We all know the special suffix for Eretz yIsrael products גפנה - "gafna" פירותיה - "peirotiha". Yesterday I saw על מחייתה "Al michyatah" in an Ashkenazi bencher, but I haven't seen that anywhere else in Ashkeazi nusach.

Anyone have a source for this?

2 Answers 2


The source for the custom to say "על מחייתה" on grain from Eretz Yisroel is brought in Birkey Yosef (OC 208:10) from the Kaftor Veferach (chapter 10) and the Agudah. See here and here for more details.

It's also brought in Tosfos R"i Chosid (printed in the sefer Bracha Meshuleshes pg. 44), Shu"t Haleket (vol. 2 Siman 55), and quoted in Yad Efrayim (OC 208), Pe'as Hashulchan (Hilchos Eretz Yisroel Siman 2 Ois 14), Mekor Chaim (Chavos Yair OC 208), Chochmas Adam (Sharey Tzedek 11:10) and Ben Ish Chai Parshas Ma'aseh. This is the nusach printed in many Sefardi siddurim (additional sources taken from here).

  • Have you seen it anywhere as an Ashkenazi custom, or, do you know why they don't have it? Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 9:04
  • @YaakovPinsky See footnote 6 in the first article I linked to for one possible explanation from the Netziv.
    – Michoel
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 11:24
  • 1
    Thank you, I might note also that to the best of my knowledge, the flower used in Israel for human consumption is not grown locally. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 14:34
  • I've seen this nusach printed in both the Ashkenazi and Mizrach versions of this beracha in a Kiddush book published by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, FWIW. @YaakovPinsky
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 15:20
  • @YaakovPinsky Yabia Omer (vol. 7 OC 30:4) and the Siddur Ish Matzliach (pg. 439) both point this out, and writes one should only say על מחייתה if he is certain the grain was grown in Israel.
    – Michoel
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 23:35

Just to throw in some more names, Kaf HaChayim (OC 208:10), Mishneh Halachot (6:41), Yabia Omer (OC 7:30), Sefer Eretz Yisrael (3:1) all vouch for making the change. Igrot Moshe (YD 3:129:4) rules against changing.

It's worth noting that you should really also be asking your question about the second blessing in Bentching too, which ends parallel to the question's instances with "on the land and the sustenance" and would mutatis mutandis be changed to "on the land and its sustenance." In fact, most of the above cited opinions do not distinguish between the cases, with some exceptions such as Yabia Omer who notes that there existed an active custom to change "Al haMichya" but no active custom to change "Al haMazon" and rules accordingly.

An additional note: the Yerushalmi (Brachot 6:1) brings a different version of the before and after bracha for a certain sweet rice dish (what we have as SheHaKol (probably) and Borei Nefashot). The before and after brachot, respectively, per this other opinion are:

בורא מיני מעדנים...
...who created types of delicacies.


אשר ברא מיני מעדנים לעדן בהן נפש כל חי בא"י על הארץ ועל מעדניה...
...that he created types of delicacies to delight with them all living souls. Blessed are you Hashem on the land and on its delicacies.

We see that there exists another bracha (and a semi-grain related one!) where this change is made. (I'm assuming it's a change because the Yerushalmi is in Israel. I assume if that rabbi had traveled to Babylon he would have said ועל המעדנים.)

This seems to reject the authorities who justify limiting the switching to fruit blessings by describing the special connection that fruit of the seven species has with the land. It doesn't prove that the switch should be made by grain (which does seems to parallel rice), but it rejects a main logic against making that switch.


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