Halacha for Tuesday 6 Shevat 5784 January 16 2024

One Who Recites a Blessing and then Wishes to Eat More

Question: If one recites a blessing on a certain food and then wishes to eat another food which shares the same blessing as the original food, for instance, if one recites a blessing on an apple and the wishes to eat an orange, must one recite another blessing on the orange or not?

Answer: Regarding this exact case, Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 206, Section 5) rules: “If one recites a blessing on fruits which are in front of him and is then brought more of the same kind of fruit or other fruits which share the same blessing as the first kind, one need not recite another blessing.” 

If One Recites a Blessing on an Apple and then Wishes to Eat a Citrus Fruit
An example of this is if one eats an apple (which requires the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing) after reciting a blessing on it and is then brought an orange to eat as well, one should not recite the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” blessing again on the orange, for its blessing has already been exempted by the blessing one recited on the apple.

The source of this law that one who recites a blessing on a given food does not recite another blessing on another food brought before him afterwards and shares the same blessing as the first is based on the words of the Rashba (Berachot 41b) quoting the Ba’al Ha’Ma’or.

Some disagree with the Rashba’s view, including the Kol Bo quoted by Maran Ha’Bet Yosef, and rule that one must indeed recite another blessing on the fruits brought before the individual afterwards, for they were not before him when he originally blessed.

Thus, in order to avoid all doubt, one should preferably have in mind when he recites a blessing on the first fruit one eats (the apple) to exempt any other fruits brought before him later. Nevertheless, according to the letter of the law, even if one did not have in mind to exempt the fruits being brought before him later, one should not recite another blessing upon them.

If Beverages are Brought Before an Individual Who has Already Recited a Blessing on Food
This law applies even to a food and beverage which share the same blessing. For instance, if one was eating fish, for which the blessing is “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro”, and then water or juice (which also require the “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro” blessing) was brought before him, one should not recite this blessing over again, for this blessing has already been exempted with the blessing recited on the fish (see Responsa Otzarot Yosef, Volume 10, end of Chapter 8).

If the Second Food is More Significant than the First
That which we have written, that when one recites a blessing on one kind of food and then a second kind of food with the same blessing is brought before him, one need not recite another blessing on the second kind of food, only applies when the second food is not more significant than the first, such as our aforementioned example of apples and oranges. However, if the second food is more significant than the first, for instance, if dates were brought before the individual after the apples, one may recite another blessing on the dates.

The Rashba writes that the reason for this is because the second, more significant fruit (dates in our case) is not exempted by the blessing on the first kind which is less significant than itself. Maran Ha’Bet Yosef quotes this opinion. Although there are those that say that halachically, one should not recite another blessing on the more significant fruit since the words of the Rashba were not quoted as Halacha in the Shulchan Aruch, nevertheless, the Responsa Sha’ar Asher writes that the opinion of the Rashba is the unanimous one and no one disagrees; the reason why Maran did not quote his opinion in the Shulchan Aruch is not because he disagrees with it. Thus, one must recite another blessing on the more significant fruit. The Ben Ish Hai rules likewise.

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that one who wishes to recite another blessing in accordance with the ruling of the Ben Ish Hai based on the opinion of the Rashba certainly has on whom to rely.

Nevertheless, if when one recited the original blessing one had in mind to exempt the second, more significant fruit as well, one will certainly not recite another blessing, for in this case, one has already exempted the second fruit with the blessing recited on the first fruit. (See Halichot Olam, Parashat Balak, Section 2)

Summary: If one recites a blessing on a given food, such as an apple, and is then served another food which shares the same blessing as the first, such as an orange, one should not recite another blessing before eating the orange. It is preferable to have in mind while reciting a blessing on the apple that one intends to exempt with the following blessing any other fruits brought before him later. If the fruit brought before the individual later is one of the Seven Species, such as a date, one should recite another blessing on the second fruit. If, however, one had in mind originally to exempt even the date, one should not recite another blessing on it.

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