Halacha for Thursday 9 Shevat 5778 January 25 2018

The Laws of the Blessing on Fruits

In the previous Halachot we have explained that there is an order of priority regarding blessings. Thus, if one wishes to partake of apples and dates, one must recite the blessing on the dates, for they are one of the Seven Species.

Precedence Regarding Blessing-Only Preferable
Maran Ha’Bet Yosef writes in the name of the Rashba that the law that one must recite a blessing on a certain fruit first only applies preferably. This means that this is the way one should behave preferably. However, if one errs and recites the blessing on the other fruit, one has fulfilled his obligation and may partake of both fruits, provided that they share the same blessing.

For instance, if one has before him to kinds of fruit, such as apples and dates which both share the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing, although one should preferably recite this blessing on the date because it is one of the Seven Species, nevertheless, if one mistakenly recited the blessing on the apple, one has nonetheless fulfilled his obligation of reciting the blessing and the blessing one recited on the apple exempts the date as well.

One Who Does Not Wish to Eat Both Fruits
Rabbeinu Yisrael Isserlan (author of the Terumat Ha’Deshen who lived shortly before the lifetime of Maran and whom Maran affords great honor to in one of his responses; indeed, Maran Ha’Chida writes in his Shem Ha’Gedolim that Rabbeinu Yisrael Isserlan was well-versed in practical Kabbalah and in times of danger, he performed miracles and saved the Jews with his wisdom) writes that this that we have established that one fruit takes priority over another or that one blessing precedes another only applies when one wishes to partake of both items. However, if one does not wish to partake of both, one should only recite a blessing on the item one wishes to eat although the second item is in front of the individual.

If Both Fruits Are Not in Front of the Individual
Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that even if one wishes to partake of both items, however, one of them is not in front of him at the present time, one need not wait until the item with the prioritized blessing is brought before him.

For instance, regarding an apple and a date where one must recite the blessing on the date, nevertheless, if one only has an apple in front of him at the present time and only later will he be brought dates, one may recite the blessing on the apple and one need not wait until the date is brought before him.

Summary: What we have written that certain fruits take precedence over others regarding blessings applies only preferably. However, if one mistakenly recited the blessing on the less important fruit, one has certainly fulfilled one’s obligation and need not recite another blessing. Similarly, the laws of precedence of one fruit over another apply only when both fruits are before the individual and he wishes to partake of both of them. However, if one of the fruits is not in front of the individual at the moment or if one does not wish to eat this fruit, one may recite the blessing on any fruit one wishes.

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