INSIGHTS INTO THE DAILY DAF
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses what blessing is recited on "Terimah," or mashed dates. When the dates are mashed into a somewhat solid paste, the blessing is "Borei Pri ha'Etz," because they are considered to remain in their original form. RASHI (DH Terimah Mahu) explains that this applies when the pressed fruits are crushed only a little and are not entirely pulverized. If they are entirely pulverized, the blessing is "sheha'Kol."
The question regarding the blessing for "Terimah" has common, practical applications. What blessing does one recite on mashed potatoes, mashed avocado, apple sauce, and the like? From the Gemara here, it is clear that mashed potatoes and mashed avocado retain their original blessings because their form has not been changed in an essential way. In contrast, the blessing for apple sauce or any fruit placed into a blender or reconstituted such that the original fruit is no longer discernible is "sheha'Kol."
Are there any exceptions to this Halachah?
ANSWERS: There are a number of exceptions to the Halachah regarding the blessing for mashed fruits and vegetables.
(a) If there are actual pieces of the original fruit in the mashed product, one should recite "Borei Pri ha'Etz" on the pieces of fruit and exempt the rest with that blessing. (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt'l, points out that since there are opinions that maintain that the mashed product is "Borei Pri ha'Etz" even if it is completely pulverized (unlike the opinion of Rashi), one may rely on that opinion when there are actual pieces of fruit in the mixture.)
(b) If the fruit is usually eaten when it is completely crushed (i.e. in its changed form), then one recites the blessing that one would have made on the original fruit (MISHNAH BERURAH 202:44). For this reason, one recites "Borei Pri ha'Adamah" on popcorn (which is produced from a special type of "popping corn").
(c) The blessing for a mashed fruit that is one of the seven species is "sheha'Kol." However, if one ate enough to recite a Berachah Acharonah, then a doubt exists regarding what Berachah Acharonah to recite. The Mishnah Berurah (202:42) writes that it is best to eat something for which one definitely must recite "Al ha'Peros," and something else for which one definitely must recite "Borei Nefashos," and then to recite both blessings afterwards in order to avoid the doubt.
QUESTION: The Gemara states that saying "Motzi" in the blessing for bread is valid according to all opinions. Saying "ha'Motzi" is subject to dispute, but the Gemara concludes that it is also a valid blessing. The Halachah is that we recite "ha'Motzi."
Why does the Gemara conclude that we should say "ha'Motzi" if "Motzi" is more fitting?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH v'Hilchesa) answers that we should say "ha'Motzi" in the blessing in order to create a break between the word "ha'Olam," which ends with the letter "Mem," and the word "Motzi," which begins with the letter "Mem," so that we do not slur the words and say "ha'Olamotzi" inadvertently.
QUESTION: The Gemara says that any fruit or vegetable which is cooked retains the blessing that is recited on the original fruit or vegetable, unless it becomes worse after it is cooked (such as garlic and leek). Therefore, one who cooks apples, pears, or plums recites "Borei Pri ha'Etz" even after the fruit is cooked, because the fruit does not lose its taste or status through cooking.
Garlic, on the other hand, loses some of its taste when it is cooked. Therefore its blessing is "sheha'Kol."
What blessing does one recite on raw garlic?
ANSWER: One recites "Borei Pri ha'Adamah" on raw garlic However, the MISHNAH BERURAH (205:5) points out (in the name of the Acharonim) that "ha'Adamah" is recited only on raw soft garlic, which can be eaten raw. One who eats raw hard garlic (such as the garlic that we commonly have) recites "sheha'Kol," because hard garlic is not normally eaten alone, or raw. The same Halachah applies to onions.