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The Text of Al Ha’mihya For Products Made From Grains Grown in Israel

When a person eats fruit from the special species (grapes, olives, dates, pomegranates and figs), he recites after eating the Beracha of "Al Ha’etz," and the text of the conclusion of the Beracha depends on where the fruit was grown. If the fruit was grown in Eretz Yisrael, then the concluding passage is "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peroteha." If the fruit was grown outside Eretz Yisrael, then one recites the conclusion of "Al Ha’aretz Ve’a Ha’perot." (Of course, if one eats other fruits, such as apples or oranges, he recites "Boreh Nefashot.")

There is considerable discussion among the Halachic authorities as to whether such a distinction exists in the Beracha of "Al Ha’mihya" which one recites after eating grain products, such as cake or cookies. The Hida (Rav Haim Yosef David Azulai, 1724-1807) writes that as in the case with fruits, if one ate a product made from grains grown in Eretz Yisrael, he recites a special text for the conclusion of the Beracha. Namely, he recites, "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah," instead of "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya." The Hida writes that this was the accepted custom. Others, however, disputed this ruling, noting that if this were the case, then in Birkat Ha’mazon, too, one who ate bread made from grain grown in Eretz Yisrael should recite the text of "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mezonoteha" instead of "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mazon." The Hida responded to this challenge by noting that indeed, those Halachic authorities who require reciting "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah" at the end of "Al Ha’mihya" also require reciting "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mezonoteha" in Birkat Ha’mazon. But for whatever reason, the accepted custom was to make the change in "Al Ha’mihya" but not in Birkat Ha’mazon.

Hacham Ovadia Yosef ruled in accordance with the Hida’s position, that one who eats a product made from grain produced in Eretz Yisrael concludes his Beracha Aharona with the phrase, "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah." In practice, however, this Halacha is very rarely applicable. The vast majority of grain used in food production in Israel is imported from other countries, and thus if one eats a product made in Israel, he must assume that the grain from which it was made was grown outside Eretz Yisrael. As such, even after eating foods produced in Israel one recites "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya" and not "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah." One recites "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah" only if he knows that the grain was grown in Israel. An example would be products made from Masa meal produced from Masa Shemura that was baked in Israel, or if one eats the Masa Shemura itself after Pesah, and thus recites "Al Ha’mihyatah" after eating. The grain used for Masa Shemura is guarded from the time it is harvested, so obviously the grain used by factories in Israel must be grown in Israel. Therefore, if one eats Masa Shemura products, he recites the concluding text of "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah." Otherwise, however, one who eats grain products made in Israel recites the text of "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya."

These Halachot are discussed in Yalkut Yosef – Berchot, p. 205 (listen to audio recording for precise citation).

Summary: One who eats grain products made from grain grown in Eretz Yisrael recites the text of "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah" as the conclusion of the Beracha Aharona, as opposed to the standard conclusion of "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya." In practice, however, this Halacha rarely applies, since the vast majority of grain used in Israel is imported. This Halacha applies only with regard to products made from Masa Shemura produced in Israel, as the Masa is made with wheat grown in Israel.

 


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