Tu Bishvat Fruit
The proper blessing over some of the fruits eaten on Tu Bishvat is unclear:
The following is a short review:
Applesauce: Commercially produced applesauce in which the apples are
reduced to a nearly liquid state – shehakol. Homemade applesauce which is
usually lumpy and contains small pieces of the apple – ha-eitz.
Blueberry: Ha-eitz. It grows on a tree which stays alive throughout
the winter months and reaches a height of well over ten inches.
Chocolate-covered nut or raisin: This is a “combination food,”
generally eaten because the two items complement each other’s taste.
According to some poskim, both shehakol and ha-eitz are recited.
[Individuals who regard either the chocolate or the raisin as merely an
“enhancer” to the “main” food, should recite the blessing on the main food.]
Other poskim maintain that only the blessing over the majority ingredient is
recited. Still other poskim suggest that only ha-eitz should be said.
Chocolate-covered orange peels: Shehakol.
Cranberry: Ha-adamah. Cranberries grow on a bush which does not
reach a height of ten inches.
Fruit cocktail : Recite the blessing over the fruit that constitutes
the majority of the mixture.
Fruit salad (large chunks of fruit): Separate blessings of ha-eitz
and ha-adamah are required.
Potato chips: Ha-adamah.
Pringles: Ha-adamah. Some poskim maintain that a shehakol is
Raspberry: The poskim debate whether its blessing is ha-eitz or
ha-adamah. Because of the doubt, ha-adamah is preferable.
Tomato juice: Shehakol.
Question: When one wishes to eat several different foods at one
sitting, each requiring a different blessing, in what order must he recite
the blessings over the different foods?
Discussion: In addition to mandating a specific blessing for each of
the foods that we eat, Chazal also established a hierarchy of “more
important” and “less important” blessings. A blessing considered “more
important” takes precedence over a blessing considered “less important.”
There are various criteria that Chazal employed to determine the
“importance” of a blessings. The more exclusive and specific a particular
blessing is, e.g. ha-motzi, which is recited for bread only, the more
“important” it is. In addition a blessing is considered more “important” if
is recited over fruits of shivas ha-minim, if it is recited over foods which
are whole (as opposed to foods which have been cut up), and if it is recited
over foods which one enjoys and prefers.
The following, in order of preference, is the correct order for
blessings when eating several different kinds of foods, each of which
requires a different blessing:
1. Ha-motzi over bread.
2. Mezonos over cake, cookies and other “cake family” products, such as
3. Mezonos over pasta, cooked grain or cereal and other non-“cake family”
4. Mezonos over rice and rice products.
5. Ha-gafen over wine or grape juice.
6. Ha-eitz over shivas ha-minim.
7. Ha-eitz over other fruits.
8. Ha-adamah. When eating a ha-eitz item and a ha-adamah item, and the
ha-adamah item is the preferred food, ha-adamah is said first, even if
the ha-eitz is from shivas ha-minim.
10. The blessing over a pleasant fragrance.
Question: When one wishes to eat several different foods at one
sitting, each requiring the same blessing, does it matter which item one
Discussion: Yes. When faced with a variety of foods requiring the
same blessing, one recites a blessing first on the most “important” and best
food. The following is the correct order in which the foods should be eaten:
1. If the several foods are different types of bread, or different types of
cake, or different types of non-“cake family” mezonos, priority is given to
products made out of wheat; then barley, spelt, rye and oats in
descending order. [Note, however, that the hierarchal order of the grains
(wheat precedes barley, etc.), does not override the hierarchal order of the
blessings (ha-motzi precedes mezonos, etc.). Thus a ha-motzi on oat bread
(ha-motzi) will precede a mezonos on wheat cake (mezonos). Similarly, within
the mezonos category, a cake made out of oat flour (baked mezonos) will take
precedence over macaroni (boiled or cooked mezonos), even though macaroni is
made out of wheat flour and the cake was made out of oat flour.]
2. If the several foods are fruits of the shivas ha-minim, ha-eitz is
recited over olives first, then dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates in
3. If the several foods are non-shivas ha-minim fruits (or if the several
foods are shehakol type foods) priority is given to whichever fruit (or
food) is whole. If all the fruits (or foods) are whole or all are cut up,
then priority is given to the fruit (or food) that is usually preferred by
the eater [even if it is not necessarily his preference just then].
There are some exceptions to the above rules. The hierarchy of blessings
applies only if:
- One wishes to eat two or more foods at one sitting. If he wants to
eat only one food, for instance an apple, but there are also grapes on the
table before him, he need not be concerned that grapes take priority over
apples. He may make the blessing over the apple and eat only the apple.
