Bracha Rishona

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This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

Just like it is forbidden to benefit from anything that is Hekdesh (property of the Bet HaMikdash) without first redeeming it, so too it is forbidden to benefit from this world since the entire world belongs to Hashem without first redeeming it by making a bracha.[1]

Minimum Amount

  1. There is no minimum amount necessary for Bracha Rishona, even if one eats a very small amount of food one must make the appropriate Bracha.[2]

When is a new Bracha Rishona required?

  1. As long as one didn’t have a hesech hadaat (interruption of thought) one doesn’t need to make a new Bracha Rishona.[3]
  2. If one made a Bracha Achrona and one wants to eat again, many achronim hold that a new Bracha Rishona is necessary.[4]
  3. If one sat down to learn and from time to time one has tea or coffee,
    1. if one isn't going to have a break of a half hour when one doesn't take a drink and isn't going to become thirsty, then one can recite one bracha rishona at the beginning of the drinks and one bracha achrona at the end.[5] Nonetheless, one should arrange some reminder to make a bracha achrona at the end.[6]
    2. if one is going to have a break of a half hour or is concerned that he is going to be as thirsty as he was in the beginning, then he should recite a bracha achrona immediately after he drank the requisite amount for a bracha achrona. Then, when he wants to drink again he should recite a new bracha rishona.[7] Sephardim hold that it is preferable even in this case to have in mind that one's bracha rishona will exempt all future cups. However, if one made a Shinui Makom by leaving the doorway of the shul or bet midrash, one should make a new Bracha Rishona.[8]
  4. If one ate a kezayit of a fruit (or another boreh nefashot food) and also drank a drink that he wants to continue drinking over a long period of time one should recite a boreh nefashot. One should then take a break of a half hour or make a shinuy makom and recite a new bracha rishona for what he eats afterwards.[9]

Tasting food

  1. One doesn’t make a Bracha Rishona if one intends to taste food even if one swallows. However, it’s preferable if one is going to swallow to have intent to eat it and make a Bracha.[10]
  2. One who tastes a food before it’s cooked to see if it needs spices and even if one tastes it after it’s cooked to see if it tastes good, it is considered tasting and one doesn’t make a Bracha.[11]

If Someone Recited the Wrong Bracha

  1. Shehakol exempts everything after the fact.[12]
  2. Haadama exempts Haetz after the fact.[13]
  3. After the fact hagefen covers grapes.[14]
  4. If someone started the bracha up to the words "Melech Haolam" thinking that the food was supposed to have one bracha and then realized that the bracha was different and said the correct words at the end the bracha is effective.[15]
  5. If someone started the bracha up to the words "Melech Haolam" thinking that the food was supposed to have the bracha it was really supposed to have and then accidentally concluded thinking that the bracha was supposed to be otherwise, according to Ashkenazim one doesn't fulfill one's obligation and has to recite a new bracha.[16] According to Sephardim one shouldn't recite another bracha.[17]
  6. if someone recited the incorrect bracha but fixed it within Toch Kdei Dibbur the bracha is effective.[18]


