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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 Yisro


Hilchos B'rachos part XXIV

            Main and secondary Ė ÚťųÝ ŚŤŰž

           When one wishes to consume two food items, where one item compliments the other - such as a cracker spread with cream cheese, or mustard garnishing meat, it is required to recite the bíracha on the ikar and not on the tafel. [1]

           What happens to the tafel? Does it not require a bíracha?

          We seem to find a machlokes haposkim on this matter.

          The Chazon Ish learns [2] that the tafel requires a bíracha but it is included in the bíracha of the ikar. His proof is from Tosefos (Bírachos 44a) who writes that if the tafel was brought in after one recited the bíracha over the ikar and one did not have the tafel in mind, the tafel requires a bíracha.

           The Iggros Moshe [3] learns that the tafel does not require a bíracha because of its nature as tafel. His proof is from a case where one eats very salty fish and to dilute the salty effect one consumes bread. Halacha is that one recites ŠŚÝŗ ūŰýŚķ on the fish and one does not recite Birkas Hamazon. [4] Rav Moshe states that since ŠŚÝŗ ūŰýŚķ can never replace Birkas Hamazon, it must be that halachically it is as if one did not consume bread, it being a tafel.

            Do you have more examples of ikar and tafel?

Gefilte fish with a carrot on top Ė the fish is the ikar and the carrot tafel. One recites shehakol on the fish and does not recite a bíracha on the carrot.

Latkes with apple sauce Ė the latkes are the ikar (haíadamah) and the apple sauce enhances the latkes.

Lokshen kugel with a pickle Ė the pickle is consumed with the sweet kugel to dampen the sweet taste. The pickle does not require a bíracha.

What if the tafel is eaten before the ikar, does it require a bíracha?

If one consumes the tafel before the ikar one is required to recite a bíracha on the tafel, because one may not benefit from this world without first reciting a bíracha. [5]

However, the Rama writes that one does not recite the usual bíracha for that food item, because it is only tafel, rather one would recite shehakol.

Is the Rama accepted by all?

            The halacha that one must recite a bíracha over the tafel when eaten before the ikar, is universal. The Magen Avraham however, disagrees with the Rama as to which bíracha is recited on the tafel. [6] He learns that one only recites shehakol on the tafel, when the ikar is shehakol, but when the ikar has another bíracha, the tafelís bíracha is its regular bíracha.

Coupled with that, and with the fact that several Acharonim learn that the bíracha on the tafel is always the regular bíracha, the Mishna Berura writes that it is correct to avoid eating the tafel before the ikar.

~ One wants to imbibe a shot of Scotch. So as not to drink on an empty stomach, one first eats an apple. The Rama and Magen Avraham rule that one recites a shehakol on the apple. So according to halacha one may do so and recite a shehakol on the apple, but according to the Mishan Beruraís recommendation not to consume the tafel before the ikar, it is better to avoid such a scenario.

            ~ One wants to imbibe wine, but here too one wants to eat a carrot before the wine. The Rama rules that the bíracha recited on the carrot is shehakol. The MĒA rules haíadamah, as do several Acharonim. Here too halachically the bíracha on the carrot is shehakol, but it is not recommended to do so. One should recite š‚ŰÔ on the wine, take a sip, and then eat the carrot or cracker without a bíracha, so as not to drink on an empty stomach.

            I like herring but I do not want to eat it by itself, so I eat it together with a cracker, do I recite one bíracha or two?

            Two items eaten together, and one of the items is eaten to enhance the other item, one only recites the bíracha on the ikar.

            Therefore, as stated before, one does not recite a bíracha on cream cheese or peanut butter spread on bread or crackers. This also applies to herring eaten with a cracker. [7] If however, one wants to eat the herring at least as much as the cracker, one would recite a bíracha on the cracker and on the herring. [8]

            What bíracha is recited over salads decorated with nuts or pomegranates?

One recites haíadamah only when eating cabbage salad that is sprinkled with peeled almonds; lettuce salad interspersed with pomegranate; chicken cooked with pineapple or apricots, because in all these cases the main feature is the salad and the tafel enhances the salad (or chicken).

[1] Siman 212:1.

[2] Orach Chaim 27:9.

[3] Orach Chaim Vol. IV 42 and vol. I 74.

[4] Siman 212:1.

[5] Rama siman 212:1 and MĒB 9.

[6] See MĒB siman 212:10.

[7] MĒB siman 212:6. He writes that usually the mezonos is the main item, even though one wants to eat the tafel.

[8] Śśŗķ šŠÝŽš Űť"ŗ Š'.


Vort on the Parsha

Yisro told Moshe Rabeinu to take in more dayanim, because he will buckle under the strain of judging on his own. This appears to be a normal suggestion anyone could make, so why did Chazal praise Yisro so much on this account?

Rav Pinkus ztzĒl writes that Yisro told Moshe and Am Yisroel that many Jews can become great, in their own rights and each according to his level. There can be ýÝť ŗžŰťŪ ýÝť ÓŗŚķ etc. who are capable of leading and judging, because every Jew can reach high and come to his role of Avodas Hashem.

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