It has come to my attention (from a local Rabbi) that one is required to say a brocho on each and every bit of food he/she eats, unless he/she was thinking about that particular food at the time of the brocho.

The example he gave was that if I ate (and said a "ha'aitz" brocho on) an orange, if I later decide that I want to have grapes (before saying an after blessing, of course), I would have to say another "ha'aitz" brocho.

Now, this may be understandable for me in the case of the very different foods of grapes and oranges; they even require different after blessings!

Would this rule (of saying a separate brocho for each and every thing someone eats, without having it in mind at the time of the recitation of the first brocho) apply to foods which are much more similar? Like cheerios and pretzels, apples and oranges, etc.?

And if you will say that it applies to the above-mentioned example foods, would it also apply to, let's say, honey nut cheerios vs. multi grain cheerios? If so, would it even apply to the exact same type of food? (e.g. I have in mind one bowl of honey nut cheerios at the time if the brocho recitation, but once I finish I want to have another, would a second brocho be required?)

And lastly, what are the sources for this law of always having in mind whatever food which you want to be included in the brocho?

  • Closely related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/26613/3483 – Mike May 28 '15 at 5:41
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    Grapes are more different from oranges than are apples? I feel like there is a popular idiom relevant here...;) – Loewian May 28 '15 at 5:42
  • Lol true, but... Grapes are one of the 7 fruits for which Eretz Yisroel is praised, and therefore have a different after blessing than oranges, so I was wondering if such a difference matters in regards to blessings – bluejayke May 28 '15 at 5:44
  • @Mike thanks for taking the time to find that other question, I sincerely appreciate it; although, I have to admit that that person was asking about saying separate brochos on foods with different brochos, while my question is explicitly regarding foods of the same (pre)brocho. – bluejayke May 28 '15 at 5:48
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    Looks like a dupe of judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/52811/…. But since that Q has no upvote or answer, I can't vote to close. – DanF May 28 '15 at 17:21

Shulchan Aruch O.C. 179:4 writes:

כשאדם נכנס לבית חבירו ויש שם חבורות הרבה שאוכלים וכל אחד מושיט לו כוס יש מי שאומר שמברך על כל אחד בורא פרי הגפן כי בכל פעם הוא נמלך

When a person comes to his friend's home, and there are many groups of people eating, and each one is offered his own cup, there is an opinion that he should make a separate blessing on each cup, as each time he changes his mind.

One might have understood this to mean that after he finishes each cup, he decides that he won't be drinking anymore, and therefore requires a new beracha on the next cup. However, the Mogen Avrohom there (179:6) writes that this is true even when he is offered the next cup while still in the middle of the previous cup, at which point he would not have decided he is done. Even so, he needs a new beracha. The Ketzos HaShulchan (2:56:9), based thereon (Badei HaShulchan 13 there), writes that when one makes a beracha with intent to only eat one fruit or two, and then subsequently decides to eat more, he must make a new beracha, as his beracha only covers that amount which he had in mind.

Therefore, this idea applies even to the same food, as is the case under discussion in the Shulchan Aruch.

It is worth noting that R' Elyashiv, cited in Zos HaBeracha 20:9, held that today this rule is not so hard and fast. We are, by nature, more wishy washy in our decisions, particularly in the area of eating. This may be a result of two factors - the general hecticness of our lives, and the fact that it is not such a big deal for us to eat more, since we have a whole refrigerator and pantry full of food. Therefore, our decisions to only eat so much are not such substantial decisions, and are not binding. Unless there are mitigating circumstances which force the person to make his decision to end his meal, such as a cab is waiting outside, he does not have real binding intention to end his meal.

  • So does that mean nowadays we in fact DON'T have to make a separate brocho for the same food? – bluejayke May 29 '15 at 23:17
  • @user2016831 According to R' Elyashiv, correct. – Y     e     z May 31 '15 at 4:10
  • The Mishna B'rura (206:22) rules according to what (as you say) "one might have understood" (apparently due to ספק ברכות להקל resulting from a dispute among the poskim - see MB 211:32). – Fred Jun 17 '15 at 2:57

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