Halacha for Sunday 28 Shevat 5779 February 3 2019

The Amount One Must Eat in Order to Become Obligated to Recite an After-Blessing

For any food one eats, one must recite a blessing before eating the food, such as the “Shehakol” or “Ha’etz” blessings. Even if one only plans on eating a small amount of that food, one must nevertheless recite a blessing before eating it, as long as one is consuming it as a form of “eating” (as opposed to merely “tasting” a small amount of a given food in order to see if requires more spices and the like, in which case one would not recite a blessing at all). Thus, one who chews flavored chewing gum must recite a blessing before beginning the enjoyment of the flavor of the gum although one is only swallowing a minute amount. Similarly, before drinking any beverage, one must recite a blessing before drinking even a drop of that beverage (besides for water which only requires a blessing when one is drinking it to quench one’s thirst).

Nevertheless, the above only applies to blessings recited before eating. However, after-blessings (blessings recited after eating or drinking a given food or beverage) are only recited when one has eaten or drunk a “significant quantity.” A “significant quantity” is considered the amount of a “Kezayit” (twenty-seven grams) of food and a “Revi’it” (81 cc or 2.7 fluid ounces) of beverage.

Additionally, in order to qualify for reciting an after-blessing, the eating or drinking must be performed in a specific amount of time such that the various stages of eating or drinking can be combined and considered one big eating or drinking. This means that of one takes an entire day to consume a “Kezayit” of bread by eating one crumb after another, such an individual can certainly not recite Birkat Hamazon. Rather, one must consume a “Kezayit” of food within the amount of time it takes to finish half a loaf of bread. The Poskim disagree regarding exactly how much time this comes out to: Some say this equals five minutes while others say it equals approximately seven-and-a-half minutes. It is therefore correct to always make sure to eat a “Kezayit” (especially during the Shabbat meals) within four-and-a-half minutes in order to fulfill one’s obligation according to all opinions. (This is especially true on the Seder night when eating the correct amount of Matzah is a Torah obligation, as we have explained elsewhere. Nevertheless, if this proves too difficult for one to accomplish, one may eat the prescribed amount of Matzah within seven-and-a-half minutes as well.)

Regarding reciting an after-blessing on beverages, one must drink a “Revi’it” (2.7 fluid ounces) of the beverage in one shot (not one gulp; rather, drinking this amount continuously, without interruption), for if one interrupts between sips before reaching this prescribed amount, one should not recite an after-blessing at all. Thus, if one sips soup with a spoon, one will not recite an after-blessing on the soup, for one has not drunk a “Revi’it” of the beverage continuously. Similarly, if one sips hot tea or coffee, one should not recite an after-blessing on them, for one cannot drink a “Revi’it” of such hot beverages continuously.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women cu......

Read Halacha

Lighting the Chanukah Candles

The Mitzvah of Lighting Chanukah Candles There is a Mitzvah to light Chanukah candles throughout all eight nights of Chanukah (beginning from next Sunday night). The Sephardic custom is to light one set of Chanukah candles per house. The Ashkenazi custom, however, is that every member of the househ......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Boarders, Guests, Soldiers, and Yeshiva Students Regarding Chanukah Candles

Question: If one will be away from home as a guest during Chanukah, how should one act regarding lighting Chanukah candles? Similarly, what is the law regarding a soldier who will be at his military base during Chanukah? Answer: If one is away from home during the holiday of Chanukah and stays a......

Read Halacha

A Guest On Motza’ei Shabbat Chanukah

Question: If one is staying as a guest at one’s parents’ or in-laws’ home for Shabbat Chanukah, where should one light Chanukah candles on Motza’ei Shabbat? Answer: Regarding a married individual who is staying as a guest at his father’s home, according to the Sephar......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Married Children Staying with Their Parents and One Staying in a Hotel

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that although one who has no one lighting on his behalf at home (for instance, because he has no family or because his family is with him) and is staying as a guest in a friend’s home on Chanukah should have been obligated to light candles in one&rsqu......

Read Halacha

“Al Ha’Nissim”

Starting from the Arvit prayer on the first night of Chanukah (this year, 5782, starting from tonight, Sunday night) “Al Ha’Nissim” is added in the Amida in the middle of the Blessing of Thanksgiving (“Modim Anachnu Lach etc.) as it is printed in all Siddurim. Even if mos......

Read Halacha

Hallel on Chanukah as it Pertains to Women

Question: Since women are obligated to light Chanukah candles, does this mean that they are likewise obligated to recite the Hallel every morning of Chanukah as well? Answer: Women are exempt from all positive, time-bound Mitzvot, such as eating in the Sukkah, taking the Lulav, and hearing the Sh......

Read Halacha

Havdala Without Besamim and a Candle

Question: One Motza’ei Shabbat when we were on vacation in the summer, we were not able to procure Besamim (a fragrant object) and a candle. Is it permissible to recite the order of Havdala without Besamim and a candle? Answer: This law is discussed by the Gemara (Berachot 53a): “Rav ......

Read Halacha