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Saying a Blessing after non kosher food


Rabbi David Sperling

Cheshvan 21, 5782
Hi, I have a question, I am learning still and am learning Torah and learning blessings, unfortunately my family’s kitchen is not kosher yet….I have been feeling uncomfortable if there is a problem to say a bracha after you ate non kosher food. To clarify, I do know that you can’t say an after bracha or a before bracha on non kosher foods (so since we don’t eat grains in my family, I am able to use cool water for a before and an after bracha after each meal) I’m referring to things like, if I ate lunch, and can still feel the “flavour” of the non kosher lunch in my mouth, can I still pray tehilim, or make a blessing on something else, like besamim, without rinsing my mouth out first? Or another example, if I ate non kosher food, then drank some water but can still feel the “flavour” of the food, and then I’m presented with new food that is fully kosher to make a bracha on (for example, I was given non kosher chicken for lunch, and then I saw I could have a kosher parve granola bar or other sealed parve snack food which requires a new or different bracha) is it important to wash my mouth and lips with soap and water to fully “separate” before making a blessing on a kosher food? I do this currently (rinsing and soap and water) after meat, if I know that I will be eating milk later on, just as a sort of uncomfortable precaution (since I do end up drinking water and making sure to try to eat a parve food as I’ve seen recommended after a meet meal and some time before a milk one. Typically at home our lunch is meat and our dinner is milk) but between non kosher food in any category, and a new kosher food in another category, is it necessary or important/valuable to rinse the mouth out and wash with soap after non kosher food, before praying or saying another blessing on a new food? And an additional little question, since due to COVID in my area we are home all the time, it happens often that I eat lunch (meat and shehakol) and then kept drinking water or tea, throughout studying in the afternoon, and then dinner comes (6 hours later but I’ve been sipping much of the time while learning as I continue learning straight after lunch on the same table), and dinner is also Shehakol for us like most meals but it is dairy. Is it necessary then for differentiation purposes, for me to drink a whole glass of water, make an after bracha, and then drink a new glass and make a new shehakol bracha in order to eat the dairy meal? Or are the hours a separation enough for that and there is no need to make a new bracha? Thank you so much,
Shalom, Thank you for your question. May you be blessed to continue growing in your observance, and come to eat only kosher foods. In the meantime, you do not have to wash away non-kosher flavors before praying or saying blessings. Between meat and milk (and also between milk and meat is eaten close together, say within the same hour), it is correct to clean the mouth out, by drinking something and eating something parve. But, here also you do not need to use soap. As to your second question – yes, one should finish and say an after bracha after eating a meat meal before having a milk meal (and visa versa). It is incorrect to start eating a meal of the other type without having first finished the first meal and said an after bracha. Blessings.
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