Halacha for Monday 30 Sivan 5780 June 22 2020

The Blessing on Rice- Rice Paper

All legumes require the “Boreh Peri Ha’adama” blessing. Thus, cooked chick peas or string beans require the “Boreh Peri Ha’adama” blessing.

The Blessing on Rice
Rice is not one the five types of grain and is therefore considered a legume and should have required the “Boreh Peri Ha’adama” blessing as well. Indeed, one who eats food items containing uncooked rice, such as rice cakes, recites the “Boreh Peri Ha’adama” blessing.

Nevertheless, the Gemara (Berachot 37a) states that  since our Sages observed that rice retains a unique significance relative to any other legumes in that it is nutritious, filling, and satiating, they established that the blessing recited on cooked rice be “Boreh Minei Mezonot” as though it were one of the five grains. The after-blessing for rice remains “Boreh Nefashot Rabbot” though, similar to other legumes. (Shulchan Aruch, Chapter 208, Section 7)

Reciting the “Ha’adama” Blessing on Rice
Hagaon Harav Yosef Yedid Ha’Levi writes (in his Birkat Yosef, Volume 1, page 7) that if one mistakenly recites the “Ha’adama” blessing on a dish of rice, one has fulfilled one’s obligation. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules likewise (in his Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 8, Chapter 22, Section 1).

Rice Paper/Wrappers
The Mishnah Berura writes that rice that was ground into flour (based on the Gemara in Berachot ibid.) and then baked into a pastry, rolled into sheets meant to be filled, or formed into noodles or pasta retains the blessing of “Boreh Minei Mezonot” similar to baked goods and dishes made from the five grains.

Regarding rice paper or wrappers, clearly this only applies when they have their own significance and taste. However, if they are completely bland and secondary to their filling, the blessing appropriate to the filling should be recited.

Summary: The blessing on a dish of cooked rice is “Boreh Minei Mezonot.” This is also true regarding any baked good or cooked dish made out of rice. The after-blessing on rice will always be “Boreh Nefashot Rabbot.

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