Halacha Club

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried


Chapter 52 : The Berachos of Borei Peri Ha'eitz and Borei Peri Ha'adamah and Shehakol

§1

Over fruits that grow on a tree you say the berachah Borei peri ha'eitz, [Who created the fruit of the tree]. Over fruit [or vegetables] that grow in the ground, which include varions condiments, vegetables, legumes, corn, and herbs, you say the berachah, Borei peri ha'adamah. [Who created the fruit of the ground]. In order to be called a tree, it must have branches that survive the winter to produce leaves again, even though they are as thin as stalks of flax. However, [a plant] whose branches perish in the winter, although its roots remain intact, is not called a tree, and over its fruit we saw, Borei peri ha'adamah.


§2

[Before partaking of] food which does not grow in the earth such as meat, fish, milk, and cheese, and, similarly, [before drinking] any beverage other than wine and olive oil, you say the berachah Shehakol niyah bidevaro [through Whose word everything came to be]. The word niyah should be pronounced with a kametz under the yud.


§3

Even though mushrooms and truffles, grow in the moisture of the earth, they do not receive nourishment from the earth, but rather from the atmosphere. Therefore, they cannot be called fruit of the ground, and you should say Shehakol over them.


§4

We say the berachah Borei peri ha'eitz and Borei peri ha'adamah only over articles of foods which are best eaten raw and which, as a rule, are eaten raw. However, if it is not the custom to eat them raw, but only when cooked, even though they could also be eaten raw, nevertheless, since that is not the favored way [they are eaten], their berachah is said only when they are eaten in their cooked state. But if you do eat them raw, you should recite only Shehakol. Pickled food is considered as cooked food. Consequently, before eating sauerkraut you should say Borei peri ha'adamah. Similarly, salted food is considered the same as cooked food.


§5

Before eating radishes, you should say Borei peri ha'adamah. Likewise, over garlic and onions that are soft and can be eaten raw, although, as a rule, they are eaten with bread, nevertheless, even if you eat them without bread, you recite over them Borei peri ha'adamah. But if the [garlic or onions] have grown old which give them a very strong flavor, so that they are not usually eaten raw, then, if you do eat them raw, you should say the berachah Shehakol.


§6

[If you eat] articles of food that taste better raw than cooked, because cooking spoils them, then you should say over them when they are cooked, only the berachah Shehakol. Even if they are cooked with meat and their taste improved because of the meat, nevertheless, since the meat is the main dish, we recite over them only the berachah, Shehakol. However, if they were cooked in a way that made them into the main dish, or if [the cooking] improved them, as for example, when they were fried in oil or in honey, and the like, you should say their appropriate berachah, since it makes no difference whether they were cooked in water or in oil or in honey, [as long as the food itself was improved by the cooking process].


§7

Inferior kinds of fruit that grow on brambles and thorn-bushes or on other trees which grow wild and are not planted, such as wild apples and the like, which when raw are not fit to eat, [then] even if they are cooked or fried in honey and sugar and made edible, you should recite Shehakol over them. But hazel nuts, although they grow [wild] in the forest, are considered superior articles of food and you should recite Borei peri ha'eitz over them.


§8

Herbs which grow wild without cultivation are fit to eat raw. If they are cooked and made into a special dish, nevertheless, since they were not cultivated [by man], they are not considered a fruit [of the ground] and you should say Shehakol over them. But lettuce and similar [vegetables] that are planted require the berachah, Borei peri ha'adamah. Furthermore, regarding herbs that grow wild, if they produce superior fruit, such as blackberries and raspberries, the berachah said over them is Borei peri ha'adamah.


§9

That which is not the main part of the fruit, is not considered as the fruit itself, but is one level lower. If it is the fruit of a tree, you say over the secondary part the berachah, Borei peri ha'adamah; and if it is the fruit of the ground, you say over the secondary part the berachah, Shehakol. Therefore, a caper tree whose leaves are edible, and where its leaves [are joined with the stem] there are small [edible] buds like the growths at the juncture of willow leaves, and the caper-berries form the main part of the fruit, while the caper flowers are only a peel around the fruit, like the shell of a nut, but are also edible. [Consequently], over the berries which constitute the fruit itself, you say the berachah Borei peri ha'eitz, and over the leaves and the little buds and the flowers, [you say] Borei peri ha'adamah. Likewise, over preserves made of rose leaves with honey and sugar, you say the berachah, Borei peri ha'adamah, for although they grow on trees, they are not fruit. Similarly, over preserves made of orange peel, honey, and sugar, you say the berachah, Borei peri ha'adamah. Over cucumber peel that was fried with honey and sugar, you say the berachah Shehakol. Over the pods of peas that are cultivated in the fields, even though they taste sweet, yet, if you ate them without the peas, you should recite the berachah, Shehakol. But those which have been grown in gardens for the purpose of eating them raw in their pods, even if you only eat the pods, you should say the berachah, Borei peri ha'adamah.


