Audio Roundup Special: Aguda Brachot 2022

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by Joel Rich


Aguda Brachot 2022 and Chanuka and Miscellaneous  Chabura topics

HaRav Simcha Bunim Londinsky 11/8/2022-BRACHA ON SHEMEN ZAYIS AND HARMFUL FOODS

Is “damaging” defined  for purposes of not making a bracha as the actual physical impact or just that it “doesn’t go down well”.


In cases where suicide may be defensible after the fact (torture) can someone else halachically be asked to assist?


Also discussed, finding the proper balance in shoah studies in the chareidi community.


Why is there a special bracha for wine? Because it’s both msameach (makes you jolly) and said (filling). There are numerous bracha and use implications for grape juice, mvushal wines, pasteurized grape juice …

HaRav Simcha Bunim Londinsky 11/22/2022-ברכות על מינים שונים

What’s the bracha on (the apparently popular) frozen wine pops? (debatable). 


It’s an issur duraita to do anything that increases forgetfulness (eg walking between two women).


Olive oil was considered damaging (mazik) in talmudic times (to the person or olive?[since this wasn’t olives’ main use]). There are implications for any ingestion of mazikin (bracha rishona and achronal). Now people drink olive oil – so what’s the halachic impact?


Do you make a bracha on something you’re not getting hanaa from?

HaRav Uri Deutsch 11/10/2022-ביסוד הלכות ברכות

Lomdus discussion concerning the bracha on wine. Includes discussion of  msameach, soed, ishtanei leluyei, ishtanei lreiuta, mgito and bishul. What combination of these are required for borei pri hagafen? kiddush? Four cups on Pesach?

HARAV NOACH ISAAC OELBAUM 11/14/2022-Olive Oil and Medications

The Rambam says olive oil gets shehakol even though it’s mazik. Perhaps shehakol isn’t really a birchat hanehenin? Also discussed, hamaat grono vs gufo.

HaRav Simcha Bunim Londinsky 11/15/2022-Bracha on Medicines

Is physical force (gun to head) the same for bracha purposes the same as situational force (need to take medicine to live)? Does giving medicine a taste make it a food? Specific applications as to whether to say a bracha include vitamins, Tums, Metamucil, and forcing kids to eat.

HaRav Shraga Kallus 11/16/2022-Hilchos of Brachos on Medicines

Why flavored medicines might not get a bracha; it’s tafel (but there’s no bracha on the ikar), It’s not a maaseh achila, and/or it’s not considered food (something no one ever eats)? Important issues – different kinds of ones (maaseh (gun to head vs. matzav volitional – must do to save others)

HaRav Uri Deutsch 11/17/2022-ביסוד הלכות ברכות

Brisker lomdus on why not to say a bracha on foods which mazik. There should be no hodaah or thanks to HKBH if it’s injurious, it’s not a maaseh achila, it’s not derech achila, it’s not achila at all, and/or there’s a difference between hanaat taam and guf.

HaRav Asher Weiss 11/20/2022-יסוד דין אבילות

R Weiss believes it’s a requirement for the aveil to feel tzaar for reasons of kavod hameit. We need to try to lessen the tzaar for them. During covid R Weiss felt some of the older restrictions on mourning during a plague didn’t apply.

HaRav Zev Smith 11/21/2022-Hilchos Brochos-Vitamins, Medication, and other Health Foods


Medicines et al – much of the same information as some of the prior shiurim on the topic. Introduces the terminology of mitaemet (taste goes in/down) and differentiates between a feeding tube (hanaat gufo) and IV (no hanaat achila).

HaRav Simcha Bunim Londinsky 11/22/2022-ברכות על מינים שונים


Hearts of palm are now “a thing” and perhaps now the majority of palm trees are planted for the hearts of palm (which are not the fruits). Does this change them from shehakol (as the gemara says) to adama (most current authorities) or haetz (Star-K)?

