating
Now that you've eaten, make your gratitude heard. Not all foods are equal, so make sure to know what to say when.
Why a Blessing?
Chassidic teachings explain that all food contains a G-dly spark of holiness.
Advanced Laws of the Blessings Before Food
Making a blessing before eating is how we acknowledge the creator who provides us with the food; now that you know the why, read of the what and how
Blessings on Combination
Whether eating a snack or a complete meal without bread, there are special laws that apply to how the blessings are said on more than one food type.
Eating a Meal With Bread
"Bread sates the heart of man." As the staff of life, bread has its own set of rules and customs. Learn about them here.
Do I Say a Blessing on Non-Kosher Food?
Is it improper and hypocritical to recite a blessing on non-kosher food? I'm starting to become more observant of the Torah laws, but I'm not yet at the stage of keeping 100% kosher. What do you advise?
Can I Thank G‑d for a Hybrid Fruit?
I heard that G‑d does not want us to create hybrid fruit. So my question is, if G‑d is not happy with this fruit, should I make a blessing before eating it?
Why No Special Blessing Before Drinking Water?
On making a unique bracha on water
There’s no need to elaborate on how important and precious the element of liquid is for our life. So why no special blessing?
What Blessing Should I Say on Dried Cranberries?
Are cranberries considered a fruit from a tree or a fruit from the ground?
What Does
“Please bentch me that I should ace this test.”
A piece of advice: Along with your sandwiches, pack also a small mug to be used for Netilat Yadayim.
Why Can Mere Humans “Bless” G‑d?
What exactly are we saying? I can understand blessing people, but does G‑d, the Creator and Master of all, really need our blessing?
What Is the Blessing on Bananas, Strawberries, Grapes, Berries Etc.?
On the Halachic Definition of a Tree
The definition of a tree according to Jewish law affects our everyday Jewish observance.
What is the Bracha on Cashews?
Cashews are nuts, which grow from trees. As such, the blessing on cashews is “Ha’etz.”
What Is the Bracha on Quinoa?
Although it appears like a grain, quinoa is actually the seed of a plant related to spinach. Since it grows from flowering plant, the blessing is “Ha’adamah.”
What Is the Bracha on Pineapple?
Despite its sweet taste and fruity name, pineapple does not grow on a tree.
What Is the Bracha on Peanuts?
While real nuts grow on trees, peanuts grow underground in pods, similar to lentils and peas.
What is the Bracha on Avocado?
Even though they have greenish flesh and not as sweet as most fruits, avocados are bona fide tree-fruits.
What is the Bracha on Mango?
Mangoes grow on towering trees. As such, the blessing on mangoes is “Ha’etz.”
What is the Bracha on Almonds?
Like all other nuts (with the exception of peanuts), almonds grow from trees.
What is the Bracha on Blueberries?
Where do blueberries grow? Apparently it can vary greatly by time and place.
What Is the Bracha on Sushi?
There are dozens of variations of sushi, but here is some info that you can apply to the roll in front of you.
Shehecheyanu Before or After the blessing?
In practice, we first recite Shehecheyanu, but it's also acceptable to do it the other way around.
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