Halacha for Thursday 22 Cheshvan 5782 October 28 2021

Interrupting Between Reciting a Blessing and Eating

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that after one recites a blessing on any food, one may not speak at all until one partakes of that food. We have written that one should swallow some of the food and only then is it permissible to speak. However, if one has only tasted some of the food and not yet swallowed, one should not speak. Nevertheless, if one mistakenly spoke after merely tasting the food, one need not recite another blessing, for the essence of the blessing was established for the enjoyment of the taste of the food, even without swallowing.

One Who Recites a Blessing on a Food and then Hears Another Blessing or Kaddish
Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that since it is forbidden to speak between reciting a blessing on a food and eating, even if one recites a blessing and immediately hears a friend recite another blessing or Kaddish, one may not stop and answer “Amen” to the blessing or Kaddish until one has eaten some of the food. One who speaks between reciting the blessing and eating has caused the blessing to become a blessing in vain. This is especially common at “Hazkara” meals or “Amen” parties commonly attended by women that each recite their own blessings on their food and drink and answer “Amen” to everyone else’s blessings, in that one must be careful not to answer “Amen” to another’s blessing until one has partaken of some food after one’s own blessing.

One Who Has Tasted Some of the Food But Not Swallowed and then Hears the Blessing of Another
Nevertheless, Maran zt”l points out that since the primary aspect of the blessing was established for the bodily enjoyment of the food’s flavor, if one has already tasted the food but not yet swallowed anything and then hears a blessing or Kaddish recited by someone else, one should not wait until one swallows; rather, one should answer “Amen” immediately, even before swallowing. Clearly though, when the food is close to the back of one’s throat and one cannot answer “Amen”, one should not answer “Amen”, and one should only do so in one’s mind.

Blessing on Chewing Gum
Based on the above, this would pose a ramification regarding chewing gum as well, which has no substance but does have taste. For this reason, some authorities rule that one should not recite any blessing before eating gum. Nevertheless, Maran zt”l has rebuffed this opinion, for as long as one’s palate enjoys the flavor of the given food, one must recite a blessing. This is especially true since by chewing gum, some substance from the sugar and other flavorings enter the body of the individual in which case, according to all opinions, one must recite a blessing on it.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Prohibition of Threshing and Squeezing on Shabbat

We have explained several times that there are thirty-nine “primary works” that are prohibited on Shabbat. Every “primary work” is composed of “subdivisions” which are works similar to the “primary work”; these “subdivisions” also carry a T......

Read Halacha

Preparing Tea on Shabbat

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that one may squeeze a lemon Shabbat by hand, as opposed to using a utensil, for squeezing lemons does not share the same Halacha as squeezing other fruits on Shabbat. We have also mentioned that Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that even thoug......

Read Halacha

Squeezing Lemons on Shabbat

In previous Halachot, we have explained that one may not squeeze a fruit on Shabbat if there are those who usually squeeze this kind of fruit for its juice. We also explained that one may indeed squeeze fruits by hand (as opposed to using a utensil to squeeze it, which is prohibited) onto a food, fo......

Read Halacha

Squeezing Oranges onto Fruit Salad on Shabbat

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that the Torah prohibits squeezing olives for their oil or grapes for wine on Shabbat. The squeezing of other fruits is not a Torah prohibition; rather our Sages enacted that one may not squeeze other fruits such as berries and pomegranates on Shabbat. We h......

Read Halacha


Reciting Birkat Hamazon While Walking on One’s Way

Question: If one is eating while walking outdoors, may one recite Birkat Hamazon while continuing to walk? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discussed that our Sages have enacted that one must recite Birkat Hamazon while sitting in order for the individual to have maximum concentration. ......

Read Halacha

The Significance of Tu Bishvat

The Fifteenth of Shevat or Tu Bishvat is the Rosh Hashanah for trees (Rosh Hashanah 2a). Most people commonly think that just as on the First of Tishrei, which is the day of Rosh Hashanah, all creations are judged for life or death, for wealth or poverty, and the like, so too, on Tu Bishvat, trees a......

Read Halacha

Reciting Birkat Hamazon While Seated

Question: Is one obligated to sit while reciting Birkat Hamazon or is it permissible to recite it while walking as well? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (51b) states that one must recite Birkat Hamazon while seated. The Poskim as well as Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 183) rule li......

Read Halacha

A Dish Comprised of Several Kinds of Food

Question: What is the correct blessing on stuffed peppers? Similarly, what is the correct blessing on a cake which has just a little flour but the primary ingredients of the cake are fruits and nuts? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that when one eats two different foods requirin......

Read Halacha