Halacha for Tuesday 15 Tevet 5778 January 2 2018

The Laws of a Guest Regarding Blessings of Enjoyment

In the previous Halachot we have established that if one recites a blessing on and eats a given food, such as an apple, and is then served another food which shares the same blessing as the first, such as an orange, one does not recite another blessing on the orange, for it has already been exempted by the blessing on the apple.

We have pointed out though that if the second food brought before the individual was more significant than the first, such as if one recites a blessing on an apple and was later served a date (which is one of the Seven Species), one must recite another “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing on the date since the blessing on an important fruit is not exempted by the blessing on an ordinary fruit. Only if at the time one recited a blessing on the apple one had in mind specifically to exempt the date one would eat later will one not repeat the blessing.

The Law Regarding a Guest Who is Served a More Significant Food
The law that the original blessing cannot exempt a more significant food served later only applies to a regular person; however, if one is a guest in another’s home and recites a blessing on an apple and is later served a date, one should not recite another blessing on the date, for the intention of a guest is always to exempt whatever his host will serve him. He therefore exempts with his original blessing whatever he is served later.

A Guest’s Law Regarding an Interruption
Another distinction between an ordinary person and a guest is regarding the law of an interruption during a meal. For instance, if one eats a meal and the begins the Zimun before Birkat Hamazon by reciting “Hav Lan Ve’Nivrich” (“Let us bless”) and then one wishes to continue drinking, one may only drink if one recites a blessing before drinking. On the other hand, a guest need not recite another blessing before drinking since he relies on the host to decide when the meal is over. (Shulchan Aruch Chapter 179)

The law of the guest is spelled out by Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 179, Section 5) as follows: “If one is invited by a host to eat fruit and is brought several kinds, one after another, one need only recite a blessing on the first kind.”

Many mistakenly think that only a guest does not recite another blessing on foods brought before him later but an ordinary person in his own home must. However, this is not the case, for even an ordinary person does not recite a new blessing on every single food. The only difference between a guest and a regular person is as we have written above.

Summary: If one is invited as a guest to eat in a friend’s home and is served fruit which he recites a blessing on and eats and is then served more significant fruits, one need not recite a blessing on them.

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