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Al Ha’etz and Bore Nefashot


Rabbi David Sperling

Shevat 14, 5775
Dear Rabbi I was reading an article which stated that if someone eats a fruit requiring a bracha achrona of ’Al Ha’etz’ and also eats another fruit requiring ’Bore Nefashot’, the ’Al Ha’etz’ should be rectied before the ’Bore Nefashot’. Is this correct?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. In truth the answer to your question is a little more involved than a "yes" or "no'. First a quick review – The after bracha "al ha'etz" is used after eating olives, dates, grapes, figs or pomegranates. The after bracha of "bore nefashot" covers others foods that are not bread, mezonot, or wine (or the fruits listed above). Based on this it would seem that if someone ate some grapes, and an orange, they would have to say both after blessings – and then your question of which to say first would apply. However, this is not so! When a person has to say the longer "al ha'etz" (for eating grapes, for example), it automatically covers all other fruits eaten (such as an orange, for example). So, in your example, where one ate both fruit that needs an "al ha'etz" and a "borah nefashot", one will only recite the "al ha'etz" after bracha, (see Shulchan Aruch, 208,13). However, your question is a good one where someone ate fruits that require an "al ha'etz" (such as grapes) and some other foods that require a "boreh nefashot". The answer is that one first says the longer "al ha'etz" first and then says the "boreh nefashot" (see Pri Magadim, quoted in the Biur Halacha 202, 11 "brahca"). [There is a minority opinion that holds that in the case where someone ate vegetables (ha-adamah), and also mezonot or the fruits that require "al ha'etz" then one should say the "boreh nefashot" for the vegetables first. This is because of a technical doubt that exists in relation to whether perhaps the vegetables might perhaps be covered by the longer bracha (as in the case of the orange on the grapes above). In order to remove all doubt they suggest saying the after blessing on the vegetables first. However, the majority of Rabbinic opinion holds that in this case also one should say the longer bracha first (see Zot HaBracha, chapter 5 and also The Halachos of Brochos, Rav Bodner, volume 2, 20 footnote 37).] I hope this is of some help. Blessings.
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