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Changes in the Text of “Me’en Shalosh” When One Eats Products Grown in Israel

The Beracha recited after one eats grain products or fruit of the special species of Eretz Yisrael (grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates), or after drinking wine, is called "Me’en Shalosh" (literally, "resembling the three"). It is so named because it essentially constitutes a condensed version of the three blessings of Birkat Ha’mazon. In "Me’en Shalosh" we thank Hashem for the food He has given us, like in the first Beracha of Birkat Ha’mazon ("Ha’zan Et Ha’olam"); we thank Him for the Land of Israel, like in the second Beracha of Birkat Ha’mazon ("Nodeh Lecha"); and we pray for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, like in the third Beracha of Birkat Ha’mazon ("Rahem"). In truth, "Me’en Shalosh" also consists of the passage, "Ki Ata Hashem Tob U’metib," which summarizes the theme of the fourth blessing of Birkat Ha’mazon. However, as the Mishna Berura explains, the fourth Beracha of Birkat Ha’mazon was instituted by the Sages, and is not required on the level of Biblical obligation, and so we call the condensed version "Me’en Shalosh," making reference only to the three Berachot required on the level of Torah law.

After eating a Ke’zayit of grain products, such as crackers, cake or cookies, one recites the blessing of "Al Ha’mihya," which concludes with the phrase, "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya." If one ate products made from grain grown in the Land of Israel, then the text of this conclusion is changed to "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah." In practice, however, this Halacha rarely applies, because the vast majority of wheat flour used in producing food in Israel today is imported from other countries. The exception is Matza Shemura, for which wheat is grown especially in Israel. Generally speaking, however, products made in Israel from wheat flour can be assumed to have been made from grain grown outside Israel, and one would conclude the Beracha with the phrase "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya."

A far more common case is fruit grown in Israel. If one eats grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives or dates that were grown outside Israel, the conclusion of the "Me’en Shalosh" is "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’perot," but if the fruit was grown in Israel, the text is changed to "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peroteha." Therefore, one who eats these fruits must first ascertain whether the fruit was grown in Israel or outside Israel, as this determines the text of the conclusion of the Beracha recited after eating.

An even more common case is wine produced from grapes in Israel. Some of the finest kosher wines today are produced by Israeli wineries, and thus much of the wine we consume is produced from grapes grown in the Land of Israel. The Beracha of "Me’en Shalosh" recited after drinking wine made from grapes grown outside Israel concludes with the text, "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peri Ha’gefen," but if the grapes were grown in Israel, the text is changed to "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peri Gafnah." Therefore, one must determine the origin of the wine he drinks in cases where "Me’en Shalosh" is required. This is practically relevant after Habdala, when one recites "Me’en Shalosh" over the wine, as well as when one recites Birkat Ha’mazon over a cup of wine, after which he drinks and must then recite "Me’en Shalosh." Likewise, at the Seder on Pesach, we recite "Me’en Shalosh" after drinking the fourth cup of wine, and so one must determine the wine’s origin in order to know which text should be recited at the conclusion of the Beracha.

Summary: When one eats products made from wheat grown in the Land of Israel, the conclusion of the Beracha Aharona is changed from "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’mihya" to "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Mihyatah." Practically speaking, this is all but inapplicable, as virtually all wheat flour used in Israeli food manufacturing is imported from other countries. More practically relevant are the changes made in the text of the Beracha Aharona after consuming Israeli fruit or Israeli wine. If one eats grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives or dates that were grown in Israel, the conclusion of the Beracha Aharona is changed from "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Ha’perot" to "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peroteha." If one drinks wine made from grapes grown in Israel, the conclusion of the Beracha Aharona is changed from "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peri Ha’gefen" to "Al Ha’aretz Ve’al Peri Gafnah."

 


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