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Thought for the Day: When In Doubt If You Made a Bracha Already

People think my wife is such a tzadeikes.  Their proof?  She has lived with me, a known difficult person, for going on 35 years (yes; she was a child bride).  I would just like to point out a couple of things.  First, she is naturally nice.  Yes, being nice to me is a stretch even for her, so that is amazing; but still, she has a natural inclination to be nice.  I, on the other hand, obviously have no such natural inclination, but I do an amazing thing for my wife every morning (during the summer, at least).  I go home for breakfast after davening and before leaving for work.  That means that I am giving her the opportunity to be nice to a difficult person.  Without me she wouldn't be able to exercise all that niceness in difficult circumstances.  Who's the tzadik now, eh?  I am glad we cleared that up.

So my wife was having a nice hearty breakfast of cereal, nuts, and yogurt.  Then she washed some blueberries.  Problem was, she couldn't remember if she had already made a borei pri ha'eitz on the nuts in the cereal.  "I suppose I have to go outside, right?"  She's lived with me a long time and we've discussed this before.

Here's the background: suppose you are about to eat an apple when the phone rings.  After hanging up, you see that you have taken a few bites from the apple, but can't remember if you actually made a bracha or not.  If you didn't make one, then you can't keep eating; if you did make one already, another would be a bracha sh'eina tzricha.  R' Moshe gives and eitza: just take a step outside.  Since you have changed your place (even though you came back), you now are required to make a new bracha.  It is not a bracha sh'eina tzricha because you needed it to get out of a sticky situation.

However.. before she got up, I asked, "Did you already make a borei minei m'zonos?"  She had.  Now, for m'zonos, leaving and coming back does not require a new bracha, since the final bracha needs to be made where you ate.  So leaving and coming back won't help; the fruit is part of the m'zonos meal.  No problem!  I have not yet had a blueberry; I make a bracha with her in mind, she listens having in mind to be yotzi, she says "amein" (not absolutely required, but she's a tzadeikes), and eats her blueberry.  Life is good.

Then I noticed she was eating rice chex; which is m'zonos, but afterward takes a "borei n'fashos".  Which means that she could have walked outside to get out of her dilemma.  Had I noticed that earlier, however, we would not have discussed all those halachos and divrei torah.  What do you know, sometimes ignorance is bliss!  In this case, the eternal kind.

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