Halacha for Sunday 18 Shevat 5784 January 28 2024

Sucking On a Fruit

Question: If one sucks on an orange or a grapefruit but does not chew it with one’s teeth, must one recite the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” like on other fruits or should one recite the “Shehakol” blessing like one would when drinking other fruit juices?

Answer: Indeed, although when one eats a fruit, one recites the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing, nevertheless, if one squeezes the fruit, one would recite a “Shehakol” blessing on the juice. The Poskim nevertheless disagree regarding a case when juice is made from the actual fruit, such as orange juice, where the entire pulp of the fruit is squeezed into juice; is it considered like other fruit juices which require a “Shehakol” blessing or is this juice different and considered like a crushed fruit which requires the “Borei Peri Ha’etz” blessing?

Hagaon Chazon Ish writes that when one makes juice from oranges and the like, since the entire pulp of the fruit is squeezed into the pitcher, the juice requires the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing. This opinion is indeed quoted in the works of earlier Poskim such as the Halachot Ketanot and others and is based on the words of several Rishonim.

However, some Acharonim disagree and write that even orange juice requires a “Shehakol” blessing, for as long as it is a liquid, even if it was made from the very flesh of the fruit, the “Shehakol” blessing must be recited. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules likewise.

We must now discuss a situation where one only sucks out the juice of a fruit without actually biting into or eating the fruit itself: Is this similar to one who drinks fruit juice and recites a “Shehakol” blessing or should it be considered like one is eating the fruit and he will subsequently recite a “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing? Indeed, we find that the Poskim disagree about this matter. The Peri Chadash proves from the Rambam that sucking is halachically tantamount to eating, for the Rambam quotes the Geonim as saying that one who sucks on a sugar cane recites the “Boreh Peri Ha’adama” blessing. Clearly, sucking is equivalent to eating and not to drinking. Hagaon Harav Yehuda Ayash and others rule accordingly.

On the other hand, Hagaon Rabbeinu Akiva Eiger and Hagaon Harav Yosef Yedid Ha’Levi prove from the words of the Tosafot that sucking is comparable to drinking for which on recites the “Shehakol” blessing.

After delving greatly into the works of the Poskim on this matter, Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules that sucking on a fruit without actually biting into it is considered like drinking its juice and one recites the “Shehakol” blessing. However, no after-blessing is recited at all, for in order to recite an after-blessing after drinking, one must drink a Revi’it (approximately 2.7 ounces) in one shot which is not physically possible while sucking on a fruit.

Summary: One who sucks on a fruit without chewing on it recites the blessing of “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro,” the same as one would when drinking its juice.

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