Halacha for Monday 5 Shevat 5784 January 15 2024

Question: If one eats fruits belonging to the Seven Species and eats Mezonot items along with them, which after-blessing must one recite?

Answer: Let us first discuss the basic laws of the “Me’en Shalosh” (lit. “Concise Version of Three,” meaning this blessing is a synopsis of the first three blessings of Birkat Hamazon all-in-one) blessing. If one eats a Kezayit (approximately twenty-seven grams) of fruits belonging to the Seven Species (such as dates, pomegranates, or grapes), when one is finished eating, one must recite the Me’en Shalosh blessing of “Al Ha’etz Ve’al Peri Ha’etz.” If these fruits grew in Eretz Yisrael, one must then conclude the blessing by reciting, “Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peroteha.” If one eats cake or any other food item requiring the Mezonot blessing, when one is finished eating, one must recite the Me’en Shalosh blessing of “Al Ha’Michya Ve’al Ha’Kalkala.” If this food was produced from wheat grown in Israel (which is a fairly uncommon occurrence), one concludes the blessing by reciting, “Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Michyatah.” If one drinks a Revi’it (approximately 81 ml) of wine, after one finishes drinking, one must recite the Me’en Shalosh blessing of “Al Ha’Gefen Ve’al Peri Ha’Gefen.” If the wine was produced from grapes grown in Israel, one concludes the blessing by reciting, “Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peri Gafnah.” The text of this blessing is printed in all Siddurim (see Siddur Yechave Da’at, page 274).

We must now determine the proper procedure for one who eats a Kezayit of cake, a Kezayit of fruits of the Seven Species, and drinks a Revi’it of wine. Must one recite a separate after-blessing for each item or should one recite only one after-blessing and include all three ideas inside it, i.e. by concluding the blessing “Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’Michya Ve’al Peri Ha’Gefen Ve’al Ha’Perot.

The root of this question lies in the law that one should not conclude a blessing with two ideas, for Mitzvot should not be made into piles (for this constitutes a lack of respect to the Mitzvah). For this reason, as we have mentioned in the past, the proper conclusion for the “Al Ha’Michya” blessing is “Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’Michya” and not “Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’Michya Ve’al Ha’Kalkala,” for this is considered concluding with two ideas. Thus, in our situation, it would seem that one should recite three separate blessings for what one has eaten as opposed to reciting only one blessing and concluding it with three ideas.

However, most of the great Rishonim are of the opinion that in a case such as ours, one should recite only one blessing on what he has eaten and merely conclude it with three ideas. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot, Rambam, Tur, and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 208) all rule likewise. Although in general the law is that one should not conclude with two (or more) ideas, nevertheless, in a scenario such as ours this does not pose any issue since such a conclusion is not considered a conclusion with two ideas, for it is ultimately all one idea: the land is what produces flour, wine, and fruits. (Regarding what we have said that one should not conclude the blessing by saying, “Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’Michya Ve’al Ha’Kalkala,” this is because this is indeed the text of the blessing according to most Rishonim in addition to the fact that some say that “Kalkala” refers to a totally different idea and is unrelated to the “Michya,” the produce that the land produces.

Thus, halachically speaking, if one eats fruits belonging to the Seven Species, drinks wine, and eats Mezonot products for which one is required to recite an after-blessing for each item, one should recite only one Me’en Shalosh blessing and include in it the three ideas for which one is obligated to bless in the following way: One should begin the blessing by saying, “Baruch Ata Hashem etc. Al Ha’Michya Ve’al Ha’Kalkala Ve’al Ha’Gefen Ve’al Peri Ha’Gefen Ve’al Ha’etz Ve’al Peri Ha’etz” etc. One should conclude the blessing by reciting, “Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’Michya Ve’al Peri Ha’Gefen Ve’al Ha’Perot.”

The order of priorities is always “Al Ha’Michya” first, then “Gefen,” and then “Etz.” Thus, if one eats Mezonot items and drinks wine, one should mention these two ideas in the conclusion of his blessing and mention “Michya” before “Gefen,” as per this rule.

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