HaRav Shraga Kallus 11/23/2022-הלכות ברכות למעשה

Analysis of “damaging” food rules – does damage mean actual damage to the body, hard to go down and/or there’s no hanaah. Bracha rishona may be required on something dangerous if the first gulp isn’t enough to do damage.

HaRav Shlomo Cynamon 11/24/2022-ברכה לבטלה: יסוד דין ערבות

Can a ben eretz yisrael in ch”ul be yotzeih with a ch”ul motzei shabbat/yom tov havdala? Even if the words/maaseh are the same, the chiyuv is not. This chiluk also has applications for bracha lvatala and being motzi issues.

HaRav Asher Weiss 11/27/2022-Ain M’arvin Simcha B’Simcha

Is ein maarvin duraita or drabannan? Is it a din in yom tov or any simcha? How does it affect a brit? A pidyon haben?

HaRav Zev Smith 11/28/2022-Borei Pri HaAdama or Borei Pri Ha’Eitz

When is something considered adama and when is it eitz? It’s complex! First machloket – is it enough for it to be a perennial or must the trunk (vs the root) survive the winter? Even beyond that questions there are sub-issues before it’s considered a tree and there are many doubtful cases. This question also has implications for orla status.

HaRav Simcha Bunim Londinsky 11/29/2022-Bracha on Sugar

What is the bracha status of peels? It depends on normal usage and reasons for growing the fruit.


Bracha on sugar – opinions run the gamut from haetz to shehakol. Depending on mtziut, usages and adama definitions.

HaRav Shraga Kallus 11/30/2022-Practical Hilchos Brachos

When do items move from unripe to ripe for bracha purposes? What are the bracha status of seeds, pits and peels? A lot depends on what purpose they were grown for (me-whose intent?) and how do most people eat them.

HaRav Uri Deutsch 12/1/2022-עיונים בהלכות ברכות

Analysis of the gemara discussing brachot on olive oil and flour. Does ishtanei (change) reduce the level of the bracha and what is the impact of ishtanei liluei (change for better)? Do changes make it not a pri or not derech achila?

HaRav Asher Weiss 12/4/2022-Avos Before Matan Torah: Yaakov Avinu Marrying Two Sisters

What do we mean when we say that the avot kept all of the torah? Approaches include only Avraham, only in eretz yisrael, not all details (pnimiut depending on  time, place, object), aseih vs lo taaseh, and everything was by a ruach hakodesh.


Insight – we are not always bothered by conflicting medrashim.

HaRav Zev Smith 12/5/2022-Challenging Hilchos brochos

How seriously do we take “kol shyeish bo” in cases involving the 5 grains? the answer will inform on the brachot for schnitzel, chocolate covered pretzels, herring on crackers, crembos …

HaRav Simcha Bunim Londinsky 12/6/2022-הקדמה לחמשת מיני דגן

More discussion of kol sheyeish bo and the impact on gefilte fish and schnitzel.

HaRav Shraga Kallus 12/7/2022-Hilchos Brachos L’maaseh: Dagan

R Kallus is convinced schnitzel requires a bracha of borei minei mizonot because flour is added for taste.

HaRav Uri Deutsch 12/8/2022-עיונים בהלכות ברכות

First part of a discussion of adatei dhachi. Does it apply to any changes in edibility status? Does it apply to something that doesn’t have a shem pri or to something that is not the ikar pri?

HaRav Asher Weiss 12/11/2022-And They Threw Him Into a Pit: The Shevatim and Yosef


Indirect causation (eg throw someone into a pit to starve) is not punishable by beit din shel mata (grama) but is it existentially murder? How do we understand Reuvain and Yehuda’s positions vis a vis Yosef’s sale/killing?

HaRav Shraga Kallus 12/14/2022-Practical Problems In Hilchos Brochos

The generally accepted psak is that rice (TBD) is mezonot/borei nfashot but not all agree and some say only eat it at a bread meal. Specific issues discussed include sushi, rice cakes, Crispix and granola bars. Does al hamichya work for any type of sustenance bdieved?


