Sunday, 27 November 2016

Beracha on Fruit Hors D'oeuvre

Question: Is one supposed to say a beracha on a fruit hors d'oeuvre if they’ve washed for a bread meal?
Answer: The Gemara (Berachos 41b) writes that one must say a beracha before eating fruit that was brought in to a meal, unless it serves as an actual dish or is eaten as a condiment together with the bread.
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 177:1) explains that the beracha of hamotzi that one recites over bread only exempts foods that are eaten primarily to satisfy one’s hunger. Thus, the Mishna Berura (177:4) writes that if one has fruit as a dessert, one will need to say a beracha first. If one started eating the fruit with bread, they wouldn’t need to say a beracha.
The Mishna Berura writes that there is a machlokes as to whether one should say a beracha on fruit cooked together with another dish. He suggests that it is ideal to eat a piece of fruit first and say the beracha on that (See Shaar Hatziyun 177:7). The same would apply to a dish made of fruit served as part of the main meal (Biur Halacha).
The Magen Avraham (OC 174:11) writes that there is a machlokes as to whether one says a bracha before eating fruit as an hors d'oeuvre. Most rishonim including the Tur, Tosafos (Pesachim 115a), Bach (OC 176), Rashi (Berachos 42b) and the Mordechai (Berachos 136) hold that one shouldn’t say a beracha, while the Chinuch (430) and Rashba (Berachos 41a, quoted in Shaar Hatziun 174:45) hold that one should.
The Magen Avraham sides with the rishonim who say that one doesn’t say a beracha. Nonetheless, the Mishna Berura (Shaar Hatziun 174:45) writes that as this is a safek, one should avoid this scenario. One can do this either by having a small piece of this fruit before they wash, or have a different fruit first, as above.
R’ Yisroel Pinchos Bodner (Halachos of Brochos 5:D:5) writes that R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach held that an hors d'oeuvre such as melon is merely an appetizer and can’t be considered to be part of the meal itself. As such, it necessitates a beracha. R’ Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, however, held that it does count as part of the meal and so one wouldn’t say a beracha.
R' Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 3:120) writes that one doesn't say a beracha before eating olives, etc. as it is normal to eat them during a meal.
In conclusion, one should ideally attempt to say the beracha in a way that satisfies the different views, either by having a small piece of fruit before one washes, or by eating another fruit that isn’t normal to eat during a meal, such as an apple. Alternately, one can eat the hors d'oeuvre together with bread and say no beracha.

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