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Which Beracha Does One Recite Over Sugar-Coated Almonds?

Different opinions exist as to the Beracha recited over Labas – almonds with a thick coating of sugar. The Mishna Berura (Rav Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin, 1839-1933) writes (204) that one recites "Ha’etz," just like over ordinary almonds, because the almond is the primary component and the sugar is secondary. The Ben Ish Hai (Rav Yosef Haim of Baghdad, 1833-1909), by contrast, felt that neither the almond nor the sugar can be regarded as primary or secondary, and therefore a separate Beracha must be recited over each. He ruled that one should first scrape off some sugar and recite "She’hakol" over the sugar, followed by "Ha’etz" over the almond. This view is brought by Rav Yisrael Bitan in Yalkut Yosef.

A third view is that of Hacham Bension Abba Shaul (Israel, 1924-1998), who maintained that given the uncertainty surrounding the Beracha over Labas, one should simply recite "She’ha’kol." This was the practice followed in Baghdad, despite the ruling of its Rabbi, the Ben Ish Hai.

All three views are valid, and therefore one can either recite "Ha’etz," recite "She’ha’kol," or recite separate Berachot over the sugar and over the almond.

Summary: Three views exist as to the Beracha over Labas – almonds with a thick coating of sugar – and all three are valid: 1) "Ha’etz"; 2) "She’ha’kol"; 3) "She’hakol" over some of the sufgar sugar, followed by "Ha’etz" over the almond.


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