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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 Tetzaveh


Hilchos B'rachos part XXVI

Main and Secondary , Part III

            A mixture of two or more items.

We learned in the previous shiur that when a mixture is comprised of two items or more, one recites a single bracha over the dominant item. The dominant item is determined either by importance (rice and almonds) or by majority.

            Bread and mezonos [1] are an exception to this rule. Consequently, when these items are part of the mixture, the bracha will either be hamotzi or mezonos, even when they are the minority. [2] But this rule has boundaries, as explained herewith.

            In which circumstance does one recite mezonos even though the grains are in the minority?

Where the grain products are in the mixture for taste, even if the grains are in the minority, one only recites mezonos. For example,

        Farfel mixed with peas, even when there are more peas than farfel.

        Macaroni mixed with cheese and there is more cheese than macaroni.

        Barley soup and there is a substantial amount of barley in the soup. [3]

Does the same apply to cholent when barley is present?

Some poskim are of the opinion that one only recites mezonos for cholent, even though it comprises potatoes and meat, because barley overrides everything, even though it is in the minority. [4]

However, many have the custom to recite the usual berachos for all ingredients (haadamah and shehakol), because a) there is not enough barley to override everything else and b) the potatoes and meat are dominant in their own right, both in size and quantity. [5]

But is the rule not that mezonos always overrides?

Mezonos will override when by definition, everything becomes tafel to it. In certain cases, there might be a substantial amount of mezonos but it is not there in its own right, rather as an enhancer.

For example, croutons in salad. They are not there for their own taste, they are added to enhance the salad. Or schnitzel. Even though the there is a large amount of bread crumbs or matzo meal coating fish or chicken (schnitzel), they are there solely to enhance the chicken or fish and are not consumed for their own sake. Consequently, the correct bracha is only shehakol.

Cholent is different, because the barley is not an enhancer, it is eaten for its own sake and the potatoes are substantial as is the meat. Consequently, many will recite all berachos to cover the various ingredients.

What beracha does one recite for soup with soup nuts, lokshen or kneidlach?

Here we have a possible circumstance where the soup is the majority, but since a mezonos product is consumed with the soup, it does not lose its importance in most cases, as follows. [6]

        A large quantity of soup and a small amount of mezonos products, since ones main interest is the soup, one recites a shehakol on the soup and a mezonos on the lokshen, kneidlach and soup nuts. Even though the soup is the majority, mezonos products do not lose their importance. [7]

        A large quantity of soup and a goodly amount of mezonos products. One only recites a mezonos. This can be compared to eating crackers with a tasty topping, in which case we say that the mezonos is the main feature. In many cases this scenario will create a safek whether to recite a shehakol on the soup as well, or only a mezonos. It is advisable to recite a shehakol on something else so as to include the broth in the bracha.

        When a negligible amount of mezonos is floating in the broth, one will not recite a mezonos, as one does not necessarily want the mezonos - they just happen to be there.

Which bracha does one recite first, mezonos or shehakol?

One usually recites mezonos before all other berachos, but in this case, it is possible that after reciting mezonos one will not be able to recite shehakol, because the mezonos might include the broth.

The Mishna Berura [8] cites the Magen Avraham saying that one first recites shehakol, and then cites the Chayei Adam that it is proper to recite a shehakol on something else.

The Iggros Moshe writes that one first recites the mezonos. [9]

Is the halacha different for tomato soup with rice?

Even though the bracha for rice is mezonos, it does not share the same halachos as grain products. Consequently,

        Where rice enhances the broth, one will recite a shehakol only, because the rice is consumed as part of the soup.

        Where rice is as equally important as the broth, the majority is the decisive factor. Because rice is not of the five grains, we do not say mezonos in this case as it loses its importance.

[1] The five grains, not rice.

[2] See MB 212:1.

[3] If only a small amount of barley in the soup we will soon see.

[4] See MB siman 208:48 and Oruch HaShulchan 212:!.

[5] See " ' .

[6] A difficult issue and is based on ".

[7] Rav Sternbuch paskens that when one will always have mezonos in ones spoon, one only recites mezonos. Consequently, the preferred course of action would be to recite mezonos on the soup nuts and shehakol on something else.

[8] Siman 208:23.

[9] Chelek aleph siman 69.


Vort on the Parsha

The sefer says that the commandment that prescribes the Kohen Gadol to adorn bells is to affirm to his brothers outside that he is still alive in the Kodesh Hakodoshim. It is for this reason that he would only offer a short prayer, during which time he would not move and cause them to think he might not be alive, because a longer prayer would alarm his brothers outside.

We can learn from this how one should be concerned for others. If an action can lead to concern, consternation, alarm, ill feelings etc. to others, one must do ones utmost to allay such feelings, as one should do all in ones capacity not to cause others anguish.

For a printed version, click here.



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