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B"H

The Gemara in Brochos says that anyone who benefits from this world with a brocho is as if he benefited from "holy sacrificial food" (which should only be eaten by a kohen etc.)

The obvious question is that:

What happens when one does make a brocho, and then eat? Does that mean that one is no longer benefiting of "sacrificial food (kadshei shamayim)"? If so then what is he benefiting from?

If so, that would imply that through the act of the brocho, one is lowering the status of the food to a lower level. It seems counterintuitive, why should an act of holiness, a brocho and hamshacha of divine light, cause the object that it's being recited over

(That is receiving the hamshacha)

To degrade to a lower status than it was? That would imply that maybe it's better not to make a bracha, chos vishalom, so as not to lower the status of the food! (But that would be absurd to think, since the world is made to draw down Hashem's light into it).

So what is the explanation for the effect that a brocho has on the food itself, if any?

And if the brocho really elevates the person to become elevated to such a level that he can now partake even of kadshei shamayim, like the servant of a kohen can eat sacrificial meat since he's entirely nullified and given over to the kohen, then what's the point of the Gemara saying that

"Anyone who benefits from this world without a bracha is as if he partook of sacrificial offerings", if that would be the case even after saying the brocho?

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  • Welcome to MY, nice to have you here, with such interesting questions. "as if" implies it's just a metaphor, what leads you to think this is a literal interpretation of what is going on?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 3, 2023 at 8:30
  • Your question is unclear. You say "The Gemara in Brochos says that anyone who benefits from this world with a brocho is as if he partook of "holy sacrificial food"". Then you say, "What happens when one does make a brocho, and then eat? Does that mean that one is no longer tl partaking of sacrificial food (kadshei shamayim)?" These statements do not jibe. May 3, 2023 at 11:33
  • @AvrohomYitzchok hi. I'm not understanding the problem. The second is an analysis of the implications of the first May 3, 2023 at 14:57
  • @RabbiKaii hi nice to meet you. See edit May 3, 2023 at 15:09

2 Answers 2

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Just as by a sacrifice, there is a time when it is forbidden and when it is permitted - I.e. before and after the blood was sprayed on the altar - the same would apply with regards to making a blessing, as the Gemara earlier calls it Me’ilah, which is the term used for benefiting from a sacrifice before it becomes permissible

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  • Hi thanks for the answer. I think we were referring to two different sections of the page, see edit May 3, 2023 at 15:09
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According to Rav Chaim Volozhiner Nefesh haChaim sec 2, the whole "it is as if stealing" thing isn't the way people assume from seeing the gemara.

I was taught as a child that everything is G-d's, and so if you eat that apple without a berakhah you are taking from the Owner without asking permission. Thus, it is like me'ilah, stealing from heqdeish (the sacred).

The Nefesh haChaim develops the idea that every physical object has in it inherent spiruality. After all, everything that happens in this world has metaphysical causes in higher ones. When a person makes a berakhah, they connect to that qedushah, and cause more of the fruit's inherent spirituality to be manifest in the world.

And (he says in 2:2) this is why it is called a berakhah, from the word barukh, meaning increase. (Think "berekhah", a wellspring.) A berakhah increases the spirituality of this world. It would be heretical to say we are increasing G-d Himself, as though weren't already Infinite or that He lacked something (2:5).

And (2:3) the phrasing of a berakhah is from the second person to the third "Barukh Atah -- blessed are You" to "Who Created / Commanded / Brought forth..." We are tracing that flow from the Source down into the physical world to bring it to manifestation here.

Eating without a berakhah is thus stealing that potential for G-dliness from the world.

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  • Thanks for the reply. It should be noted the the statement in the Gemara about meilah is a different one than the one referred to in the question. The question is according to the statement that says that "without a bracha", it's like kadshei shamayim. What is it with a bracha? May 5, 2023 at 19:40

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