Halacha for Monday 10 Shevat 5777 February 6 2017

Fruit Leather

Question: What is the proper blessing for fruit leather?

Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 38a) states that “Tarima”, a food made out of mashed dates, requires the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” because the fruit contained in it remains the same as it was before.

The Rishonim disagree what exactly “Tarima” is. Rashi writes that this refers to dates which were somewhat crushed and thus require the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz”. We can infer from the words of Rashi that if the fruit was completely mashed, it then requires the “Shehakol” blessing. The Rama (Chapter 202) rules likewise.

On the other hand, the Rambam (Chapter 8 of Hilchot Berachot, Halacha 4) explains that “Tarima” refers to pitted dates that were extremely mashed such that they resembled a dough and even so, it requires the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing because the dates remain in a similar state to what they were originally. Indeed, Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch rules: “Dates which were pitted and mashed them until they resemble a dough, their blessing remains unchanged and they require the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing.

Many fruit leathers produced today are made from mashed apricots which are then flattened into a thin sheet. According to Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, this requires the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing since the leather is made out of apricots which require the “Ha’etz” blessing. Thus, even when the fruit is completely mashed, its blessing does not change, as explained by the Gemara and Rambam.

Nevertheless, according to Rashi who explains that the Gemara refers only to a case where the fruit was not completely mashed, fruit leather would require a “Shehakol” blessing. This is the opinion of the Rama as well. Indeed, Ashkenazim customarily recite the “Shehakol” blessing on fruit leather.

Many Sephardic Jews customarily recite the “Shehakol” blessing on fruit leather as well, in accordance with the Rama’s ruling. Although we usually always follow the rulings of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, nevertheless, since this issue is subject to a disagreement among the Poskim in addition to the fact that if one recites the “Shehakol” blessing on fruit leather one would fulfill one’s obligation even according to Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, it has become customary to recite the “Shehakol” blessing. Hagaon Rabbeinu Yosef Haim zt”l rules likewise in his Responsa Rav Pe’alim (Orach Chaim, Chapter 28).

Nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l would customarily recite the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing on fruit leather. The reason for this was that there is no need to be concerned with the Rama’s opinion regarding this issue, for even the Rama would agree that one who recites the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing on fruit leather has fulfilled one’s obligation since this is not a lie, for ultimately, it is a derivative of the fruit of a tree. According to the Ashkenazi custom, however, one should recite “Shehakol”, as we have explained above. (See Responsa Yechave Da’at, Volume 2, Chapter 35 for further reference.)

On the other hand, there are other simpler forms of fruit leather which are manufactured commercially and have all sorts of ingredients inside, including sugar, extracts, and concentrates, and these require the “Shehakol” blessing according to all opinions, for only fruit leather made of real fruit requires the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

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

The Proper Time for Lighting Chanukah Candles On Erev Shabbat

Praying Mincha Before Lighting Candles On the Friday afternoon of Chanukah, it is preferable to pray Mincha before lighting the Chanukah candles. The reason for this is because the Mincha prayer was established in the place of the daily “Tamid” sacrifice that was brought in the Bet Hami......

Read Halacha


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 Customary Order of Rosh Hashanah

It is customary to eat certain symbolic foods during the two nights of Rosh Hashanah which signify good fortune for the entire upcoming year. It is therefore customary to eat black-eyed peas, pumpkin, leek, spinach, dates, pomegranates, apples dipped in honey, and meat of a sheep’s head on the......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Taking Haircuts During the “Three Weeks"

The Customary Prohibition of Haircuts As a result of the mourning observed during the “Three Weeks,” the Ashkenazi custom is to abstain from shaving and taking haircuts beginning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz until the Tenth of Av. The Sephardic Custom Nevertheless, the Sephardic ......

Read Halacha

The Custom of the “Commemoration of the Half-Shekel”-5776

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