by Joel Rich
Kollel Iyun Halacha – ad vlo ad bchlal – elul 2023
Kollel Iyun Halacha is the dynamic new Lakewood based learning program for Balley-Battim, Sunday-Thursday from 11am – 1pm, featuring daily shiurim by noted rabbanim and poskim. Kollel Iyun Halacha is led by Rav Shlomo Gottesman.
Kollel Iyun Halacha
Terima is something mashed – at what point does a mashed food lose its original bracha? Practical applications discussed (mashed potatoes, applesauce,….)
How are shlakot categorized (liquid or solid) for purposes of brachot? What about other purposes (eg mkabel tuma)?
Based on the normal rules of brachot chocolate. which is made from crushed chocolate beans, should be haetz. So why is the minhag haolam to say shehakol? A number of limudei zchut provided.
See R Kalus – same sources with other poskim quoted and a nice summary at the end.
The gemara provides guidelines for defining eitz v adama for brachot purposes. Later commentaries expand on them and there are implications for orlah status as well. There are a number of cases that are unclear (cranberries, pineapples, bananas, eggplant) Some psak provided.
How do we understand the halachic impact of bat kol, urim vtumim, navi, ruach hakodesh and dreams? Best line – minhag eretz yisrael is not to work!
How we define yerek and a ilan has implications for brachot, klayim and orlah. Includes a review of Talmudic and post-talmudic sources and specific applications.
Is shehakol a bracha kolelet in that one shehakol can pater all kinds of foods? What about the bracha of bore minei mzonot?
What is the reason for the rule of meita machmat mlacha and what are its implications for specific cases? Must it be the shoel’s fault? Must it be a fault in the item (inherent in its use?)
Are the talmud’s rules concerning priorities in brachot based on a command to eat certain foods first or to make certain brachot first? What difference does it make?
When determining the rules of priorities in brachot are we focused on the essential nature of the brachot or the food? How does prioritization differ between foods which have the same bracha vs those that have different brachot? How do we prioritize chaviv, shalem and size?
The gemara discusses when a food can lose its bracha (eg withered or moldy) and become shehakol. Is this because its changed or because it’s ruined? Applications discussed including bracha achrona.
Defining meita mahmat mlacha – when did the loaned item die and why? TBC
Conflicting bracha priority rules are reconciled differently by different authorities (placement in posuk, chaviv now, chaviv generally, mzonot v gefen v eitz v adama v shahakol). Practical conundrums discussed.
Brachot are on the object to be eaten, not the act of eating. In determining priorities in brachot do we consider the chashivut of the min or of the ikkar achila? What about karov or the more specific bracha?
When is the boundary between meita machmat mlacha and ones (when is it pshiat hamashil and when is it pshiat hashoel?). Classical shu”t literature to present day topics reviewde (eg borrowed computer resulting in virus)
Does hamotzie patur other foods based on ikkar/tafel or chashivut or defining seudah? A number of applications discussed.
HKBH is mracheim by never giving non-Jews a cheilek in aretz.
When rashi says the bracha on bread covers items which were to be llafet et hapat, why were there exceptions if it’s an ikkar v tafel case?
Which cholehs are prayed for, where, by whom and when? R Weiss doesn’t believe in praying for death in any circumstance, only rachamim.
How do we understand the seeming contradiction concerning a bracha between the chofetz chaim’s position on compote in the mishna brura and the history of his own practice? Perhaps it has to do with evolving culinary trends?
Hamotzie wouldn’t seem to cover bread meal items that are not eaten to fill you up. Also covered – if the tables are pushed into a corner, is the meal over?
Three gemaras discuss not wearing tzitzit and the associated heavenly reaction (mnudeh, ritcha). We see similar issues with avoiding birchat cohanim and ignoring seeing a talmid chacham. What are the practical applications?
Does ikkar/tafel work because tafel has no chiyuv bracha or is its bracha (existentially) that of the ikkar? Nakfa minas including adding more of an ingredient (eg more sugar) vs adding something new as well as mixed salad (take separate ingredients and make two brachot or is one of them a bracha levatala?)
