Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Bracha Acharona When Eating Two Half Shiurim

Who doesn't love bracha questions?  This is so cool.  Eating the smallest amount of food requires a bracha rishona; one is not allowed to benefit from this world without recognizing the Source of that benefit.  A bracha acharona, on the other hand, is only required if one has received a substantial benefit; ie, has eaten a shiur (measure) of volume (k'zayis) within an appropriate time frame (2 - 9 minutes or so).  Just as the bracha rishona is matched to the food one is poised to consume, so too the bracha acharona is matched to what was consumed.  Other than the usual ikar/tafel issues, the bracha acharona, the rules are reasonably straight forward.  Of course, I am only interested in the cases that are tortuously twisted.

Suppose you eat 1/2 k'zayis of apple and 1/2 k'zayis of cookie.  Neither snack on its own would engender a bracha acharona, but one has eaten a full k'zayis of food.  In that case, therefore, one makes a borei nefashos.  Usually a borei nefashos does not work even b'di'avad for a food that requires an al ha'michya, but since you can't make the al ha'michya, the borei nefashos covers.

Now... here's where the fun really starts!  (Aren't you so excited?)  Suppose you eat 1/2 k'zayis of grapes and 1/2 k'zayis of cookie.  Igros Moshe (OC 3, 109) discusses a similar case: one eats a shiur of cookies, but drinks only a small amount of wine/grape juice.  In that case the person is certainly chayiv in an al ha'michya, but what about the wine?  Once one is making the al ha'michya anyway, may the words "al ha'gefen", or would that be considered a hefsek?  R' Moshe paskens that one should add in the words for "al ha'gefen".  R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, however, paskened that one should not add in the words.  I always thought it was just a matter of whether the extra words were a hefsek, and that this two g'dolim disagreed.

Au contraire.  Halichos Shlomo brings (in the footnotes; I'm telling you, thar's gold in them thar notes) that the R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach learned this Igros Moshe differently than I did.  Namely, that R' Moshe is only using the case of a shiur of m'zonos and less than a shiur of wine because it is a common occurrence, but he is actually addressing a deeper issue.  R' Moshe, according to R' Sh. Z. Auerbach, is saying that 1/2 k'zayis of "mei'ein shalosh" (grain, other shiva minim, wine) food can combine with another 1/2 k'zayis of "mei'ein shalosh" foods to require a bracha acharona of mei'ein shalosh.  R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, on the other hand, holds that once less than a shiur is eaten, it just becomes ordinary food.  Therefore R' Moshe, again through the eyes of R' Sh. Z. Auerbach, would also say in this case of 1/2 k'zayis of each that one would still make a bracha of mei'ein shalosh.  R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, says in that situation to say borei nefashos (following the p'sak of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch).

If you want to understand a gadol, you need to look through the eyes of a gadol.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Sometimes a Food Loses Its Identity When It Loses Its Bracha; Sometimes It Doesn't

Let's start with a question: Why are We Allowed to Drink Coffee and Whiskey Made by Non-Jews?  Before you ask,"Why would I think that I shouldn't be able to drink whiskey and coffee made by non-Jews?", I'll tell you. Simple, we all know that Chazal made a decree -- known as בישול עכו''ם/bishul akim -- that particular foods cooked by non-Jews are forbidden.  There are basically two criteria that determines if a dish falls into this category:
Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…