Halacha for Monday 15 Cheshvan 5784 October 30 2023

Foods Eaten During a Meal

The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (41a) tells us: “Rav Papa said: The Halacha is that foods eaten during the meal as part of the meal do not require a blessing neither before nor after eating them.” This means that any foods that are eaten during a bread meal, for instance meat, fish, and the like, would not require their appropriate blessings before eating them during the meal, for all foods eaten during a meal are already exempt through the blessing of “Hamotzi Lechem Min Ha’aretz.” Similarly, beverages drunk during the meal do not require a blessing for beverages are also exempt with the “Hamotzi” blessing.

The Reason Why Blessings are Not Recited on Foods Eaten During a Meal
At first glance, it would seem that the reason why no blessing is recited on foods eaten during a meal is because of the law of the primary and secondary foods, meaning that when one has a dish consisting of two types of food before him, one should recite the blessing upon the primary food and thus exempts the secondary food. For instance, the blessing on a dish of rice and lentils is “Boreh Minei Mezonot” for the rice is the primary food and the lentils are only secondary to it. Thus, it would seem in our case that since the bread has special significance, it is considered the primary food of the meal and the blessing on the bread exempts any food that is eaten during the course of the meal.

Nevertheless, the Gemara recounts that Ben Zoma was asked why foods eaten during the meal do not require a blessing to which he replied, “Since the bread exempts them.” The Ritba explains that this is not based on the Halacha of the secondary food (meaning that the bread does not exempt the other foods because it is the primary foods and all other foods are secondary), for a food is not considered secondary unless it is eaten together with the primary food (such the salads and dips served nowadays at the beginning of the meal which are actually eaten with bread); however, foods not actually eaten with the bread cannot be considered secondary to the bread.

The Ritba continues and explains that the reason why one does not bless on foods eaten during the meal is because regarding any other foods served after it, the bread is considered “the main part of the meal.” This means that bread retains a unique law in that, as a result of its innate significance, it exempts any other foods eaten throughout the meal even if these foods are not eaten together with the bread.

Thus, even foods such as fish and meat which are not eaten together with bread would not require a blessing within a bread meal since they have already been exempted by the blessing on the bread in the beginning of the meal.

Summary: Foods that are served during a bread meal and are eaten as part of the meal, meaning that they are eaten to nourish and satiate, such as fish or meat, do not require their own blessing since they have already been exempted with the blessing on the bread.

Foods served at the end of a meal as dessert, such as fruits, require a blessing since they are not eaten as part of the meal at all. We shall, G-d-willing, discuss the laws of cakes and cookies served at the end of a meal on a different occasion.

8 Halachot Most Popular

Parashat Ki Tetze

Gathered from the teachings of Maran Rebbeinu Ovadia Yosef ztzvk”l (from the years 5744-5772) (written by his grandson HaRav Yaakov Sasson Shlit”a) (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) Ellul is the Time to Engage in Battle Against the Yetzer Hara, ......

Read Halacha

Eating Cake on Shabbat Morning

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of All Our Dear Soldiers May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy. May Hashem protect all the captives and have mercy upon them so that no harm befalls......

Read Halacha

 The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing

Our Sages teach us (Eruvin 40b) that one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon seeing a new fruit that renews once a year. Even if one sees this fruit in the hands of another person or on the tree, one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. Nevertheless, the P......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Blood Found in Eggs

Blood in Eggs Blood found in eggs is forbidden for consumption, for this blood indicates the beginning of the embryotic development of the chick and this chick has the halachic status of “fowl” whose blood is forbidden for consumption by Torah law; thus, the opinion of the Rosh and Tosa......

Read Halacha


Parashat Terumah

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Difference Between Moshe and Betzalel [Understanding Why Betzalel Was Able to Make the Menorah, Whilst Moshe Couldn’t] This Sh......

Read Halacha

The Proper Method for Reciting Blessings

During the days preceding Tu Bishvat, we have discussed some laws of blessings. We shall now discuss the law that the food must be in front of the individual before reciting a blessing, for this is the first law in reference to the laws of blessings. Waiting Until the Food is Brought Before the I......

Read Halacha

The Scent of Lemon

Question: If one smells the pleasant scent of a lemon, which blessing should one recite? Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 43b) states: “Mor Zutra said: One who smells the fragrance of an Etrog  (citron), or a quince recites the blessing of ‘Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’......

Read Halacha

Parashat Vayechi

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Power of a Good Word In the weekly Parashah, Yaakov Avinu gathered his sons and blessed them before he passed away, as the Torah sta......

Read Halacha