1

The 7 species of Israel are used to praise the land.

Wine gets a unique bracha rishonah and acharonah. Grains within the 7 species and within the 5 species of grains also get their own bracha rishona and acharona when cooked or baked (their intended purpose).

Why then are the fruits of the 7 of the seven species (figs, dates, grapes, and pomegranates) left out to get a special bracha acharonah but a plain haetz for the bracha rishonah?

Perhaps the question can be extended to included include honey which gets a shehakol and no bracha acharonah.

  • A better question comes from bracha achrona IMO. Or from afarsimon oil. – Double AA Feb 9 '15 at 3:03
2

The Tur gives the explanation of why grains get a mezonos:

Tur O.C. 208:

וה' מיני דגן שהן חטים ושעורין וכוסמין ושבולת שועל ושיפון שהן גם כן חשובים שנשתבחה בהן ארץ ישראל שכוסמין הן מין חטים ושבולת שועל ושיפון הן מיני שעורים ועוד יש להם מעלה כי עליהם יחיה האדם ואם עשה מהם פת מברך עליהם המוציא הלכך אפילו לא עשה מהן פת אלא תבשיל כגון מעשה קדרה ודייסא ואפי' עירב בהם דבש ושאר מינין מברך עליהם במ"מ

And the 5 species of grain ... also have the significance that the land is praised by them... and furthermore they have another level, since they are the primary sustenance, and if you made bread out of them you would make Hamotzi. Therefore, even if you don't make bread out of them, rather a dish ... you make Borei Minei Mezonos.

What I understand the Tur to be saying (supporting this would take a lot more background) is that mezonos, since you could make bread out of them, they tap into the significance of bread, and when they are altered to an improved state they get an improved blessing as a result of that significance.

This does not exist by the other species. The aspect that they share, which is the significance of the land, is what the Tur says gives them their מעין שלש special after-blessing.

  • You "could" make wine out of grapes. But when you eat them as plain grapes you make the normal "ha-eitz" b'racha. – CashCow Feb 9 '15 at 11:55
  • It seems to be two factors: that they are significant in terms of praising the land and that they provide primary sustenance. Which don't apply to the fruits of the 7 minim. – Ani Yodea Feb 9 '15 at 14:32
  • @CashCow I addressed that point in my penultimate paragraph. A food only gets an improved blessing when they reach an improved state. Wheat kernels can also be made into bread, but they don't get an improved blessing. It is only when they are אישתני לעילויא, altered to an imrpoved state, that they get an improved blessing. Grapes are not altered to an improved state. – Y     e     z Feb 9 '15 at 18:35
1

The five grains only get a special bracha rishona (mezonos/hamotzi) when they are processed, like when they're baked.
Unprocessed wheat gets a ha'adama. (see, e.g., Shulchan Aruch OC 211:5)

Therefore, I think that your comparison to the 7 Minim is not a good comparison; because even though they are special like wheat is (wheat is also one of the 7 Minim), they shouldn't get a special bracha rishona because they can't be processed the same way wheat can be processed.

The reason that wheat gets a mezonos does not exist by pomegranates et al.

  • Shokhet, according to this logic if you were to process/bake pomegranates et al, then they WOULD require a special bracha. – Ani Yodea Feb 9 '15 at 14:34
  • But it still doesn't rise like dough does. It doesn't change in the same way -- baking a pomegranate just makes it hot, and withers it a little bit. Grinding wheat and adding water and making it rise is a lot more than what you get out of baking grapes. – Shokhet Feb 9 '15 at 14:36
  • Are there no other grains that rise? – Ani Yodea Feb 9 '15 at 14:48

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