Does tafel not require a bracha or is it integrated into the bracha of the ikkar? Includes review of several general principles (eg rov, chashuv, separate pieces), how they interact, and specific applications.
Can you have a tafel to a tafel for bracha purposes? (eg bracha on wine and later have coffee with sugar between your teeth). Different approaches defined.
There are a number of variations of ikkar and tafel including: items to prevent unpleasant taste, binding agents, meat/salad, wine/other liquids, majority/minority elements (cholent, fruit cocktail) ,within a type (fruit/seed), and others. R Weiss provides some psakim.
Insights into the nature of bracha rishona and achrona – hodaah / takanat chazal? How does this impact ikkar and tafel?
Something made as bread (eg chavita even if it eventually lost its tzura) that is processed to less than a kzayit is always hamotzie but if it became smaller than a kzayit in the process and also it lost its tzura, it loses the hamotzie bracha.
Also discussed brachot on food you hadn’t intended on having (eg second apple) when is its appearance in time or place a hefsek?
For ikkar and tafel, do we follow rov or chashuv for bracha purposes? What if there is no rov? What bracha do you make if you ate the tafel first? Cases considered include cholent, crispix, and ice cream sandwiches.
Does a bracha on wine cover all other liquids due to ikrka and tafel (chashivut of the bracha) or due to kviut (seudat yayin)? Nakfa minas explored.
More on general ikkar and tafel rules (including the role of chaviv and what if you eat the tafel first) and the more specific applications (eg yerushalmi kugel with pickle) as well as ice cream sandwiches)
Are the three weeks defined from date to date or from fast to fast? Proofs and implications discussed.
Is the bracha (or not) on water a function of stopping choking or being thirsty. Lots of practical applications (eg pre-fast drinking, hydrate pre-walk). Sometimes it’s hard to understand different psakim from one posek on issues related to this, let alone multiple poskim.
Is the gemara that says there’s no bracha on water used to clear one’s throat narrowly or broadly interpreted (any benefit, thirsty)? Specific applications discussed including unflavored tea and seltzer.
Can we paskin from pre-matan tora stories? (general avoda – yes, specific halacha – no)
Can we find sources in tanach and aggadita for modern issues? (which were not dealt with in sh”ut literature- eg army, DNA …)
Details of the bracha on wine (grape juice?) covering (or not) other drinks. Then examples of complicated shul kiddush brachot issues (eg crackers and herring, cholent …)
Looking at the prohibition of kibus on chol hamoed, aveilut and the nine days – is the prohibition on washing, wearing washed clothes or both? Also covered, is there chinuch for aveilut?
Smachot (especially with smorgasbords) yield all kinds of bracha rishona and achrona issues. Listen here for details.
How smashed is smashed in order to move a food from its original bracha to shehakol? Is mamashut (and how is mamashut defined) the applicable standard?. Applications include mashed potatoes, applesauce, kugel …
More on defining the mamashut that keeps something’s original bracha even if smashed; applications include applesauce, mashed potatoes, and especially Pringles (R Kalus would not recommend Pringles due to their bishul issue).
General rules: if halacha and kabala disagree, we follow halacha; kabala can be machria if we have contradicting sources, kabala itself can be a source for individual practice but can’t compel practice. There seem to be a number of exemptions to this rule in the beit yosef. TBC.
Bottom line – bet yosef only paskined like the Zohar 15 times and he must’ve had his reasons, elsewise we always go by nigleh.
The bracha and shiurim on the “liquid” of cooked vegetables may depend on the intent and the remaining form and consistency of the vegetable (else why would the rules be different than for smashed fruit)
When does soup/broth retain the bracha of the original food? Requirements include: cooked, it’s a standard use, and you must use both the liquid and the original food. A number of applications discussed.
Analysis of a number of specific applications of cooked products and the liquid results (eg borsht, coffee …)
The mishna lists vegetables which may be used for maror and the gemara some signs of maror. Are those signs to include additional vegetables or to help identify those in the mishna?
“Juice” brachot are a function of the juice’s (and the source’s) common use. Examples include orange juice, apple juice …
The rambam has categories of birchat hanehenin – shevach, hodaa and bakasha. Shevach brachot are related to the general world creation, hodaa are about thanks and bakashat are about tfila. Birchat riah (eg beautiful flower) are about beauty, ilanot in nissan are about chiddush (like kiddush levana).
