Is there a definitive, consensus explanation for the following: Why is only the bracha achrona d’oraita and not also the bracha rishona? Why was the latter “required”, if you will, to be d’rabbanan? If there is not a generally accepted resolution or reason, what are some explanations? May thanks for any insight into this issue.

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    It's worth pointing out that it isn't universally agreed upon that a bracha rishona is rabbinical. The gemara in brachos 35a says that it is forbidden to benefit from this world without a blessing. I believe that the pnei yehoshua there, as well reb akiva eiger, comment based on a maharsha in pasachim, ( maybe 102a?) that this is a dioreisa halacha, making a bracha rishona dioreisa.
    – אילפא
    Aug 22, 2022 at 11:17
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    regardless, there is literally a pasuk requiring Bircas Hamazon (and Bircas Me'ein Shalosh is just a shorter version).
    – Esther
    Aug 22, 2022 at 21:58
  • Thank you very much, Esther. Most interesting. I appreciate your time and insight.
    – Sidney76
    Aug 23, 2022 at 5:48
  • Are you asking for the Talmudic logic that determined that one is Biblical and the other Rabbinic, or are you asking for God’s reasoning in only requiring one of them and leaving the other for the rabbis to institute?
    – Alex
    Aug 23, 2022 at 11:04
  • ואכלת ושבעת וברכת
    – shmosel
    Jan 15 at 7:10

1 Answer 1


The Meshech Chochma on Parshas Eikev 8:10 explains that the Gemara in Berachos 35A makes a kal vchomer, if one makes a blessing after eating mdoraisa, surely he should be required to make one beforehand as well. However, in the end, the Gemara rejects this reasoning and says it’s simply because one cannot have benefit from this world without blessing first (according to some this is only drabbanan). He explains that initially, the Gemara thought the blessing was to give thanks and praise for the food you ate, in which case the kal vchomer stands. However, the Gemara determines at the end that the blessing is to avoid a feeling of haughtiness and control that inevitably comes when one is full and satisfied. By making the blessing, after eating, the person is reminded that it’s all from Hashem. Therefore, the bracha beforehand is not connected to this at all, and is only drabbanan.

ומסיק שם דברכה שלפניה הוא דרבנן, וכן בד"ת. וטעמא נראה, דאם נעיין על התשלום על גמול הטוב שגמל לו הקב"ה, אז הוא קו"ח מעליא מה על חיי שעה מברך על חיי עולם לא כש"כ, וכן מה כשהוא שבע מברך כשהוא רעב לא כש"כ, שזה תודה וברכה עבור גמולו הטוב שגמל אליו השי"ת. אך באמת אין הברכה על זה בלבד, רק הוא ענין ומכוון אחר, שכשאוכל ושבע, אז הוא עלול לבעט, וכמוש"א אכלת שבעת כו' שכחת שם ד' אלדיך מלי כריסי זני בישי (ברכות ל"ב), לכן צוה השי"ת שכשיאכל וישבע יזכיר שם אלוד' בתודה ויברכנהו ויזכור כי הוא הנותן לך כח לעשות חיל ומידו לוקח האוכל למלאות נפשו כי ירעב, וזה שאמר בסמוך השמר לך פן תשכח כו' פן תאכל ושבעת כו' ורם לבבך ושכחת וזכרת כו' כי הוא הנותן לך כח לעשות חיל, הראה לנו טעם הברכה שלא יקשיח לבבו מדרכי השי"ת ועדותיו, וזה יתכן דוקא כשהוא שבע לא כשהוא רעב

You will eat and be full and you will bless Hashem. This is thanksgiving, for the great kindness that Hashem gives each individual. However, the truth is that the blessing is not only for this purpose … When a person eats and is full, he is more likely to rebel against Hashem … therefore Hashem commanded that when a person eats and is satisfied he should mentions Hashem and offer Him thanks by blessing Him. In this way the person will remember who gave him the strength to act, and from whose Hand he takes the food to ease his hunger. This explains the connection to the following verse, “Look out for yourself lest you forget Hashem, your God … Lest you eat and be full …” (Sefaria, not a full translation)

While I can’t say this is a consensus explanation, it is definitely an explanation from a reputable source.

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    Much to think about there, Chatzkel. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and insight with me. I appreciate it.
    – Sidney76
    Aug 23, 2022 at 5:49

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