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Chapter 50: 4-6
Blessings Before Eating

4. [A person may also be required to recite a second blessing in the following circumstances.] He was holding a fruit in his hand and recited a blessing over it. He then dropped the fruit and it became lost or spoiled to the point that it was no longer fit to be eaten. Alternatively, he was holding a drink in his hand, recited a blessing, and then spilled the drink.

If more of this type of food was before him and he had originally intended to partake of more than he was holding in his hand, then the other food was included in the original blessing. Therefore, he need not recite a second blessing. However, if he did not have a specific intention to eat or drink more [even though he did not specifically intend to restrict himself to the fruit or drink in his hand], the blessing applies only to the food that he was holding. Hence, he must recite a second blessing.

The latter ruling also applies when the person intended to eat or drink more, but that food was not before him when he recited the original blessing. Even in a situation where he would normally not have to recite a second blessing on the food that was brought to him, different rules apply [when he is prevented from partaking of the food over which he recited the first blessing].*

* {The Mishnoh B'rurah 206:26 maintains that a second blessing is not recited if the same type of food was present before him, and he did not have a specific intention to restrict his eating to the food he was holding. Similarly, if he had a definite intention to eat more, even though that food was not before him when he recited the original blessing, a second blessing is not required.}

5. A person may not hesitate more than momentarily [i.e., the amount of time it takes to say sholom alecho, Rebbe] between reciting a blessing before food and partaking of it. Even while chewing, it is forbidden to make any interruptions until one swallows the food (for, as explained in Law 7, chewing food [without swallowing it] does not require a blessing). A person who spoke about matters not related to the food between the blessing and eating must repeat the blessing. However, though he waited a prolonged period in silence, there is no need to recite the blessing again.

Waiting that is required for the food itself is not considered a hesitation. Accordingly, a person who desires to partake of a large fruit after cutting it up into smaller pieces should recite the blessing while the fruit is whole, for it is a mitzvah to recite a blessing over food which is whole.* The amount of time he must wait while cutting the fruit is not considered an interruption, for it is required in order to partake of the food.

* {The Misgeres Hashulchon (3) states that fruit which must be peeled - e.g, oranges - should be peeled before one recites the blessing. The removal of the peel does not prevent it from being considered as whole.)

Nevertheless, should one desire to recite a blessing over a fruit and have only one of that particular fruit, and the possibility exists that the fruit is worm-infested and unfit to be eaten, one should open the fruit and check it before reciting the blessing.

6. A person who customarily pours out a small amount of water before drinking, out of fear that some of the water is bad, should do so before he recites the blessing. Doing so afterwards is a mark of disrespect to the blessing.

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