Halacha for Tuesday 2 Shevat 5779 January 8 2019

A Dish Comprised of Several Kinds of Food

Question: What is the correct blessing on stuffed peppers? Similarly, what is the correct blessing on a cake which has just a little flour but the primary ingredients of the cake are fruits and nuts?

Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that when one eats two different foods requiring two different blessings and one is primary and the other secondary to it, one does not recite a blessing on each food individually; rather, one recites a blessing on the primary food and this is sufficient to exempt the secondary food. Thus, if one eats a dish of cooked rice topped with beans, the rice is certainly the primary food in this dish and a “Mezonot” blessing is recited on it and by doing so, the blessing on the beans is exempted since the beans are secondary to the rice.

Grape Leaves or Chicken Stuffed With Rice
Regarding the blessing on grape leaves or peppers stuffed with rice, since most people consider the stuffing the primary food in this dish, which in this case is the rice, one should recite the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing on the filling and thus exempt the blessing on the grape leaves or other vegetables. Nevertheless, if one eats chicken stuffed with rice, in general, the main food in one’s eyes is the chicken and the rice only serves to accompany it; thus, one should recite a “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro” blessing on the chicken and not recite any blessing on the rice which is secondary to it.

When One of the Foods is a Grain Derivative
Regarding what we have discussed until now that the blessing on a primary food exempts the secondary food, this law applies only to foods which are not made from grain. However, if two foods are mixed together and one of the foods is a grain derivative, such as wheat or barley flour, the Gemara (Berachot 36b) states that the grain product is always considered primary, for the five types of grain retain an innate significance since they are our primary staples. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 208) rules likewise.

Thus, regarding a fruit cake which is baked with flour, eggs, and dried fruit, even if the fruits greatly outnumber the amount of flour in the cake, the blessing on such a cake is nevertheless “Boreh Minei Mezonot,” for it contains a grain derivative. Similarly, regarding wafers or wafer rolls filled with chocolate, even if one’s primary intention is to eat the chocolate between the various layers of the wafer, one may nevertheless not recite a “Shehakol” blessing on the chocolate, for the wafer is made from a grain derivative and is therefore considered primary and exempts the food secondary to it of its blessing.

The same applies to one who eats a biscuit and places chocolate on it in that one must recite a “Boreh Minei Mezonot” on the biscuit, for the biscuit is primary and the chocolate is secondary to it.

Summary: When a dish is comprised of two kinds of food, one must recite a blessing on the primary food and thus exempt the secondary food. Thus, if one eats grape leaves or pepper stuffed with rice, one should recite a blessing on the rice thereby exempting the blessing on the vegetable, for the rice is the primary food. However, if the secondary food is made from a grain derivative, the grain product is always considered primary. Thus, if a cake contains some flour in order to give it some taste along with fruit and eggs, even if the amount of flour is very small, the cake still requires the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing, for the flour is a grain derivative and is therefore the primary ingredient.

This law involves several other details which will be delineated in the next Halacha.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach-5779- Maran zt”l’s Correction

The Essence of Leavening The Torah (Shemot 13) tells us regarding the holiday of Pesach: “Matzot shall be eaten for seven days; neither leaven nor sourdough shall be seen in all of your borders.” The leaven that the Torah prohibits is produced by the combination of grain-flour and water......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor

“Remember What Amalek Has Done to You” On the Shabbat preceding Purim, which is this coming Shabbat, after the opening of the Ark immediately following Shacharit prayers, two Sifrei Torah are removed; in the first one, we read the weekly Parasha (which is Parashat Vayikra this year, 577......

Read Halacha

The Custom of the “Commemoration of the Half-Shekel”-5779

It is customary to donate money before Purim as “a commemoration of the Half-Shekel” which was donated by the entire Jewish nation when the Bet Hamikdash stood. This money is customarily collected on the eve of Purim before reading the Megillah, as our Sages tell us (Megilla 13b) that &l......

Read Halacha

Arriving Late to or Skipping Some Portions of the Megillah Reading

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Koshering Vessels for Pesach

One may not use Chametz vessels on Pesach since vessels which have been used to cook in or have had hot Chametz placed in them have Chametz flavor absorbed in them. Thus, just as we separate between meat and dairy utensils all year long, we must likewise separate between the utensils we use all year......

Read Halacha

Matanot La’Evyonim

In the previous Halacha we briefly discussed the Mitzvah of “Matanot La’Evyonim” on Purim day which is the distribution of two monetary gifts, one to each pauper. What Must One Give? In order to fulfill this Mitzvah, one need not give actual gifts; rather, it is permissible to ......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Mishloach Manot

Purim this year will fall out at the end of next week. The Fast of Esther will be observed next Wednesday and Purim will be observed on Thursday in most places and on Friday in Jerusalem. The Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot The verse in the Megillat Esther (9, 22) states: “In order to mark them......

Read Halacha

The Salvation of the Jewish Nation on Purim

The verse in Megillat Esther (Chapter 3) states: “And Haman said to King Achashverosh: There is a certain nation scattered and dispersed among the nations in all the provinces of your kingdom and their laws are diverse from those of every nation and neither do they keep the king’s laws; ......

Read Halacha