  1. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 50:1, See also Maharsha Brachot 35b
  2. Gemara Brachot 38b records the story where Rabbi Yochanan made a Bracha Rishona and Bracha Achrona on a salted olive. The Gemara asks how Rabbi Yochanan could make a Bracha if after removing the pit there wouldn’t be a shiur (certain amount of volume). The Gemara answers that the shiur is an average olive and since he had a large olive even after removing the pit he still ate the shiur. Tosfot 39a s.v. Batzar writes that the Gemara is specifically speaking about Bracha Achrona, however, one should make a Bracha Rishona for any amount because one shouldn’t benefit from the world without a Bracha (Brachot 35a). Tur and S”A 210:1 rule that one must make a Bracha Rishona on any amount of food because one may not get benefit from the world without a Bracha. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 50:1 agrees. Kesef Mishna 3:12 explains that the reason chazal established a bracha rishona for any amount and a bracha achrona only for a specific amount is because eating of the Torah requires a certain amount and they had to institute a bracha rishona for any amount since a person might start eating a small amount and change their mind to eat more than the requisite amount.
  3. Magen Avraham 184:9 and 190:3 holds that if someone waited a shiur ikul, the amount of time that it takes to digest one's food, after eating, he cannot recite a bracha achrona and needs a new bracha rishona if he wants to eat more. However, the Even Haozer (to Magen Avraham 184:9) disagrees and holds that shiur ikul is only relevant to the bracha achrona, but he doesn't need a new bracha rishona. Mishna Brurah 184:17 and Biur Halacha 190:2 s.v. achar seems to side with the Even Haozer and achronim who disagree with Magen Avraham. This is also the view of Vezot Habracha p. 53 based on Biur Halacha.
  4. Magen Avraham 190:3 holds that if one made a mistake and recited a bracha achrona and planned on eating more, he doesn't need to recite a new bracha rishona. Biur Halacha 190:2 s.v. yivarech quotes Rabbi Akiva Eiger that this is only true if he thought halachically he needed to recite a bracha achrona. But if he made a mistake and thought he didn't have more food and then realized he did, his bracha achrona is effective and he needs a new bracha rishona to eat more. Also, the Maamar Mordechai and Bigdei Yesha completely disagree with Magen Avraham and hold that after a bracha achrona a new bracha rishona is necessary to eat again. Biur Halacha leaves the issue unresolved. Chazon Ovadia p. 178 is concerned for the Magen Avraham because of the principle of safek brachot lehakel.
  5. Vezot Habracha p. 52 quoting Avnei Yishfeh, Chazon Ovadia (Brachot p. 173, Yom Tov p. 311). Vezot Habracha explains that even if there's a break from the beginning of the drinks until the bracha achrona 72 minutes that isn't a shiur ikul since one was drinking the whole time. Shevet Halevi 7:27:1 writes that this is a dispute between Pri Megadim who holds that it is possible to extend a shiur ikul of snacks, but according to Mishna Brurah 184:18 only it is only possible to extend a shiur ikul of a bread meal. He is concerned for Mishna Brurah because of safek brachot.
  6. Vezot Habracha p. 52 quoting Avnei Yishfeh. See Biur Halacha 190:2 s.v. achar who raises this issue.
  7. Vezot Habracha p. 52 based on Rav Elyashiv and Minchat Yitzchak 5:102. His consideration is that one should initially lose out on a bracha achrona. He quotes Rav Elyashiv that if he waited a half hour between drinks he each drink is considered a separate drinking and he should recite a bracha achrona upon his first drinking. Also, even though Magen Avraham 190:3 holds that the bracha rishona doesn't expire when one recites a bracha achrona, perhaps he would agree in this case because Magen Avraham was only discussing where he made a mistake. But if he made the bracha achrona knowingly that he wanted it to terminate his original bracha rishona it does. This is evident in Eliya Rabba. Vezot Habracha adds that to avoid any issue, even for those who extended Magen Avraham to all cases, one should intend originally that one's bracha rishona only apply to his original drink and not his later drinking.
    • These considerations of Vezot Habracha are also found in Biur Halacha. Biur Halacha 190:2 s.v. achar discusses the dispute between Magen Avraham and Even Haozer if one loses one's bracha rishona after shiur ikul. He adds that even according to Even Haozer that one's bracha rishona is not terminated after shiur ikul, initially one shouldn't put oneself in that situation because one is losing out on a bracha achrona. Even if one continues to eat and drink and recite a bracha achrona for that food, that only covers the later food, and the bracha achrona for the first food is lost.
  8. Chazon Ovadyah (Brachot p. 178, Yom Tov p. 311). Chazon Ovadia holds that as long as there isn't a hesech hadaat the bracha rishona isn't terminated even if it is longer than the shiur ikul. Also, even if he made a bracha achrona it might not be effective because according to Magen Avraham 190:3 a bracha achrona doesn't stop a bracha rishona if he intended to eat more. Therefore, if one ate a Kezayit in Kedi Achilat Pras and plans on eating more after a while is afraid that one will forget to make a Bracha Achrona or that the time for Bracha Achrona will expire, if one made a Bracha Achrona then when one continues to eat, one does not need a new Bracha Rishona, out of concern for Magen Avraham.
  9. Vezot Habracha p. 53 based on Or Letzion 2:12:19. He writes that in this case the consideration is that one doesn't want to lose one's bracha achrona on the fruit that one ate if one were to wait more than a shiur ikul, the time it takes to digest food. He quotes Har Tzvi 1:96 and Yachava Daat 6:11 who hold that one should recite a boreh nefashot intending to cover the fruit but to exclude the drinks. Then one should continue drinking without a bracha. However, he quotes Rav Elyashiv that we should be concerned for Pri Megadim (Introduction) that a bracha achrona terminates a bracha rishona even if one intended on splitting it up for certain foods and not other foods. To resolve all opinions, Vezot Habracha advises reciting a complete bracha achrona, waiting, and then reciting a new bracha rishona. See Shevet Halevi 7:27.
  10. S”A and Rama 210:2, Mishna Brurah 210:19. Tur 210:2 writes that the Rambam holds that even if one swallows one doesn't make a bracha for tasting food and the rabbenu chananel holds that only if one tastes and spits it out does one not make a bracha however if one swallows one should make a bracha. Shulchan Aruch and Rama 210:2 seem to rule like the Rambam but Mishna Brurah 210:19 adds that in order to avoid this dispute if one plans on swallowing one should intend to eat it and benefit from it and then make a bracha and swallow.
  11. Mishna Brurah 210:13
  12. Brachot 40a, Shulchan Aruch 206:1
  13. Brachot 40a, Shulchan Aruch 206:1
  14. Shulchan Aruch 208:15
  15. The Gemara Brachot 12a has a doubt if such a bracha is effective since one's intent was incorrect for the name of Hashem and the Malchut, nonetheless, the Rif Brachot 6a concludes that out of doubt one doesn't have to repeat it. However, Tosfot Brachot 12a s.v. lo holds that one does have to repeat it. Shulchan Aruch 209:1 and Mishna Brurah 209:2 hold like the Rif.
  16. Mishna Brurah 209:1
  17. Shulchan Aruch 209:1 based on the Rambam Brachot 8:12
  18. Tosfot Brachot 12a s.v. lo, Shulchan Aruch 209:2