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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 Nitzovim


Hilchos B'rachos part XII

Foods during a bread meal part II

In the last shiur we established that the hamotzi recited at a bread meal does not include everything, as certain items are not considered as being part of the meal. The first item we discussed was wine, as wine being an important beverage is not included in the bracha hamozti. We will now concentrate beH on the other exclusions.

Fruit and Desserts

Fruit eaten during or at the end of a meal is not included in hamotzi and require their own bracha. [1] (Fruit eaten as entrée is different and will be explained later).

Hamotzi is recited over bread and since bread is the principal part of a meal, anything eaten at the meal is subordinate to the bread. [2] Items that are eaten during a meal but are not subordinate to the bread require their own bracha. Fruit is not eaten in conjunction with bread and serves a different purpose in a meal; it thus requires its own bracha.

Are cooked fruits included in this?

All fruits require their own bracha, whether eaten cooked or raw,  [3] whether eaten between servings or at the conclusion of a meal as dessert. Fruit is not served to satiate like other foods served during a meal, and thus require their own bracha. (Rav Sternbuch shlita retells that there is testimony that the Chofetz Chaim retracted his psak in the Mishna Berura and he did not recite a bracha on fruit compote consumed at the end of a meal, on Shabbos, because it is normal to eat compote at a Shabbos meal.). [4]

Are all fruit included in this?

Almost all fruits are eaten for this same purpose and therefore dates, figs, raisins, fruit-compote, pineapple even though the bracha on pineapple is haadamah, watermelon, melon and almost all others require a bracha. [5]

Thus we see that the bracha is irrelevant to this halacha and even items that require haadmah require a bracha when consumed during a meal.

Carrots or apricots cooked together with chicken do not require their own bracha because they are subordinate (tafel) to the chicken, but if one were to eat them on their own (sweet apricots etc.), some say that they require their own bracha [6] and in such a case it is correct to recite a bracha on other fruit and have the sweet fruit in mind.

What about eating popcorn?


Popcorn, sunflower seeds, peanuts and anything similar eaten as a separate item to the meal requires its own bracha. This is true even when eaten during the meal because this kind of item is not subordinate to the bread. [7]


Desserts such as ice cream, [8] sorbets and candies require their own bracha.

Fruit entrée


One does not recite a bracha over fruit eaten at the onset of a meal, [9] but since there is a machlokes whether one should or not, it is correct to recite a bracha on the fruit before washing for bread and reciting hamotzi, having in mind that the bracha will cover the fruit eaten after hamotzi. One need not eat a kzayis.

Cake -

In order to know whether one recites a mezonos on cake eaten at the end of a meal, we must introduce the concept of .

literally means pocket shaped bread. We recite the bracha boreh minei mezonos on cake, cookies and biscuits as opposed to hamotzi, despite that these items are grain based.

The reason mezonos is recited is because Chazal did not require washing hands and hamotzi for items not normally eat as a meal.

What defines cake and cookies?

We find three opinions in halacha:


The Mechaber (Sephardim): dough kneaded with fruit juice, sugar, oil and other substances, which produce a noticeable taste in the final product.

The Rama (Ashkenazim): dough kneaded with more fruit juice, oil, sugar etc. than water.

Since bread is not usually made this way, this product in called and its bracha is mezonos.

To be cont.

[1] Siman 177:1.

[2] See the Mechaber ibid.

[3] MB siman 177:4.

[4] " .

[5] See MB siman 177:5.

[6] See MB siman 177:4.

[7] See " '.

[8]  " 12.

[9] See MB siman 174:39.


Idea for Rosh Hashana

Since Rosh Hashanah is the day Hashem passes judgment and plans out our lives, why is it that there are hardly any places in tefillah to ask for personal requests? We find a little in and , but not much else.

The seforim write that our objective on Rosh Hashanah is to anoint Hashem as supreme king; Master of the Universe. If so we must be His most loyal servants. A servant is given by his king everything necessary to fulfill his tasks, and the more devoted the servant, the more tools he will be given.


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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.