Say you made yourself some oatmeal and you made the bracha mezonot. If you now add on toppings (tofel) do you make an additional blessing on the toppings since it wasn't in the mixture at the time of the initial blessing?

What about if you had in mind to add toppings later at the time of the initial blessing?


2 Answers 2


The answer to the question may depend on a question of how ikar and tafel works:

The standard approach is that the blessing on the primary covers the secondary. You make the blessing on the main food and it extends to the other food. This may be because the other food is seen as having become conceptually part of the main food, or nullified to it for berachos purposes. This is the simple understanding, and many poskim are explicit like this (Chazon Ish and others). According to this, if the tafel was not there and you did not have intention to eat it when you made the blessing, then it wouldn't be covered.

However, there is another approach, which is that a food that is secondary is not significant enough to require a blessing at all (Rashba citing the Ba'al HaMeor in Berachos 41b s.v. Amar Rav Papa)! According to this approach, the blessing on the primary is not covering the secondary, but rather the secondary does not need a blessing because it is not a significant part of this meal. If that is the case, your tafel would still not need a blessing, because it is still a tafel and not significant enough to require a blessing.

Normative halacha seems to follow the first approach, although there are arguments to be made for the second. (Of course, CYLOR.)

If you had it in mind, then even according to the first approach it could be you would not need a new blessing, since the blessing on the ikar would extend to the tafel.

  • This is a more comprehensive approach than my answer. I'm almost tempted to delete my answer, actually. However, I'm curious if any of your sources explains or expeands on the notion that there may not be any concept of tafel in the first place if it didn't exist at the time that you made the bracha. My argument i , essentially, how can you make a bracha on something in your mind. Adding it later does not seem to make it "tafel". I think it is just a "new" separate item. E.g. - What happens if you eat lettuce, and then decide to put some small pieces of turkey chunks and make a lettuce wrap?
    – DanF
    Jan 25, 2015 at 17:37
  • @DanF don't delete your answer unless you think it's invalid! If tafel is just a matter of significance, as the second approach suggests, then it is equally insignificant no matter when it is added. The whole idea of the Ba'al HaMeor is that tafel is not because of being included in the blessing. The time at which you made the blessing is therefore inconsequential to it being tafel. (I think that is what you were asking - if I misunderstood, let me know.) Jan 25, 2015 at 19:14

See this. Excerpt:

  1. A bracha she'ayna tzricha is an unnecessary bracha -- i.e. it was said on a food that was already covered by a previous bracha. Although the bracha is in one sense "fulfilled" (i.e. the food is eaten), nevertheless the bracha is unnecessary and hence improper. For example, you begin your meal with bread, saying the bracha Hamotzee. You then take a piece of chicken and say the bracha Shehakol.
  2. One is not even allowed to cause a bracha she'ayna tzricha to be said. This means that you may not say a bracha when it could have been avoided, as in the following case: You sit down to a meal and first say the bracha Shehakol on the chicken. You then proceed to say a bracha on the bread.
  3. This last rule, however, only applies only when you are planning to eat the second food right away. If, however, the second food is not going to be eaten right now, the first food may be eaten with its own bracha. For example, you come home, wile waiting for dinner to be ready, and grab a drink to quench your thirst, saying the bracha Shehakol. Since the meal was not ready yet, and you were thirsty right now, you were not obligated to wait to take a drink.

This doesn't sound like a case of "tofel", but rather a separate eating of food that wasn't initially there for which rule #3 above applies. Granted, the example is that "dinner wasn't ready". But, the beginning of the paragraph implies that you weren't planning to eat the 2nd food right away, which is your case. It doesn't specify anything about "tafel", and, my understanding is that there is no situation of "tafel" unless it's there already prior to your eating the mixture. I.e. - adding it later, does not make it "tafel" after the fact.

Either way, for both reasons - it's not tafel and you didn't think of eating it at the beginning, you would make a separate bracha on the toppings.

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