- One's preference for a given food does not violate normal eating
patterns or mealtime routines. Thus one need not eat the fruit intended
for dessert before the meat of the main course, even though ha-eitz usually
has priority over shehakol. Also, if one is thirsty, he need not eat his
vegetables before drinking, even though ha-adamah is generally said before
- If preferring one food over the other will not result in a questionable
blessing being said. Some examples:
1. Shehakol on chocolate should be said before ha-eitz over fruit, since
some poskim hold that b’diavad the blessing of ha-eitz covers chocolate
2. Shehakol on pure (not from concentrate) orange juice should be said
before ha-eitz over fruit, since some poskim hold that b’diavad the
blessing of ha-eitz covers pure orange juice as well.
3. Shehakol on a soy-based product should be said before ha-adamah on
vegetables, since b’diavad some poskim hold that the blessing of
ha-adamah covers soy products as well.
 Based on Mishnah Berurah 202:40 and 42 and Minchas Shlomo 1:91-3. One
who recites ha-eitz on all kinds of applesauce has valid sources upon which
to rely; see Yabia Omer 7:29 and Pischei Halachah, pgs. 170-171.
 Igros Moshe O.C. 1:85; Vesein Berachah, pg. 396; Vezos ha-Berachah, pg.
372. Wild blueberries, which grow on bushes that do not reach a height of
ten inches, require a ha-adamah, but often, these berries are infested with
worms and require careful inspection.
 First the shehakol on a bit of chocolate, with specific intention not to
exempt the fruit, then the ha-eitz over the fruit.
 Igros Moshe O.C. 3:31.
 Rav S.Z. Auerbach (quoted in Vesein Berachah, pg. 417); Rav Y.S.
Elyashiv (quoted in Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 97). When in doubt which
ingredient is the majority, recite a shehakol; ibid.
 Mekor ha-Berachah 22.
Mishnah Berurah 202:39.
 Rav S.Z. Auerbach (quoted in Vesein Berachah, pg. 394).
 Or a fruit salad in which the fruit is cut up into small pieces and
eaten together in one spoonful.
 Mishnah Berurah 212:1. Different kinds of ha-eitz fruits (e.g., apples
and oranges) combine to form a majority of ha-eitz, and vice versa (Vezos
ha-Berachah, pg. 94, quoting Rav S.Z. Auerbach and Rav Y.S. Elyashiv).
 Rav S.Z. Auerbach (quoted in Vesein Berachah, pg. 415).
 Rav Y.S. Elyashiv (quoted in Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 375, note 66);
Yechaveh Da’as 4:52; Vesein Berachah, pgs. 395 and 422; Pischei Halachah,
 Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 102, quoting several poskim.
 Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:48-5.
 Rav S.Z. Auerbach (quoted in Vesein Berachah, pg. 407); Rav Y.S.
Elyashiv (quoted in Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 239).
 Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 365.
 Mishnah Berurah 303:1; Aruch ha-Shulchan 303:5; Pischei Halachah, pg. 154.
 Taz 304:8; Ketzos ha-Shulchan 49:6.
 Rav S.Z. Auerbach and Rav Y.S. Elyashiv (quoted in Vesein Berachah, pg.
 Vesein Berachah, pg. 396; Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 370.
 Rav S.Z. Auerbach (Vesein Berachah, pg. 429); Rav Y.S. Elyashiv (Vezos
ha-Berachah, pg. 374, note 45).
 Yechaveh Da’as 2:21.
 Igros Moshe O.C. 1:86.
 L'chatchilah; b'diavad the order does not invalidate the blessings.
 Based on O.C. 211, according to Mishnah Berurah. There are other
opinions as well.
 Whether or not rice comes before wine or shivas ha-minim is
questionable — there is no clear-cut custom or decision; see Vezos
ha-berachah, pg. 124. If the rice is the preferred food, then all poskim
agree that it has priority over ha-gafen and shivas ha-minim; see Piskei
 "Preferred" means that this fruit is usually preferred by him and it is
also preferred by him now. If the ha-eitz is preferred by him now — even
though usually he would prefer the ha-adamah — ha-eitz is recited.
 If neither fruit is preferred, some poskim hold that a shivas ha-minim
fruit is first while others hold that the whole one is first.
 Aruch ha-Shulchan 211:17 rules that shehakol over food should be said
before shehakol over a drink. But the Mishnah Berurah does not mention this,
and the Peri Megadim (Mishbetzos, 211:6) specifically says that neither has
priority; the blessing should be recited on the preferred item.
 In this case, there are situations when the wrong order could result in
a berachah levatalah, an unnecessary blessing, since a blessing specifically
recited on a “less important” item would not automatically include a “more
important” item, even if both items are of the same blessing and both are on
the table; see Mishnah Berurah 211:32-33.
 Rye bread sold in today's bakeries is made (mostly) from wheat. The
same holds true for oatmeal cookies.
 Rama, O.C. 211:5.
 See Kaf ha-Chayim 211:5.
 See Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 126, quoting Rav Y.S. Elyashiv and other poskim.
 See Minchas Shlomo 1:91-2 and Shevet ha-Levi 8:27 for the halachic
debate concerning the proper blessing over chocolate.
 See Sha’ar ha-Tziyun 202:54 and 205:21, Chazon Ish 33:5 and Shevet
 See Piskei Teshuvos 202, note 118.
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