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meals and berachot


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Cheshvan 5, 5772
Hi. If I eat something that is not kosher, but that it could be, do I have to say the corresponding beracha? I understand that, when saying berachot on meals, we are thanking God for something that he has created and, after all, God has created everything.. So, for example, if I eat a candy that I know was not made with animal fat, is it ok to say shehacol? Thanks!
One may not make a blessing over a forbidden article, even if it is only prohibited to be eaten by Rabbinical law, neither before nor after he eats it. Since it is a forbidden article and he will transgress by eating it, he insults the Lord by making a blessing over it. This accords with what is written; "If a robber blesses he insults the Lord" (Tehillim 10, 3). In addition he may not be taken into account as part of the group for the purposes of uniting to bless. Correspondingly, one may not respond "Amen" to his Blessing if he does make it. (Shulchan Aruch & Mishnah Berurah Orach Chaim 196, 1). In today’s day and age of modern scientific technology, there are many small ingredients that are put into various products for flavoring, coloring, texturing etc. Therefore eating manufactured products without a Hechsher is a Chashash of real Issurim, unless it is clear that none of the ingredients are questionable. One should know that it is not always clear from the list of ingredients what they really are. Regarding your question the answer is clear. If the candy is kosher one recites a blessing on it. If it is not certain that it is kosher one does not eat it at all. If we had the slightest doubt about the presence of poison in food, it is obvious that it would not enter our mouth. This should also be our attitude towards food which its Kasherut is uncertain.
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