כ״ד באלול ה׳תשע״ב (September 11, 2012)

Berakhot 41a-b: Making Order of Blessings

The Mishna (daf 40) cited a dispute with regard to the order in which one is supposed to recite the blessings when there were many types of food before him. Rabbi Yehuda ruled: If there is one of the seven species for which Eretz Yisrael was praised among them, he recites the first blessing over it. And the Rabbis taught: He recites a blessing over whichever of them he wants. The Gemara on today’s daf discusses this disagreement.

Ulla said: This dispute is specifically in a case where the blessings to be recited over each type of food are the same, as in that case Rabbi Yehuda holds: The type of the seven species takes precedence, and the Rabbis hold: The preferred type takes precedence, and a blessing is recited over it first. However, when their blessings are not the same, everyone agrees that one must recite a blessing over this type of food and then recite another blessing over that, ensuring that the appropriate blessing is recited over each type of food.

There are two opinions about the halakhic ruling in this case. According to one opinion (the Rosh), the halakhah is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, as explained in the Gemara: With regard to fruits which require the same blessing, one recites a blessing over the item which is one of the seven species, as in that case Rabbi Yehuda agrees with the Rabbis (Taz); and if none of the food items is one of the seven species, one recites a blessing over whichever he prefers or whichever he likes better. According to the second opinion (Rambam), the halakhah is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, and one recites a blessing over that which he likes better first, and if he likes them both the same, he recites a blessing over that which is of the seven species first. The halakhic conclusion is unclear. While the Mishna Berurah prefers the first opinion, others hold that one may decide to conduct himself in accordance with whichever position he prefers (Shulḥan Arukh HaRav based on the Taz. See also Rambam Sefer Ahava, Hilkhot Berakhot 8:13 and the Shulḥan Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim 211:1).

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