When we say ground or whole rice is mezonot (vs corn) does it require some (TBD) preparation

HaRav Zev Smith 12/12/2022-Challenges In Hilchos Brochos

Five grains can have different brachaot: shehakol (ground), adama (whole grain), mezonot (maaseh kdeira) and hamotzi. What are the applications for grains toasted, bran, kasha, quinoa, couscous, wheat germ, puffed wheat, granola bars and rice cakes?

HaRav Uri Deutsch 12/15/2022-עיונים בהלכות ברכות

When the five minim are part of a dish, do the rules of brachot ikar and tafel  apply, or that the five minim are always are defined as the ikar?

HaRav Asher Weiss 12/18/2022-Birchas She’asa Nissim in Hadlakah

Why R Weiss doesn’t follow the practice ascribed to R Chaim of lighting the second Chanukah candle before saying the bracha of shasa nissim.


Also covered – do you say the bracha of shasa nissim even if you don’t have the opportunity to see a flame?

HaRav Nosson Levine 12/19/2022-Iyunim B’Hilchos Chanukah

Why do we light the menorah in shul (hashkafa and halacha)? Why do we make a bracha on it if it’s only a minhag?

HaRav Simcha Bunim Londinsky 12/20/2022-Achsan-Guest: Where And When To Light

Does contributing to the achsani’s lighting work based on making you a part of beito?


Why don’t women light their own menorah (me-some do)

HaRav Uri Deutsch 12/22/2022-Hiddur Mitzvah In Hadlakah

Lamdus concerning why mehadrin min hamehadrin changes the number of candles lit each night – each day istreated as a holiday in and of itself.

 HaRav Uri Deutsch 12/22/2022-Special Shiur – Machshavah Binyan Chanukah

The chashmonaim were entitled to malchut through tora but not through mlucha, that was their error.

HaRav Asher Weiss 12/25/2022-Talmud Torah VS Mitzvos and Parnassah – ואספתה דגנך ותלמוד תורה

Learn torah anytime there’s not something else you need to be doing (i.e. family, earn living). Perhaps if you don’t have the ability to sit and learn you should support others who do. Why is talmud torah pushed off by other mitzvot?

HaRav Lipa Geldwerth 12/26/2022-תורה מה תהא עליה

Perhaps there’s a difference between interrupting talmud tora and disrupting talmud tora when it comes to applying haosek bmitzva patur mmitzva.

HaRav Shlomo Cynamon 12/26/2022-עיונים בהלכות תלמוד תורה

Talmud torah is not just about you (because you impact others), thus the 20% of assets spend on a mitzva rule may not apply. Vasafta dganecha is not a ptur.

HaRav Simcha Bunim Londinsky 12/27/2022-עיונים בהלכות ברכות

If one split grain and then processed it (eg cooked), when is its bracha mezonot? Specific applications discussed for pearl barley and puffed wheat. Based on a similar analysis, is brown rice adama or mezonot?

HaRav Shraga Kallus 12/28/2022-Hilchos Brachos Halacha LiMayseh

How much cooking is required to move grain from the bracha of adama to mezonot? (eg results sticky, mushy). What about baking and steaming? Application to pearl barley, puffed wheat and granola bars discussed.

HaRav Shraga Kallus 11/23/2022-הלכות ברכות למעשה

How does the gemara’s paradigm of damaging foods (olive oil) apply today? If there’s damage, but also benefit can we make a bracha (rishon/achrona)? Specific applications discussed.

HaRav Uri Deutsch 12/29/2022-עיונים בסוגיות ברכת הנהנין

Lomdus concerning the mchayeiv of shehechiyanu – is it purely zman or also new beginnings? How does a katan’s doing chinuch actions (eg practicing putting on tfillin) impact his saying shechiyanu on a “new” mitzvah?


About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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