Halacha Date: 26 Cheshvan 5777 November 27 2016
Let us first introduce this topic by saying that for any beverages one drinks, such as orange juice, beer, whiskey, or water, one must recite the blessing of “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro.” Before drinking wine (or grape juice), however, our Sages instituted a special blessing to be recited, i.e. “Boreh Peri Ha’Gefen.”
Let us now discuss the law of someone who has recited the Ha’Gefen blessing on wine and at the time one recited the blessing, one had in mind to drink any other beverages he would be served. Must one recite a Shehakol blessing on the other beverages or need one not recite any other blessings?
The source for this question can be found in the Gemara in Masechet Berachot (41b): “Rabbi Chiya said: Bread exempts all types of food and wine exempts all types of beverages.” This means that if one recites the “Hamotzi Lechem Min Ha’aretz” blessing on bread and then wishes to eat other foods such as meat, fish, and the like, one should not recite separate blessing on these foods since they have already been exempted by the Hamotzi blessing recited on the bread which is considered the most important of all foods and has the ability to exempt all foods eaten after it with its blessing.
Similarly, if one recites the Ha’Gefen blessing on wine and wishes to drink other beverages afterwards, one should not recite the Shehakol blessing on the other beverages, for the blessing on the wine exempts all beverages drunk after it since wine is considered the most important of all beverages and has the ability to exempt all other beverages which are considered secondary to it.
Nevertheless, halachically speaking, the Rishonim disagree whether or not the Halacha follows Rabbi Chiya or not. According to the Tosafot, Rambam, and other great Rishonim, the Halacha does not follow Rabbi Chiya. On the other hand, the Rosh, Rabbeinu Yonah, Rashba, and others maintain that the Halacha does follow Rabbi Chiya. Indeed, the Tur and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 174, Section 2) rule likewise that the Halacha does follow Rabbi Chiya and if one recites the Ha’Gefen blessing on wine, one does not recite a Shehakol blessing on other beverages one drinks later, for the blessing on the wine exempts them.
Summary: If one recites the Ha’Gefen blessing on wine and then wishes to drink other beverages such as water, orange juice, and the like which one had in mind to drink originally, one should not recite the Shehakol blessing before drinking such beverages, for they have all been exempted by the blessing on the wine.
We shall discuss some more details regarding this law in the following Halacha.