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Does the Beracha of “She’ha’kol” Recited Over Food Cover Beverages?

The Poskim address the case of a person who recites a "She’ha’kol" over a piece of fish, and then some beer is brought to the table. The question arises as to whether he must repeat the Beracha of "She’ha’kol" over the beer, assuming he did not have any particular intention when reciting the Beracha that it should or should not cover other items.

When it comes to food products, it is clear that if a person recited a Beracha over a food, and then another food requiring the same Beracha is served, he does not repeat the Beracha (again, assuming he had no particular intention when he recited the Beracha that it should not cover other foods). In this case, however, the Beracha was recited over a food product, and then a beverage was served. The Mishna Berura (Rav Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin, 1839-1933) writes (206:21) that in this case, the Beracha must be repeated. Since foods and beverages are completely different types of products, the Beracha recited on one cannot cover the other without specific intention that it should. This is based on the ruling of the Magen Abraham (Rav Abraham Gombiner, Poland, 1633-1683).

Hacham Ovadia Yosef, however, both in Halichot Olam (vol. 2, p. 87), and in Hazon Ovadia – Berachot (p. 180), cites a responsum of the Mahari Farachi (Rav Yaakob Farachi, Egypt, 1660-1730) disputing the Magen Abraham’s position. He noted that the Shulhan Aruch writes plainly that a Beracha recited on one item covers another item requiring the same Beracha if there was no specific intent to limit the Beracha, and does not make an exception in the case where the Beracha was recited over food and then a beverage was served. If such a distinction existed, the Shulhan Aruch would have certainly mentioned it. The Shulhan Aruch’s silence in this regard thus clearly indicates that even if one recited "She’ha’kol" over a food product, and then a beverage was served, the Beracha is not repeated, unless the person specifically intended for his Beracha not to cover other items. This is, indeed, the Halacha.

However, in the English edition of Yalkut Yosef – Berachot (vol. 2, p. 140), it is mentioned that one should preferably avoid this issue by having specific intention whenever he recites the Beracha of "She’ha’kol" that the Beracha should cover all "She’ha’kol" products eaten afterward. If the Beracha was recited with this intention, then according to all opinions the Beracha is not repeated when a beverage is brought to the table, and so it is preferable to have this intention in order to satisfy all opinions.

Summary: If a person recited "She’ha’kol" over food, and another food or beverage requiring "She’ha’kol" was then served, the Beracha is not repeated, unless the individual had specifically intended for the Beracha to cover only the original food. Preferably, whenever one recites "She’ha’kol" over food, he should have specific intention for it to cover all items requiring "She’ha’kol," in order to satisfy the opinions that the Beracha would otherwise not cover beverages.


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