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This evening (after Shabas in the nine days), I recited havdala over a cup of beer, as every year. I knew it was beer, but, by force of habit, recited "hagafen" (the wine benediction) over it during havdala. I continued, reciting the (correct!) benedictions over the spices and fire, and then began the final, havdala benediction, during which I realized my error.

Not knowing what to do, I completed havdala, sat down, recited "shehakol" (the beer benediction), and drank. What should I have done? (There are multiple issues here: Do I drink the beer? If so, do I first say shehakol? And do I have to repeat havdala?)

  • he.wikisource.org/wiki/… – Double AA Jul 19 '15 at 4:49
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    @msh210 Besamim and Ner can be said by themselves (as will be done this coming week), so you are certainly Yotzei on that front. – Double AA Jul 19 '15 at 5:05
  • There is the opinion of R' Yehoshua ben Chananya (P'sachim 103a) that the hagafen can follow the havdala blessing (he says to do נהי"ק instead of יקנה"ז), and perhaps we follow the underlying principle that the order is not m'akeiv b'di'avad. | Also, since this comment disappeared, I'll reiterate that the MB says that the Shulchan Aruch there (s'if 1) is overwhelmingly rejected by most poskim, and that the hagafen would not count for the beer. @DoubleAA – Fred Jul 19 '15 at 5:25
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    Not orange juice? :) – Fred Jul 19 '15 at 7:25
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    @Fred Truth is, I usually say it on OJ. When I wrote "as every year" in this question, I was referring to my use of chamar m'dina, not to my use of beer. – msh210 Jul 19 '15 at 7:35
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Riv'vos Efrayim, volume 2, responsum 115, paragraph 57 (on page 200), in part, in my own, loose translation:

It seems that if he did not recite "hagafen" in havdala he fulfills his obligation. However, if he remembers before the drinking of the wine, he must then recite "hagafen".

My omitting "shehakol", the correct benediction, on my beer is akin, as far as I can tell, to the case in the Riv'vos Efrayim. Thus, I fulfilled my havdala obligation and I was correct to recite "shehakol" after havdala and drink the beer. (My extra "hagafen" was l'vatala, in vain, but I don't see why that would affect the issue of whether I fulfilled my havdala obligation or the issue of what to do about the "shehakol" and the beer.)

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You did the right thing. Also good to say Baruch sheim kevod... after drinking the beer since you made a bracha l'vatala.

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    Citing support for your claims would improve your answer immensely. – msh210 Aug 21 '16 at 19:31

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