- General Questions on Brachot
Halachic definition of a tree
Is it possible for you to elaborate on the fact that a grapevine is considered a tree for the purposes of brachot? To simple understanding it appears that borei pri hagafen bracha specifically identifies G-d as the Creator of the fruit of the VINE and vines are what grapes grow on so why then do we say borei pri ha Etz? As a point of comparison I learned that bananas grow on not a tree but a plant considered a gigantic herb so we say borei pri ha-adama. Pls correct the flaw in my understanding, Rabbi Lieberman, if your time allows you to do so. Thanks you very much.
ב"ה Shalom once again, Allow me a brief background to the Brachot. In principle, the Bracha of "shehacol " covers all food we eat. However, when the Brachot were coined ,vegetables, fruits, and pastries were considered as separate classifications which warrant a more specified praise to Hashem. Therefore, we have "Borei minei mezonot for pastries, Borei Pri ha'etz for fruits of trees and , "borei Pri Hadama for vegetables. (In the mishna there is an opinion of an additional bracha for leafy vegetables , but it was not accepted in Halacha.)Based on the criteria set by the Rabbis a vine is considered a tree "Pri Ha'etz" and not a vegetable." Bread and wine which are by-products of the already existing grains and grapes, were given by the Rabbis an advanced classification because of specific virtues each one of these items has. So while a grape is considered a fruit it is as all other fruits and we say Borei Pri ha'etz. But when a grape "graduates" to the level of wine it warrants its own bracha, praising Hashem for the vine which produces grapes and hence wine. For sake of comparison while we say "borei Pri Ha'etz" on an orange, when we drink its juice, the juice is "demoted" to a "shehacol" the more general Bracha. Al the best.