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It's brought down in the halacha books that upon making a bracha one must hold the food item in his hand and then take a bite of it (I'll try to find a source later).

What if - as we do in America - a person is using a fork and knife to eat. Does he have to move the fork into the right hand upon reciting the bracha even though he usually places the fork in the left hand because of convenience?

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I'm inferring that the answer is no, this won't work to start out (lechatchila)

Mishnah Brurah commentary on O.C. 206:4 note 18 says that a lefty follows "his right" hand and not the "world's right hand. If I translate this correctly, the term "right" means "stronger", so in the lefty's case, he would use his left hand. I infer, then, the righty must use his right hand. (M.B. states the reason is because of importance.)

It seems that M.B. is specific that the food must be held in your strongest hand, whatever that is. In a previous par. though, O.C. states that bedi'eved if you didn't hold it at all and it was just lying there, and you made the bracha, it's O.K. It seems, then, that if you held the food in the left hand and made the baracha, accidentally, you don't need to repeat it.

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  • What about lehathillah? – Ani Yodea Mar 26 '15 at 21:30
  • @AniYodea - I infer that lechathilla, no. See the Ba'er Hetev on that halacha who mentions that you can't stab the food with a knife in you're right hand. That's, perhaps, tangential proof to your idea. Some people push the food with the knife in the right onto the fork in the left hand (e.g. peas - withOUT the honey on them ;-) – DanF Mar 27 '15 at 13:23

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