Halacha for Tuesday 11 Shevat 5777 February 7 2017

Pine Nuts

Question: What is the proper blessing for pine nuts?

Answer: The Mishnah (beginning of Chapter Six of Berachot) states, “On fruits of the tree, one recites ‘Boreh Peri Ha’etz.’” It seems that pine nuts should be considered a fruit like any other, for they are extracted from the cones which grow on pine trees and the pine tree is certainly considered a tree like any other.

Nevertheless, there is a distinction between the fruit of the pine tree to the fruit of other trees, for the pine tree is known to be a non-fruit-bearing tree. The Shiboleh Ha’Leket (Chapter 160) writes that fruits produced by non-fruit-bearing trees require the “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro” blessing, for they are not significant enough to recite the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing on them. Maran Ha’Bet Yosef (Chapter 203) quotes his words.

Similarly, the Geonim write in their responsa that berries which grow on Hadassim (myrtle branches) require the “Shehakol” blessing, for fruits grown on non-fruit-bearing trees are not considered fruits. Many other Rishonim rule likewise and Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l quotes their opinion as Halacha in his Chazon Ovadia-Berachot, page 150. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch rules likewise (Chapter 203). It would seem based on this that pine nuts would require the “Shehakol” blessing.

Nevertheless, the Turei Zahav (beginning of Chapter 203) writes that it seems to him the Poskim only write this regarding inferior fruits which usually grow on trees in the forest, such as small wild apples, berries on myrtle branches, and the like. However, fruits of trees which become ripe and good to eat after staying on the tree for a while require the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing. The Turei Zahav concludes, “It is indeed our custom to recite the “Ha’etz” blessing on small nuts found on the trees of the forest.” Other great Poskim rule likewise.

Maran zt”l quotes the Ba’al Halachot Gedolot who writes, “Pine nuts are a fruit of the tree and require the ‘Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing.” The Rashbetz writes likewise: “The fruits of the trees of the forest are certainly considered fruits and require the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing.”

Summary: Fruits found on non-fruit-bearing trees require the “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro” blessing. Nevertheless, important fruits grown on such trees, such as pine nuts, require the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Megillah Reading-The Proper Procedure for One Who Has Missed Hearing a Portion of the Megillah

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 Hearing Parashat Zachor

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 Tetzaveh this year, 5777) and in the second one we read the portion of &ld......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach

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 Custom of the “Commemoration of the Half-Shekel”-5777

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


Some Detailed Laws Regarding Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach

In the previous Halacha we have briefly discussed the primary laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (legumes) on Pesach. We have explained that according to all communities, legumes such as rice and chick peas are not actual Chametz, for only grain products can be considered Chametz. However, Ashkenazim cust......

Read Halacha

The Proper Time to Light Chanukah Candles

One should preferably light Chanukah candles immediately when the stars appear in the sky, which is approximately fifteen minutes after sunset during this time of year. Some Ashkenazim, however, customarily light at sunset. The Earliest Possible Time to Light Chanukah Candles Chanukah candles sh......

Read Halacha

Lighting Chanukah Candles on Motza’ei Shabbat and Electric Chanukah Candles

This year, 5777, the first time we light the Chanukah candles is this coming Motza’ei Shabbat, Parashat Vayeshev On Motza’ei Shabbat Chanukah, in the synagogue, Chanukah candles are lit first and only following this is Havdala recited in order to delay the departure of Shabbat as much......

Read Halacha

The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Shabbat candles must be lit before Chanukah candles because women cu......

Read Halacha