- General Questions on Brachot
What is the reason we make a general bracha of Shehakel on fruit and vegetable Juices? One may incorrectly think to make a Ha’Etz or Hadamah since the juice is so closely related to its’ origin. Are there any rabinical arguments regarding this in halacha? Also, could you please tell me the source in halacha and/or Talmud that I could learn more information on this topic?
Shalom and Birchat HaShem, We say the bracha of "shehacol" over juices as is explained in Tractate Bruchot 38:1: What oozes from a date is not a beverage, but a mere oozing, a "sweat" in Talmudic language. Only the wine, "tirosh" (new wine), and the olive oil, "yitzhar", the first oil squeezed from the olives, mentioned in the Torah, are classified as beverages, whereas all other juices are considered mere oozing ("sweat"). However, there have been those who disagreed and reasoned that when the juice is squeezed one should say the bracha of the fruit being squeezed. There are also rulings that if the majority of the fruit [grown in the country where the juice is produced] is intended for juice then the bracha is that of the fruit. According to this method, in Israel, where most of the oranges are intended for juice, the bracha for orange juice would be "borei pri haetz". Everywhere the custom is to say the bracha of "shehacol" over juice even though there is a disagreement over what one is accustomed to squeeze. See Tractate Brachot 38:1; Shulhan Aruch Siman 202, Sa'if 8; Shulhan Aruch 205, Sa'if 3; and the book VeZot HaBrucha. Birchat HaTorah v'HaAretz HaRav Yehuda HaLevi Amichai