§10

Over the seeds of fruit that are sweet, you say the berachah, Borei peri ha'adamah. But bitter tasting seeds are worth nothing at all, and if you eat them, you do not say a berachah. But if you make them pleasant-tasting by roasting them, or in any other way, you say the berachah, Shehakol, over them.


§11

Small almonds are bitter and the principal food for which they are planted is the shell which is not bitter, and over these you recite the berachah, Borei pen ha'eitz. But when they are large, the principal food [are the kernels] which are inside the shell. If these taste bitter, and you eat them [raw], you do not say any berachah. But if you made them pleasant-tasting by roasting them or in any other way, since they are fruit and were planted for that purpose, you say the berachah, Borei peri ha'eitz over them. Over sugar-coated almonds even if there is more sugar than almond [in the confection], nevertheless, you say the berachah Borei pen ha'eitz. Over sugar-coated calamus [an aromatic root], you only say Shehakol, since calamus is not a fruit.


§12

It is customary to fry unripe fruit in honey or sugar, you should say the berachah, Shehakol over them. But over an esrog (citron) that was fried in honey or sugar, you should recite the berachah Borei peri ha'eitz.


§13

Over spoiled fruit, such as, fruit that has become parched by the heat and has fallen off the tree before becoming ripe, you should say the berachah, Shehakol. Likewise, over moldy bread or over a slightly spoiled dish, the berachah, Shehakol, should be said. But if they are completely spoiled, to the point that they are inedibie, then you need not say any berachah. Similarly, over strong vinegar (which bubbles when it is poured on the ground), no berachah is said. But if you mix it with water, and it becomes fit to drink, you should say Shehakol over it.


§14

There are types of fruit which never ripen on the tree, but after they are picked from the tree they are stored [and covered] with straw and chaff and the like, and in that way they become ripe. Since that is their natural way of ripening, you recite the berachah, Borei peri ha'eitz, over them.


§15

There are certain kinds of fruit that contain only juice that is concentrated in their seeds. ([In Yiddish] they are called koines.) [These seeds] are not fit to eat; and after the juice is extracted from them they are thrown away. Over this extraction, you recite Shehakol, (since its main component is the juice that is extracted from it, in no way can it be considered a fruit). Even if you eat the skin and the seeds as well, you still should only say Shehakol.


§16

We say neither the berachah Borei peri ha'eitz nor Borei peri ha'adamah unless we can at least slightly recognize the fruit. But if they are so crushed that they are unrecognizable, as for example, prune paste (lekvar) which is made of cooked prunes, or mashed peas, etc., then we say Shehakol over them. But if, after the fact, you said the berachah that was appropriate for their kind, you have fulfilled your obligation. However, if the accepted way of eating these fruits is in a crushed form, by completely mashing them, then you say even initially the berachah that was meant for them.


§17

Over rice and millet that have been cooked, if they have not been mashed, you say the berachah, Borei peri ha'adamah. But if they were mashed or ground [into flour], and you made bread out of them, there is a difference between rice and millet. [Technically], according to the law, over rice, you should say Borei minei mezonos, and the berachah, Shehakol, over millet; but we are not certain whether the Hebrew word orez means rice, and the Hebrew word dochan means millet, for vice versa]. Therefore, a God fearing person should eat mashed millet and rice only as part of a meal. However, in an emergency, if you have no bread, you should say over both rice and millet, the berachah, Shehakol, and the after-berachah Borei nefashos rabbos. Over bread made of cornmeal, even in places where such bread is the staple food, the berachah, Shehakol should be recited.


§18

Over sugar you say the berachah, Shehakol. Likewise, if you chew sugar cane, you say Shehakol. Also [over] cinnamon and licorice that you chew and only enjoy the flavor, and you discard the substance, you say the berachah, Shehakol.