Emunah Based on the Teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Archive for the ‘Brachos’ Category

Various Halachos relating to Tu B’Shvat

By HaRav Shimon Anshin shlit”a

A.  Praying for a Mehudar Etrog on Shabbos

In light of the previous weeks’ Halacha series dealing with what one is permitted to prayer for on Shabbos, it is in permissible to prayer for meriting a Mehudar Etrog for the upcoming Sukkos, following that which is written in the Sifrei Hakodesh about Tu B’Shvat being an auspicious time (Mesugal)  for praying for such an Etrog.

B.  The Bracha to be said on Dried/Sugared Etrog

“… Borei Pri Ha’aetz” when eating either the flesh or the rind of the sugared Etrog.  We do not however make a Shehechiyanu on the Etrog for numerous reasons brought by the Poskim.

Note: it is important to realize that there is in fact no specific obligation to make a Shehechiyanu on Tu B’Shvat (and therefore one should not be concerned if they cannot find a new fruit on which to make a Shehechiyanu.)

C. Blessings related to the Fruits before and during the Seudah

One who eats the fruits before the Seudah, needs to make a Bracha Achrona (after blessing) – Birchas Hamazon does not cover his obligation.  If one commences the Seuda and forgets to make a Bracha Achrona, he must make a Bracha Achrona during the Seuda and even if he forgot and made Birkas Hamazon, he is still obligated to make the Bracha Achrona afterwards.

One who eats the fruits during the Seuda, needs to make Bracha Rishona over the fruits then, but should not make a Bracha Achrona, as it will be covered by his Birkas Hamazon.

One who eats the fruits before the Seuda with the intention of eating the same fruit during the Seuda as well, should have in mind when he makes the blessing before the Seuda to cover the fruit during the Seuda as well.  That being the case, he should not make Bracha Rishona for the same fruit during the Seuda and also should not make a Bracha Achrona on the fruit that he ate before the Seuda, as it too will be covered by his Birkas Hamazon.

D.  The order of the Brachos:

One who eats various types of food, should ensure to make the blessing on the most important fruit among them, as is decreed by Chazal.  There are may laws associated with this, so we will mention only those laws relevant to Tu B’Shvat itself.

If one wishes to eat fruit from the 7 species which are in front of him, he should make the blessing on them before any other types of fruit.  However, even within the 7 species themselves, the order of precedence is as follows:

1. Olives, 2. Dates, 3. Grapes, 4. Figs, 5.Pomegranates

One should know that this order of precedence is only related to which fruit to make the blessing on first.  However, once the blessing has been made, there is then no specific order as to which of the remaining 6 fruits one has to eat.  Nor is it a requirement to eat all of the specific fruit on which one has made the blessing – rather, one only need taste a little of that  specific fruit before moving on to the other fruits.

Note: If one wishes to drink wine, its blessing takes order of precedence over the 7 species.


As this is a translation of the original Hebrew, if you are unclear on any of the Laws outlined herein in any way whatsoever, please consult with a Posek (Halachic Authority).


What brocho does one make on pizza?

By HaRav Shimon Anshin shlit”a

1. Baked goods made of dough that is filled with sweet ingredients, such as sugar, cocoa, nuts etc’, are usually made for snacking or “pleasurable eating”.  This deems the baked goods as “filled baked-goods” (פת כיסנין) or, literally, “pocket baked goods”.  The brocho of פת כיסנין  is בורא מיני מזונות

The brocho remains ‘mezonos’ even if the dough itself is unsweetened, or if there isn’t an actual separate filling.  The same halacha will apply to a layer of dough that sweets were place upon it and baked together.

2.  If the פת כיסנין was filled with meat, fish, or cheese or anything that makes it obvious that the baked goods were made to satisfy an appetite (עשויים להשביע) i.e. served as meal, the proper brocho isn’t clear.  Some say it should be המוציא –  (Hamotzi) even if you eat just a little bit of it – while others contend it remains ‘mezonos’.

Theמשנה ברורה  (Misnah Berura) paskens that the brocho should be המוציא  unless is it obviously a snack.

Since Pizza is usually eaten as a meal (להשביע) it brocho should then be המוציא

3.  Some pizzas are kneaded with milk of fruit juice instead of water.  This, as mentioned above, should have rendered it as פת כיסנין but this is far from clear.

Theמישנה ברורה  and many halachic authorities pasken that the milk or juice must change the taste in a dominant way (such as the dough of a cake). We all know that in pizza this is not the case at all.

4.  Furthermore, even baked goods that could be rendered פת כיסנין (they are filled or kneaded with sweets), if they were made for substantial eating – or that that is the ordinary way to eat them – such baked goods have the status of complete bread! 

The reason for this is this as follows:

The whole ‘mezonos’ status is a type of “legal clause”.  Originally, all grain-flour baked goods should be המוציא. But since some foods are made to just snack on, their brocho is ‘mezonos’.  However, the minute they are eaten as a meal that clause doesn’t apply any more.

And so, even if we take all the lenient opinions – those that contends that cheese filling renders pizza a פת כיסנין… AND those that contend that kneading the dough in liquids other than water renders it פת כיסנין  – still, if the food is eaten as meal, the brocho is המוציא!

According to this, if one obviously eats the pizza as a snack, the lenient opinions can be relied upon and the brocho can be ‘mezonos’.

5.  It should be clear that even a full-fledged פת כיסנין, such as cake or a Danish, if it is eaten as meal requires washing, המוציא  and ברכת המזון.

Without getting into the full definition of “what is a meal”, the rule of thumb is simple:

If one eats the baked goods instead of the regular meal, or in a quantity of a regular meal, the brocho is in the categorically המוציא.

The Law In Practice:

¨ If you eat a small amount of pizza for pleasure, the brocho can be ‘mezonos’ no matter what the pizza was kneaded with.

¨ If you eat the pizza as a meal (as in “tonight we’re eating pizza”) even in small quantity (one slice for a grown up and half a slice for a child ) the brocho is המוציא.

¨ If the pizza dough was kneaded in milk or fruit juice it is possible to be lenient when eating a small quantity.  But if the dough was kneaded with water, leniency is problematic.

¨ If one eats the amount ofקביעות סעודה  (proper meal amounting to two slices for a grown up and a slice for a child) is has the status of complete bread, requiring a נטילת ידים,,המוציא  and בירכת המזון. (Washing of the hands before the meal, the Brocho of “Hamotzi” and Bircas Hamazon).


As this is a translation of the original Hebrew, if you are unclear on any of the Laws outlined herein in any  way whatsoever, please consult with a Posek (Halachic Authority).

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