Translation:Mishnah/Seder Zeraim/Tractate Berakhot/Chapter 6/1
Jews are obligated to bless God before and after eating. This is based on the idea that "the earth and all its fullness belongs to God" (Psalms 24:1), so Jews "pay" God by giving our thanks for the food God created.
This mishnah, and the next few, focus on the blessings before eating. All of these blessings begin with the formula בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם — "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe..." which the mishnah therefore omits.
- כֵּיצַד מְבָרְכִין עַל הַפֵּרוֹת?
- עַל פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן אוֹמֵר: "בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ",
- חוּץ מִן הַיַּיִן,
- שֶׁעַל הַיַּיִן אוֹמֵר: "בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן".
- וְעַל פֵּרוֹת הָאָרֶץ אוֹמֵר: "בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה",
- חוּץ מִן הַפַּת,
- שֶׁעַל הַפַּת הוּא אוֹמֵר: "הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ".
- וְעַל הַיְּרָקוֹת הוּא אוֹמֵר: "בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה".
- רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר:
- "בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי דְשָׁאִים".
- How does one recite blessings for fruits?
- For fruits growing on a tree, one says, "...Who creates the fruit of the tree,"
- Except for wine;
- For wine, one says, "...Who creates the fruit of the vine."
- For fruits growing from the earth, one says, "...Who created the fruit of the ground,"
- Except for bread;
- For bread, one says, "...Who brings forth bread from the earth."
- For vegetables, one says, "...Who creates the fruit of the ground."
- Rabbi Yehudah says:
- One should say instead, "...Who creates various types of herbs."
Fruits growing on a tree: The Gemara discusses thes subject of what actually constitutes a tree for this purpose. Obviously apples grow on trees, but what about bananas, pineapples or tomatos? The consensus was that the plant must have a woody stem whose branches remain after the leaves, flowers and fruit are gone. The fruits of any plant that does not meet this definition (such as the above) are considered "fruits of the ground."
Except for wine: Wine, due to its importance as a social stimulant and its various religious applications in Judaism, merits a special blessing, even though wine comes from grapes, which grow on trees.
Except for bread: Just as wine's importance merits it a special blessing, the central place of bread in the human diet merits it a special blessing as well. (Cooked or baked grain products — e.g., cookies, noodles — rate a different blessing, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי מְזוֹנוֹת — "...Who created various types of nourishment.")
Vegetables: The rule for vegetables applies only when they are eaten in their usual manner of preparation, raw or cooked, as the case may be. (For example: potatoes are usually eaten cooked rather than raw; lettuce is usually eaten raw rather than cooked; and carrots are usually eaten either way.) A vegetable eaten in an unusual manner (e.g., a raw potato) loses its status as "fruit of the ground" and instead rates the more generic blessing שֶׁהַכֹּל, which is discussed in the next two mishnayot.
One should say instead: Rabbi Yehudah holds that the blessings for various categories of food should be as distinctive as possible; since "fruit of the ground" is a very broad category, he subdivides it into fruits (e.g. tomatoes) and other parts of the plant (e.g. lettuce, potatoes). The halakha, however, does not follow his opinion.