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laws of brachot


Rabbi David Sperling

Elul 3, 5780
Hi there, In my family due to health reasons my mom and I cannot usually, eat grain, so other than Passover and some holidays, we don’t eat anything with flour. At rare times I have cookies and I say Mein Shalosh on them, but this is more of a rare occurrence. In my home, I typically have vegetables with meat, or eggs with nuts and fruit. So my after blessing for 99 percent of what I typically would eat is shehakol. After my meal, I usually end up continuing to drink tea or water I had during the meal as I continue to study. I’m usually quite thirsty after my meal. I have two questions please: Does the Shehakol blessing have a time limit, or like a few other after brachot, as long as you are still satiated from the food, you can say still say the bracha? And does this apply to water as well (for example, say one is satiated but extremely thirsty, can they say the after blessing of shehakol? This leads me into the next question) Secondly, if I’m still really thirsty after the meal, is it better to say an after bracha, while I’m still thirsty, then wait 5 minutes and then make a new bracha on my water or tea so that I ensure, if time limit to amount of food ratio doesn’t work for the shehakol, that what I ate had an after bracha said for it? Thank you so much,
Shalom, Thank you for your question. There are two different concepts that you refer to in your question. One is the question of a bracha before eating, and the other is the question of an after bracha. You will not need to make a new blessing before eating or drinking as long as when you said the first blessing you did not have in mind to limit your eating or drinking. That is, if when you said the blessing you had in mind that it would cover everything it can for as long as possible (this is what you should train yourself to have in mind). Then, your first bracha will cover you indefinitely until one of the following things occurs – you say an after bracha; you decide to stop eating or drinking; you sleep; you change locations [this is dependent on many factors, including what type of food you are eating, and if you are eating with others, and where you changed location to – but if you stayed inside the house it is not a location change]. Based on this you will understand that in your case, if you finished your meal but did not yet say an after bracha, all drinks you drink afterwards will be covered by the first bracha you made to eat your (shehakol) meal. As to an after bracha – the law is different. You can only say the after bracha on foods while you still experience some satiation from them. If you eat or drink, then have a long break, after which you now want to say the after bracha, you will have missed out the opportunity to say the blessing. Based on this you can understand that it is not a good idea to pause for a long time between periods of eating (even though you will not need a new first bracha, as we have learnt, as you will miss out the after bracha on the first lot of foods you ate or drank). So, practically, if you plan to have a long break you should say the after bracha on what you have just finished eating, then (after your long break), say a new first bracha. But, if you are not having a long break, but continuing your meal with drinking every few minuets, then you should wait until you finish drinking to say the after bracha. Blessings.
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