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The Beracha of “She’ha’kol”

The Aruch Ha’shulhan (Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein of Nevarduk, 1829-1908) observes an intriguing difference between the Beracha of "She’ha’kol" and most of the other Berachot we recite before eating. Other Berachot use the verb "Bara" ("create") – "Boreh Peri Ha’adama," "Boreh Peri Ha’etz," "Boreh Mineh Mezonot." In the Beracha of "She’ha’kol," however, we use the verb "Niheya," which means "made," as opposed to "create."

To explain this difference, the Aruch Ha’shulhan writes that the verb "Bara" refers to a new creation, and we therefore use it in Berachot over food items that are produced anew each year – fruits, vegetables, grains, and so on. The Beracha of "She’ha’kol," by contrast, is recited over things like meat and fish, which come from animals – creatures that are not recreated anew. Therefore, the more appropriate verb is "Niheya," as opposed to "Bara."

There are different texts of the Beracha of "She’ha’kol," as some Ashkenazim recite, "She’ha’kol Niheyeh Bi’dbaro." The custom among Sepharadim, however, is to recite, "Niheya," not "Niheyeh," and everybody should follow his or her community’s custom.

Summary: In the text of the Beracha of "She’ha’kol," there are those who recite, "She’ha’kol Niheyeh Bi’dbaro," but Sephardic custom is to pronounce the word as "Niheya," and not "Niheyeh."


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