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Weekly Shabbos Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

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Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Written by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita


These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita



Questions for the Week of Parshas Shoftim


Hilchos B'rachos part IX

Having In Mind

A common issue associated with reciting bírachos is to know which items are included in a bíracha recited over a specific item. One might sit down to a snack and recite a bíracha over almonds and then decide that he would now like to eat an apple. Indeed both items require a boreh píri haíeitz, but must he recite a new bíracha over the apple or is it included in the original haíeitz?

In the future shiurim we will attempt beĒH to simplify this matter

When will one definitely need to recite a new bíracha?

If one recited a bíracha over a specific item, having in mind that this is the only item one intends on eating, one will be required to recite a new bíracha over a new item. [1]

This is true even if

        one intends on eating a similar food item.

        one has not yet finished eating the original food.

        the new item is of less importance the original one.

 Moshe is on a diet and he told himself that he is going to eat only one single piece of cream cake. After savoring the first bite, he changed his mind and decided that one more will not harm.

Moshe is required to recite a new bíracha on the second piece, because he had specific intention not to eat another piece. In other words, the bíracha only covered the one piece of cake.

Does this apply to bread as well?

Indeed it does.

Yankel bought a bread bun in a store, washed and recited hamotzi knowing that he intended to eat that single bun. Halfway through, he realized that one bun will not satiate him and bought another bun.

He is required to recite a new hamotzi on the new bun, even though he had not yet consumed the first one. [2] This is because the bíracha did not include anything other than the first bun.

Is there a way to avoid having to recite a new bíracha?

As we will see, one is often faced with sífeikos as to whether a new bíracha is necessary. To avoid this problem, one should have in mind that whatever food will come his way is included in the bíracha. [3]

What will a bíracha with that intention include?

It will include everything that requires a similar bíracha.

Even if

        the new food was not present at the time of the bíracha. [4]

        the new food is of more importance, i.e. one recited a boreh píri hoíeitz on an apple and subsequently grapes were brought in. Even though grapes are of more importance than apples, as they are one of the shiva minim, the bíracha includes them because one had specific intention to do so.

        the original food was eaten prior to receiving the new food. [5]

At which part of the bíracha must one have the intention to include all foods?

The optimal point of intention is before one commences the bíracha. [6]

How does the halacha regard a guest, after all he does not know what is in store?

A guest is considered as having specific intention to include everything that will be placed before him, [7] because he knows that all types of food will be placed before him. Consequently his bíracha will include all items with similar bírachos, even when they are of more importance. [8]

What if the host had not yet decided to serve certain foods, and subsequently served them, is the guest required to recite a new bíracha over those foods?

It seems paradoxical because the host is required to recite a new bíracha, being that he did not have in mind to consume certain foods, and the guest will not recite a new bíracha because it is as if he had in mind to include everything.

Moshe was dining at Yankel and towards the end of the meal, Yankel placed beautiful pears on the table. Both people recited a bíracha and several minutes later Yankel decided to serve pomegranates.

Moshe does not need to recite a new bíracha because he is a guest and Yankel must recite a new bíracha because he did not have the pomegranates in mind when he recited the bíracha.

[1] Siman 174:5 and MĒB 18.

[2] MĒB ibid.

[3] Rama siman 206:5.

[4] Píshat in the Rama ibid.

[5] All included in the Rama.

[6] Śśŗķ šŠÝŽš ŰÝų ś' Š).

[7] Siman 279:5.

[8] Biíur Halacha siman 211:5 „"š ŚŠžŠ„.


Vort on the Parsha

The possuk says ŚųÝŗ ŠŚ Žž ťÓť ÁťťŚ, the king must learn Torah each day. The gemora Bírachos 5a teaches us that if one has sufferings, one must investigate oneís actions and see whether they are inappropriate. If he examined himself and could not find sins, he should suspect that he is wasting time and not learning Torah. The question is that idling is also a sin, so why did he not notice it the first time.

The Radomsker Rebbe says that Torah opens oneís eyes, and one can examine oneís entire routine and not discover a sin, until one learns Torah. When one begins to learn, one will realize that what he thought to be exemplary behavior might be sprinkled with inaccuracies.

So píshat in ťķžš ŠŠťŤŚž ķŚÝš is that if you cannot find sins it is because you are not learning, and if you would learn, the Torah would reveal everything.


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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.