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Halachot Concerning the Berachot Over Wine, Fruit Juice and Coffee

The Beracha of "Boreh Peri Ha’gefen" recited over wine covers all beverages that one drinks subsequently. If a person recites "Ha’gefen" over wine and also wishes to drink another beverage, he does not recite "She’hakol" over that beverage, and instead drinks it without reciting a Beracha. "Ha’gefen" is similar in this regard to the Beracha of "Ha’mosi" recited over bread. Just as "Ha’mosi" covers all foods eaten as part of the meal, similarly, "Ha’gefen" covers all beverages drunk at that setting.

It must be emphasized that this applies only to beverages, and not to foods that require the Beracha of "She’hakol." Thus, for example, if a person drinks grape juice and eats fish, the Beracha of "Ha’gefen" recited over the grape juice does not cover the fish, and he would thus have to recite "She’hakol" over the fish, even though he would not have to recite "She’hakol" over drinks.

What is the status of fruit juice made from fruits that were planted specifically for juice? For example, Tropicana orange juice is made from oranges grown in orange groves that are planted specifically for this purpose. Does this affect the Beracha that should be recited over orange juice? Since these oranges were planted for their juice, do we consider the juice their primary purpose such that it requires the Beracha of "Boreh Peri Ha’etz," instead of "She’hakol"?

The Hazon Ish (Rav Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, 1879-1954) ruled that, indeed, the Beracha over fruit juice depends upon the purpose for which the fruits were planted. In his view, one would recite "Boreh Peri Ha’etz" over Tropicana orange juice and other fruit juices made from fruits that were grown specifically for the purpose of making juice. However, it appears that the Shulhan Aruch ruled differently, and accepted the position of the Rosh (Rabbenu Asher Ben Yehiel, Spain-Germany, 1250-1327), that the Beracha over fruit juice is "She’hakol" regardless of the purpose for which the fruits were grown. This is, indeed, the accepted Halacha, and thus one recites "She’hakol" over all fruit juices, even if they were made from fruits grown especially for this purpose.

Although it seems obvious that the Beracha over coffee is "She’hakol," there is an opinion that the proper Beracha for coffee is "Boreh Peri Ha’etz." This view is cited by the Hid"a (Rav Haim Yosef David Azoulai, 1724-1806). Halacha does not, of course, accept this position, but it nevertheless affects proper Halachic protocol in a case where one drinks coffee and also eats fruit. Hacham Ovadia Yosef, in his work Yabia Omer (vol. 8), writes that if one is drinking coffee and eating fruit, he should first recite "She’hakol" and drink some coffee, before reciting the Beracha of "Ha’etz" over the fruit. If one first recites "Ha’etz" over the fruit, he places himself in a situation where according to some views he must recite a Beracha over the coffee, whereas according to others the coffee was covered by the Beracha he has just recited. It is preferable to avoid this situation by ensuring to first recite "She’hakol" over the coffee before reciting "Ha’etz" over the fruit. Alternatively, he can first recite "Ha’etz" over the fruit but have specific intention for the Beracha not to cover the coffee, so that he is then required to recite "She’hakol" over the coffee according to all opinions. If he first recited the Beracha of "Ha’etz" without this intention, then he should not recite a Beracha over the coffee, given the possibility that the coffee was covered by the Beracha recited over the fruit.

Summary: The Beracha of "Ha’gefen" recited over wine covers all beverages that one drinks subsequently at that setting. The Beracha over fruit juice is "She’hakol," even if it was made from fruit planted specifically for its juice. The Beracha over coffee is "She’hakol," though there is a minority view that the Beracha is "Ha’etz." Therefore, if one drinks coffee and eats fruit, he should first recite "She’hakol" over the coffee before reciting "Ha’etz" over the fruit, or recite "Ha’etz" over the fruit with the specific intent that the Beracha should not cover the coffee. If he first recited "Ha’etz" over the fruit without this intent, then he should not recite a Beracha over the coffee.

 


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