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The Proper Text for the Conclusion of “Al Ha’mihya”

After one eats a Ke’zayit or more of "Mezonot" food, he recites the Beracha of "Al Ha’mihya," which concludes, "Baruch Ata Hashem Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya." In some versions of the text, particularly in the text found in older Siddurim from Baghdad, the blessing concludes, "Baruch Ata Hashem Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya Ve’al Ha’kalkala" – adding the words "Ve’al Ha’kalkala."

Hacham Ovadia Yosef, in several places (Halichot Olam, vol. 2, p. 122; Hazon Ovadia – Berachot, 198), strongly objected to the addition of the words "Ve’al Ha’kalkala." He cites the writings of numerous Rishonim (including the Abi Ezri, the Or Zaru’a, the Roke’ah, the Ra’a and the Tashbetz) which clearly indicate that the Beracha ends with the words, "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya," without the addition of "Ve’al Ha’kalkala."

Some people try to satisfy both traditions by adding the words "Ve’al Ha’kalkala" and then saying, "Eno Sarich" ("it is not needed"), as though clarifying that these words are not necessary according to some opinions. It is told (in the English edition of Yalkut Yosef, 207, based on She’elat Rav, 285) that Rav Haim Kanievsky (contemporary) was once asked about this practice, and he replied that somebody once suggested this practice to the Hazon Ish (Rav Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, 1878-1953), and he laughed. He remarked that there is no reason to add the words "Ve’al Ha’kalkala," and so there is no reason to find a way to legitimately insert these words.

This is the accepted practice. Although Rabbi Moshe Ha’levi (Israel, 1961-2000), in his Birkat Hashem (vol. 2), defended the practice of adding the words "Ve’al Ha’kalkala," Halacha follows the conventional view, that the Beracha should end, "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya." If one hears somebody conclude the Beracha with "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya Ve’al Ha’kalkala," he should try to answer "Amen" immediately after the words "Ve’al Ha’mihya," but if he did not, he may still recite "Amen" after "Ve’al Ha’kalkala" (as he will still be answering "Amen" within the period of "Toch Kedeh Dibur").

Summary: Although in some editions of "Al Ha’mihya," the Beracha concludes with the phrase, "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya Ve’al Ha’kalkala," the correct practice is to conclude the blessing with only the words, "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya," omitting the words, "Ve’al Ha’kalkala."

 


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