What is the status of liquid exuded from a vegetable v liquid from cooking a vegetable (zeiah v ikar pri?) Is the retaining of the original bracha based on the cooking being omed likach or if there’s not a reduction in taste.
There are a number of possible sources for the “chiyuv” of 100 daily blessings. Is it a real “chiyuv” or good advice? Does it apply to women? What counts as a bracha? Does it warrant making a bracha sheina tziricha?
Deep dive into shalach manot (TBD). Do the rules change based on:main dish v side dish, chashivut of recipient, chashivut of the food, viability for immediate use, two minim v two manot, and usability by the specific recipient (eg diabetic/cake).
A guide to understanding pat haba bkishin. Important general rule, if it’s something that you (your society) would never make into a meal, it’s not motzi/birchat hamazon. Implications discussed for mezonot rolls (usually not), pizza and cake.
Defining pat haba bkishin – is the definition of lechem consistent with those used for other halachic purpose? (no) Is it the definition based on taste or ingredient percentage?
There are a lot of problems concerning brachot at a kiddush. Mezonot don’t really exist for bnai ashkenaz.
Can you poach a customer from a business’s doorstep? What about a steady customer in any case? It depends on how we learn the gemara of ani hamehepach. Key question – can you get the item or customer somewhere else?
The dough for bread is the same as that for a number of other products; the real question is how is the resulting product generally used (seuda or snack).
There are a number of different interpretations of the gemara concerning prohibited fishing competition and cutting off chiyuta lgamrei. Practical applications discussed (including midot chassidut v ikar hadin).
Review of prior brachot shiurim concerning shemen (and ingesting other damaging foods) [for all, for you)] and medicines (tasty, maachal v trufa)
Review of the general rule that anything with the 5 grains in it gets the bracha of mezonot as well as possible exceptions for filler, intent, smell, color and texture additives.
Introduction to a review of the brachot shiruim series. Chazara is important in general and especially for something as frequent and important as brachot hanehenin.
Arguments for schnitzel to be shehakol, licorice to be shehakol, croutons in soup to need bracha, salad with croutons (mezonot if enough croutons), cookies and cream (two brachot). General question -is the name determinative of the nature of the food? (eg cookies and cream ice cream)
Two topics covered – gefilte fish (is flour added to bind or to taste or to fill out?) and fried fish with flour coating (how thick is the flour?)
Does the chiyuv of maakeh extend to eliminating all dangerous situations or are non-fence situations subsumed elsewhere? Is there a bracha to be said? Why aren’t shuls included in the requirement?
Review of food brachot issues including: puffed rice, cholent, pot haba bkisnin and why people don’t say birchat hamazon at kiddush (they probably should!)
Pot haba bkisnin (TBD) is a “lower level” pot and thus requires kviat seudah (TBD) to be pot for brachot purposes. So what happens if you make the “wrong” bracha rishona or achrona?
Of particular interest to actuaries is the question of whether the amount for kovea seuda is based on the individual/the entire Jewish community or one’s subclass (actuaries over 6’ 5”?)
Is the correct measure weight or volume? Which ingredients are included in the measure? What specific elements are taken into account in making the determination (oil, intent, fillingness, taste…). Applications for calzone, pizza and knishes are discussed.
What makes pot haba bkisnin (societal intent, filling v sweetner) ? Pizza is always hamotzi!
What categories of mumim (physical and halachic) need to be disclosed (and when) in shidduch situations? The answer may be affected by whether gneivat hadaat is duraita or drabanan and how parallel are the rules for shidduchim and commerce.
Continuation of the discussion concerning what needs to be disclosed (and when) in shidducim. Specific tshuvot from R Moshe, E Elyashav and R Sternbuch. An individual evaluation will need to be made in each case.
Also discussed, the parameters of lashon hora, rechilut and lo taamod al dam reecha. When is there enough toelet to require disclosure?
There may be a different threshold for disclosure for relatives than for unrelated parties. There may be a difference for proactive v reactive disclosure. It’s hard to establish specific parameters!