Halacha for Wednesday 19 Av 5781 July 28 2021

Question: If one becomes obligated to recite an after-blessing after eating any food (for instance, by eating a Kezayit, approximately twenty-seven grams, of fruit) and before reciting the after-blessing, one used the facilities and becomes obligated to recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, which blessing must one recite first: Should one first recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing or the after-blessing on the food one ate?

Answer: This question has already been discussed by the Maharshal (Rabbeinu Shlomo Luria, one of the foremost Acharonim who lived approximately five-hundred years ago in Eastern Poland and authored the Sefer Yam Shel Shlomo and others) in his responsa (Chapter 97) and writes that if one becomes obligated to recite an after-blessing on any given food one eats and then becomes obligated to recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, one should recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing first and only then recite the after-blessing on the food based on the rule, “The more frequent of two Mitzvot is  performed first.” Thus, the “Asher Yatzar” blessing is recited consistently several times every day while regarding an after-blessing on food, there is a possibility that one will not become obligated to recite it for several days.

Hagaon Ya’abetz (Rabbeinu Yaakov Emdin ben Tzvi, son of the Chacham Tzvi, who lived approximately three-hundred years ago in Germany) writes regarding this ruling: “In my humble opinion, who says that this blessing (an after-blessing on food) is any less frequent that the other (the “Asher Yatzar” blessing)? On the contrary, for most people, eating and drinking is more common than using the facilities. Thus, if we are ruling based on the frequency of the blessings, indeed, the after-blessing on food should be recited before the “Asher Yatzar” blessing.” He nevertheless concludes that he agrees with the Maharshal’s ruling but not because of his reasoning that the “Asher Yatzar” blessing is more common; rather, it is for a different reason which is that since this individual has now become obligated to praise and thank Hashem for the perfection of one’s body through the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, one must therefore surely recite the blessing which one has become obligated to recite now since one will not be able to recite the after-blessing immediately upon finishing to eat in any case, for that time has already elapsed. Thus, one should recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing and only then recite the after-blessing on food. Many other great Poskim discuss this issue and provide sources for either option.

Halachically speaking, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes (in his Yabia Omer, Volume 9, page 183) that one should indeed recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing first and only then recite the after-blessing on the food, either because of the Maharshal’s reason or because of the reason quoted by Hagaon Ya’abetz.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin recitin......

Read Halacha

A Rainbow

One Who Looks at a Rainbow Our Sages (Chagiga 16a) state: “The eyes of one who gazes at a rainbow are dimmed, as the verse (Yechezkel 1) states, ‘Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so is the radiance around and this is the appearance of the glory of Hashem.&r......

Read Halacha

Things Which Cause Forgetfulness

Five Things Which Cause One to Forget What He Has Learned The Gemara (Horayot 13b) states: “Our Sages taught: Five things cause one to forget the Torah one has learned: One who eats food which a cat or mouse have eaten from, one who eats the heart of an animal, one who eats olives regularly, ......

Read Halacha

The Laws of One Who Forgets to Mention “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” in the “Blessing of the Years”

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed in a general manner that our Sages enacted that beginning from the Seventh of Marcheshvan (outside of Israel from the Fourth or Fifth of December), one begins reciting “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” (a request for dew and rain) in the “B......

Read Halacha


Must One Recite a Blessing Before Merely Tasting a Food?

We have already discussed several times that regarding the laws of Blessings of Enjoyment recited before eating that there is no limit for reciting a blessing before eating, meaning that no matter what amount of food or beverage one eats or drinks, one must still recite a blessing. The reason for th......

Read Halacha

Question: At what point does it become permissible to speak after reciting a blessing on food? Is one permitted to speak immediately after placing the food in one’s mouth and tasting the food’s flavor or must one wait until one swallows the food?

Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (40a) and Rashi ibid. state that one may not speak in between reciting a blessing on food and eating it because this constitutes an interruption between the blessing and the eating and there is no longer any connection between them, as we have discussed severa......

Read Halacha

When the Sanctity of Shevi’it Will Apply to Fruits and Vegetables and More on “Heter Mechira”

In the previous Halachot we have explained that any produce grown in Jewish-owned fields in the Land of Israel this year (5782) retain the sanctity of Shevi’it. We have likewise discussed the ramifications of this sanctity and the proper way to treat such produce. This sanctity rests even on f......

Read Halacha

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha