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Are non-Jews themselves required to recite berachot before and after eating?

According to this for e.g., one is obligated to insist that guests and anyone one gives food to should make a beracha over it, and it doesn't say that it is referring only to Jews. Does this also apply to non-Jews, and if so does that imply that they should do so themselves in any case?

According to the Midrash, eating with a beracha is something Avraham insisted on when feeding his (presumably pagan) guests (Midrash Genesis Rabbah 54:6):

על דעתיה דרבי נחמיה דאמר אשל פונדיק: אברהם היה מקבל את העוברים ואת השבים ומשהיו אוכלין ושותין אמר לון: בריכו! והן אמרין: מה נימור? ואמר להון: ברוך אל עולם שאכלנו משלו, הה"ד (בראשית כא:לג): ויקרא בשם ה' אל עולם

According to the opinion of R. Nehemiah, who said that “tamarisk” (אשל) is an inn, Abraham used to receive all the wayfarers, and when they would eat and drink he would say to them “Bless!” And they would say: “What should we say?” And he would tell them, “Blessed is the Eternal Lord that we have eaten of His [bounty].” That is as is written (Gen 21:33), “and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God”

I heard that this, i.e. calling upon gentiles to bless, is halacha but I never heard the source.

If so,

  • Which language?
  • Which text?
  • For non-kosher food?
  • Same question for other nehenin (pleasures).
  • Saying amen
  • Must one insist they do so if offering them our food, like Avraham and the pagans?

Note, this and this simply ask if they are allowed, but I wish to know if they are obligated, and their laws.

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  • 1
    Assuming blessings are Rabbinic, do non-Jews have to listen to the Rabbis?
    – robev
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 19:35
  • 4
    Great question!
    – Turk Hill
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 20:33
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    "it doesn't say that it is referring only to Jews." The vast majority of statements in the SA do not explicitly state that a given law appertains to Jews, it is implicit in the nature of the work. You would need some kind of evidence suggesting otherwise to uproot the assumption that this refers to Jews. Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 15:42
  • @Deuteronomy indeed. All I have is the shiur I mentioned, and the story of Avraham
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 15:43
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    I would understand the midrash about Abraham as teaching that it is commendable to encourage people (even gentiles) to bless God. I would not derive from it that gentiles have such an obligation however. Was the shiur in which you heard this recorded and available? Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 16:12

3 Answers 3

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+100

The Noda Biyehudah (Tzlach, Berachos 35a, s.v. ואמנם), in the course of a discussion about the obligation to recite berachos on food (in particular, whether the logical basis that the Gemara states there, "that it is forbidden to benefit from this world without a berachah," is enough to make it a Biblical-level mitzvah), states:

סברה זו שייכא בכל באי עולם וא"כ יהי' ברכת הנהנין חובה גם על בני נח אתמהה

This logical point is applicable to all of humanity, which would mean that birchos hanehenin would be obligatory for Noachides as well. I am astonished [that anyone would say so].

So he clearly holds that bnei Noach are not obligated in berachos on food.

That said, if they do say a berachah, we answer Amen after it, as long as we heard the entire berachah (Rema in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 215:2).

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  • What do you mean by "are not obligated" but then proceeded to say that "if they Said a brocho etc"? Should they say a brocho? Commented May 7 at 7:51
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    @Awtsmoos--עצמות Not sure what's unclear. They don't have to say a berachah (at least according to the Noda Biyehudah), but they may do so. Same wasy as Bnei Noach can dp many other mitzvos voluntarily.
    – Meir
    Commented May 7 at 17:43
  • Please reread what you wrote here. You say they have an obligation and then right afterwards say they don't have an obligation
    – Dude
    Commented May 8 at 3:10
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    @Dude Where did I say that they have an obligation? The Noda Biyehudah is saying that if the basis for the obligation (for Jews) were the logical point mentioned in the Gemara, then it would be obligatory for non-Jews; since it's not, then there must be a different basis for it. It's called a proof by contradiction, or reductio ad absurdum.
    – Meir
    Commented May 8 at 16:43
  • Thanks for bringing the hava amina. +100
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 9 at 22:55
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+200

The pashtus in most poskim is that brachos are rabbinic, therefore non jews would be exempt. (Not commanded in lo tasur or rabbis didn't command them). The question is, that the gemara in brachos 35a says the source of brachos is a svara,that you can't benefit from this world without a bracha, ( most learn bracha before eating, some say even bracha after eating) and we find svaros are deoraisa (bk 46b, Shabbos 95b) so how come brachos are rabbinic. (Ravid zahav, brought in kli chemda Vayakhel os 4 actually brings a proof from here svaros are rabbinic, however most achronim argue) The pnei yehushua ( acknowledging the poskim say brachos are rabbinic) says that brachos are deoraisa learned from a svara, and learns that since it's learned from a svara there are different laws regarding brachos, then normal deoraisas. According to the pnei yehushua, it would seem even non jews are obligated in brachos. The tzlach even argues on this from the fact we dont find such an obligation. The tzlach and pnei shlomo both answer that even though brachos are a svara, a svara can't create a mitzva or an obligation. Svaras only teach dinim. The Ikvei Chaim answers for the pnei yehushua that this svara didn't create a new obligation, rather it only revealed that if you dont say a bracha you're stealing, which is an already existent obligation. (My difficulty on this is we find reishonim and rabbeinu nissim say that non jews are obligated in mitzvos sichlios, so we see svara can obligate people in mitzvos.צע)

However regarding Avraham asking his guests to bless hashem for the food, that idea always existed. The maris haayin on brachos asked how did people benefit from this world before anshe cineses gedola were misaken brachos. He says before they were misaken brachos anyone with yiras shamayim would acknowledge hashem for his food whether with his mouth or heart. Although he implies there it was an obligation but most people didn't understand the idea untill chazal was misaken it. But the point is, even if brachos are rabbinic it's still a nice thing to thank hashem for your food. But a non jew acc to most, doesn't have such an obligation so you can give him food without worry.

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  • Birkas hamazon is biblical Commented May 7 at 7:52
  • @Awtsmoos--עצמות therefore?
    – Shlomy
    Commented May 7 at 13:00
  • Maybe they would be obligated in it? Commented May 7 at 14:41
  • @Awtsmoos--עצמות they're obligated in 7 mitzvos not 613.
    – Shlomy
    Commented May 7 at 18:15
  • 7 are only the lavim. There are 66 total mitzvos that include tefilla. Birkas hamazon might be considered tefilla, maybe not Commented May 7 at 18:40
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R. Yehudah ibn-Dannan wrote (Qol Yehudah, p. 98):

ועל דעתיה דרבי נחמיה דאמר אשל פונדק אברהם היה מקבל בשמחה את העוברים ואת השבים ומשהיו אוכלין ושותין אמר לון בריכו ואינון אומרים מה נימר ואמר להון ברוך אל עולם שאכלנו משלו הה"ד ויקרא שם בשם ה' אל עולם פירוש אמר לון בריכו אעפ"י שאין ברכת מזון ממצות בני נח היה עושה כן להודיע את שם הבורא והיה אומר שמדרך המוסר שיברכוהו ויודו לו על טובתו

And according to the opinion of R. Nehehmiah, that an אשל refers to an inn, and that Abraham would receive all of the wayfarers with gladness and when and when they would eat and drink he would say to them “Bless!” And they would say: “What should we say?” And he would tell them, “Blessed is the Eternal Lord that we have eaten of His [bounty].” That is as is written (Gen 21:33), “and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God” - and the meaning of the fact that he would tell them to bless, is that even though blessing over food is not one of the Noahide commandments, he instructed them to do so in order to cause them to know the name of the Creator, and he would tell them in the vein of an ethical instruction (derekh mussar) so that they would bless and acknowledge His goodness.

According to R. Yehudah ibn-Dannan, there is no Noahide obligation to recite blessings over food. Abraham instructed wayfarers to bless not because they had a duty under Noahide law but rather because it was an opportunity to share with them knowledge of our beneficent Creator.

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  • What about the pressure tactic of asking for payment if they refused?
    – shmosel
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 22:46
  • @shmosel I don't understand what your question is. Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 5:08
  • @Deuteronomy I am sorry, I find it very hard to accept even excellent answers when I have asked the question because I heard something else. In the case of the narcotic question too, I heard that narcotics are different so I will keep on looking for the source of that for a while... Same here, I heard that it is indeed forbidden to offer someone food without insisting on a beracha and I would like to at least find a source for that before accepting a very good answer to the opposite.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 10:09
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    @Deuteronomy not exclusively, so I don't want to rule out answers that disagree. I would accept an answer that disagrees with what I heard too, but I want to keep the question open long enough that I feel that no other answers dealing with what I heard are forthcoming. That might take years. This was just a courtesy comment to offer my thanks to you for your answers and let you know I am not avoiding accepting them because they are bad or I am unappreciative.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 13:35
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    Ah, okay, thank you for the courtesy (though I don't think it was necessary!)... here's to hoping you find what you're after :) Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 13:44

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