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(File size: 13.66 MB)
If One Ate Half a “Ke’zayit” of Fruit Requiring “Al Ha’etz,” and Half a “Ke’zayit” of Other Fruit

Presented by Rav Gidon Ben-Moshe of Jerusalem

If a person ate a "Ke’zayit" or more of fruit that requires the recitation of "Al Ha’etz" – such as dates, figs or grapes – and also a "Ke’zayit" of vegetables (that grow directly from the ground, as opposed to trees), he must recite both "Al Ha’etz" and "Boreh Nefashot." Hacham Ovadia Yosef ruled that in such a case, the individual should first recite "Boreh Nefashot," since it is possible that the Beracha of "Al Ha’etz" – which includes the generic phrase "Tenubat Ha’sadeh" ("the produce of the land") – covers all fruits and vegetables. In order to avoid this uncertainty, it is preferable in such a case to first recite "Boreh Nefashot" over the vegetables, and then recite "Al Ha’etz" over the dates, for example.

It should be added, though, that when one recites "Boreh Nefashot" in this case, he should have specific intention for the Beracha not to cover the dates, so that he can then recite "Al Ha’etz" without any concern.

The Halachic authorities debate the question of whether one recites a Beracha Aharona if he ate only half a "Ke’zayit" of a fruit requiring "Al Ha’etz," and half a "Ke’zayit" of another fruit – for example, half a "Ke’zayit" of dates and half a "Ke’zayit" of apple. It goes without saying that in such a case one cannot recite "Al Ha’etz," since he ate only half a "Ke’zayit" of foods requiring this Beracha. However, one might consider requiring the person in this situation to recite "Boreh Nefashot." Although normally dates require "Al Ha’etz," one could argue that the case under discussion is no less than that of a person who ate half a "Ke’zayit" of apple and half a "Ke’zayit" of banana, for example, who can recite "Boreh Nefashot."

Hacham Ovadia, in Yabia Omer, ruled that no Beracha is recited in such a case. After all, there is a debate among the Halachic authorities as to whether the recitation of "Boreh Nefashot" fulfills the obligation to recite "Al Ha’etz." According to the view that one does not fulfill the obligation to recite "Al Ha’etz" through the recitation of "Boreh Nefashot," Hacham Ovadia asserts, the foods requiring these different Berachot must be seen as entirely separate and distinct from one another as far as Halacha is concerned. Therefore, they cannot combine into a single Shiur (minimum quantity) to require the recitation of a Beracha Aharona. Hence, if one ate half a "Ke’zayit" of one category of food, and half a "Ke’zayit" of the other category of food, he does not recite a Beracha Aharona, since he did not eat a "Ke’zayit" of either type of food.

However, the Magen Abraham (Rav Abraham Gombiner, Poland, 1633-1683) cites the Kenesset Ha’gedola (Rav Haim Benbenishti, Turkey, 1603-1673) as requiring one to recite "Boreh Nefashot" in such a case, and this is also the view of the Ben Ish Hai (Rav Yosef Haim of Baghdad, 1833-1909) and Hacham Bension Abba Shaul (Israel, 1924-1998).

In explaining his ruling, Hacham Bension drew a distinction between the case of one who ate a "Ke’zayit" of a food requiring "Al Ha’etz" and then recited "Boreh Nefashot," and the case of one who ate half a "Ke’zayit" of each type of food. He noted that if one ate a "Ke’zayit" of a food requiring "Al Ha’etz," he became obligated to recite "Al Ha’etz," and this obligation – according to some Halachic authorities – cannot be satisfied through the recitation of "Boreh Nefashot." However, this ruling does not affect the case of one who ate half a "Ke’zayit" of dates and half a "Ke’zayit" of apple, because in such a case, the person never became obligated to recite "Al Ha’etz." Here, the question is whether the two foods can combine to obligate the individual to recite "Boreh Nefashot," which is entirely distinct from the question as to whether "Boreh Nefashot" fulfills the obligation to recite "Al Ha’etz." Hacham Bension thus felt that if one ate half a "Ke’zayit" of dates and half a "Ke’zayit" of apple, since he received enjoyment from a "Ke’zayit" of food, he bears the obligation to recite "Boreh Nefashot."

This perspective led Hacham Bension to yet another conclusion. There is a separate debate among the Poskim regarding the volume of a "Ke’zayit," as some define this amount as just about 30 grams, while others maintain that a "Ke’zayit" is 18 grams. Accordingly, Hacham Bension ruled that if a person ate 18 grams of dates and then some apple, he should not recite any Beracha Aharona. Since according to one view, he has eaten a complete "Ke’zayit" of dates, in which case he has become obligated to recite "Al Ha’etz," he cannot recite "Boreh Nefashot," a Beracha which is not warranted according to that view. Neither can he recite "Al Ha’etz," because according to the other view, he did not eat a "Ke’zayit" of dates.

Summary: If a person ate half a "Ke’zayit" of a fruit requiring "Al Ha’etz," and half a "Ke’zayit" of a fruit requiring "Boreh Nefashot" (such as half a "Ke’zayit" of dates and half a "Ke’zayit" of apple), then according to some Poskim, he should recite "Boreh Nefashot," though according to Hacham Ovadia Yosef, he does not recite any Beracha Aharona.


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