Halacha Date: 21 Shevat 5782 January 23 2022
Question: If one ate both cake and vegetables and must recite both the “Al Hamichya” and “Boreh Nefashot” blessings, which one should one recite first?
Answer: We have already discussed several times that one who has eaten a Kezayit (approximately twenty-seven grams) worth of vegetables, such as cucumbers, must recite the “Boreh Nefashot” after-blessing, as printed in Siddurim.
Likewise, if one at cake or other Mezonot items, one must recite the “Al Hamichya” after-blessing.
Which After-Blessing Comes First?
The Poskim discuss whether there is an order of precedence regarding the “Al Hamichya” and “Boreh Nefashot” blessings.
Everyone agrees that, in principle, “Al Hamichya” should be recited before “Boreh Nefashot” since “Al Hamichya” is a more significant blessing than “Boreh Nefashot”. Indeed, the Mishnah Berura (Be’ur Halacha, Chapter 202, Section 11) rules accordingly in the name of the Peri Megadim. The Kaf Hachaim (ibid.) and Maran zt”l (in his Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 5, Chapter 17 and Halichot Olam, Volume 2, page 108) rule likewise.
Order of Precedence When the Food Grows from the Ground
Nevertheless, Maran zt”l writes that the above rule that “Al Hamichya” comes before “Boreh Nefashot” only applies when one ate cake and another Shehakol item like cheese, meat, or drank a beverage. However, if one ate cake and vegetable, there is room to say that the opposite is true, for the following reason:
In the text of the “Al Hamichya” blessing, we recite: “For the sustenance, for the nourishment, and for the produce of the field.” Certainly then, all vegetables are considered “produce of the field,” for they grew from the field as well. Thus, if one recites “Al Hamichya” after eating vegetables has fulfilled his obligation of reciting an after-blessing for the vegetables upon reciting the words “and for the produce of the field.” At this point, one will no longer be able to recite the “Boreh Nefashot” blessing.
Therefore, Maran zt”l writes that when one eats cake and vegetables, one should first recite the “Boreh Nefashot” blessing and only then recite “Al Hamichya,” for if one did the opposite, one would no longer be eligible for the “Boreh Nefashot” blessing.
Summary: If one drank juice or ate meat or cheese along with cake, one should first recite the “Al Hamichya” blessing and only then recite “Boreh Nefashot.” However, if one ate vegetables along with the cake, since vegetables are considered “produce of the field,” one should first recite the “Boreh Nefashot” blessing and only then recite “Al Hamichya."