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Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 206 – Doubts, Interruptions and mistakes

  1. If you said Hoadama on a tree-fruit it’s okay. But Hoaytz on fruit of the ground does not discharge your obligation. Therefore, if you have a doubt about which of these two berachos you should say, say Hoadama. (ShA1)
  2. Regarding tree-fruit whose beracha was downgraded either because it isn’t the main fruit or because of its immature state – if you said Hoaytz on it, b’dieved you are yotzay. (MB2)
  3. Regarding a vegetable or legume whose beracha was downgraded to Shehakol because you ate it raw when it would be better cooked – if you said Hoadama on it, b’dieved you are yotzay. (MB2 – ShaH208:43)
  4. Regarding a vegetable or legume whose beracha was downgraded to Shehakol because you ruined it by cooking it – if you said Hoadama on it, b’dieved you are yotzay. (ShaH 208:43)
  5. A Shehakol can discharge your obligation, b’dieved, even for bread and wine. (ShA1)
  6. A beracha Hoadama (said on a vegetable) cannot exempt a fruit that you will eat, because you did not have intention for it. The same applies when saying a Shehakol – it will not automatically exempt any other beracha-category that you will eat. (MB8,9)
  7. Do not interrupt with silence between the beracha and the eating for enough time it takes to say “Shalom olecha rebbi”. If you did delay, even for a long time, you do not have to repeat the beracha – as long as your attention wasn’t distracted from it. (ShA3 – MB12)
  8. Do not say a word between the beracha and the eating – even to someone you must respect or fear – even to answer omayn or any dovor shebikdusha. If you did, repeat the beracha. (MB12)
  9. The above two halachos apply likewise to berachos before mitzvos. (MB11
  10. Do not say a beracha on something too hot or cold, you might make a hefsek. (MB12)
  11. If, after you say the beracha, you realise the food is not your taste, eat a little bit of it so the beracha will not end up l’vattalla. The same applies if you found it to be rotten – if there is a part unaffected, eat that little bit. (MB12, 24)
  12. Pour the water before the beracha and crack the nut before the beracha – all to minimise hefsek. (MB12)
  13. You should say the beracha loud enough to hear yourself. B’dieved, it’s okay as long as you put forth the beracha from your lips and didn’t just think the words. (ShA3 – MB13)
  14. Blessings can be said in any language. (ShA3)
  15. Other prerequisites:
    • Cover the erva.
    • The heart should not “see” the erva.
    • A man’s head must be covered. (ShA3)
  16. Anything you bless upon should be held in your right hand (left, if you’re a lefty). B’dieved, the beracha is valid if it was lying in front of you. (ShA4 – MB17,18)
  17. Don’t bless while holding the food stuck on the end of a knife. (MB18)
  18. When you ask your friend to pass you a sefer, receive it with your right hand. (MB18)
  19. The blessing over food must “rest” upon the food. Therefore, if no food is in front of you during the beracha (someone else is bringing it – so it might not arrive) it isn’t valid. Specific intention will not help. Say another beracha on the food when it comes. (ShA5 – MB19)
  20. As long as the food is in your control to take, the beracha is valid. For example, the food is sitting in a box in front of you or in the next room. (MB19)
Upon what other foods does your beracha “rest” upon?
  1. When you recite your beracha thinking specifically to eat only what is in front of you, you will need another beracha if you want to eat more food brought in, even if it is the same type. So too, if you have made up your mind that you won’t eat any more and then you change your mind, you will need another beracha even for the same type of food. In these two cases, you have limited your beracha. (MB20)
  2. It is best practice to always have specific intent at the recital of the beracha to include any food that they may bring from that beracha-category. This will definitely extend your beracha according to all opinions. (Rama5)
  3. If you were unspecific in your intent, the beracha will still cover any food that is in front of you from the same beracha-category. (MB21)
  4. If you were unspecific in your intent, the beracha will still cover other portions brought in of the same specie even if nothing is left of the original portion that you blessed upon. (MB22)
  5. If you were unspecific in your intent, the beracha will still cover different pieces brought in, as long as you have not yet completely consumed the original portion. (MB22)
  6. If the food that you were holding for the beracha dropped and got lost before you were able to eat it, you can eat another species that’s in front of you from the same species. If not, say “Boruch shaym kavod malchuso l’olam vo’ed”. (ShA6 – MB26)
  7. If the food fell away after saying “Boruch atta Hashem”, finish off with “lamdaini chukechoh” which is a possuk. (ShA6)
  8. When you have fruit of varying qualities in front of you, say the beracha on the nicest one. (MB26)
  9. You may stand over a stream of water and say a beracha, even though the water that you drink was not in front of you during the beracha. Since it definitely will come, it is considered like the water was in front of you. (ShA6 – MB19)

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