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Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 208:7:

הַכּוֹסֵס (פי' הָאוֹכֵל) אֶת הָאֹרֶז, מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה וְאַחֲרָיו בּוֹרֵא נְפָשׁוֹת; וְאִם בִּשְּׁלוֹ הַגָּה: עַד שֶׁנִּתְמַעֵךְ (בֵּית יוֹסֵף בְּשֵׁם הָרֹא''שׁ וְהר''י), אוֹ שֶׁטְּחָנוֹ וְעָשָׂה מִמֶּנּוּ פַּת, מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי מְזוֹנוֹת וְאַחֲרָיו בּוֹרֵא נְפָשׁוֹת; .

My loose translation:

One who eats whole rice says "Ha'admah" (fruit of the ground) before eating and "Borei Nefashot" (Creates souls) afterwards. If he cooked the rice until it became crushed (sticky rice) or he ground it and made (rice) bread, he says "Borei minei mezonot" ("creates types of foods") and afterwards he say, "Borei Nefashot".

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 208:2 (bridged for purposes of this question):

חֲמֵשֶׁת מִינֵי דָּגָן...... מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי מְזוֹנוֹת וּלְבַסוֹף עַל הַמִּחְיָה

My translation:

On the five types of "grain" you say (at the beginning) *Borei minei mezonot" and afterwards "al hamichya".

Be'er Hetev on Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 208:1 explains what the five types of "dagan" are:

דגן. והם חטה ושעורה וכוסמין ושבולת שועל ושיפון

They are wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt

Rice is not one of these five grains. So, how did it get included in the same blessing as these other five? And if rice IS considered "mezonot", why doesn't it get the same ending blessing as the other 5 grains? It seems that it is in 2 "categories".

  • Note the Shulchan Arukh does not say "ONLY on the five types of 'grain' you say (at the beginning) Borei minei mezonot" – Double AA Oct 28 '15 at 1:42
  • Not that the English categories you reference are ever precise (or even close) matches with those Hebrew species names, but I think even according to the "commonly accepted" translation scheme you've mixed up rye and spelt. – Double AA Oct 28 '15 at 16:20
  • @DoubleAA I'm aware of the 1st part of what you said. I've seen some debate as to whether it's spelt or triticale or some species of wheat. Can you point me to which Hebrew word is rye and which is spelt, so I can edit it? – DanF Oct 28 '15 at 16:24
  • @DanF There are no Hebrew words that match the English categories rye and spelt. Despite that, people tend to try and translate שיפון and כוסמין anyway, and usually use rye for the former and spelt for the latter. BTW spelt is a species of wheat. – Double AA Oct 28 '15 at 16:39
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You ask:

1) Why is the brocho on rice mezonot?

2) And if rice IS considered "mezonot", why doesn't it get the same ending blessing as the other 5 grains?

Halachipedia writes

Gemara Brachot 37a records the discussion on the before-brocho for rice. On 37b the gemara concludes that the opinion of the Rabbis is Mezonot with Bracha Achrona of Boreh Nefashot.

[Why is rice Boreh Nefashot?

Answer to question 1: The Rosh (Brachot 6:8) explains that the reason rice is Mezonot is because it provides sustenance (root of מזונות is זן - to sustain) like a grain

Answer to question 2: but is Boreh Nefashot because it’s not one of the Shivat HaMinim. Interestingly, the Mishna Brurah 208:29 writes that rice is Boreh Nefashot because only the five grains receive Al HaMichya because of their significance. ]

FYI

When is rice Mezonot? Raw or roasted rice is HaAdama. Rice which is crushed and cooked is mezonot. However, rice which is whole is subject to some dispute but nonetheless, the major poskim all rule that the Bracha is Mezonot. Products made from milled rice or rice flour is also mezonot and Boreh Nefashot. After the fact if one made HaAdama one has fulfilled one’s obligation. Bread that doesn't have any of the 5 grains in it and the majority of its ingredients is rice, is Mezonot, however, if rice isn't the majority, the bracha follows the majority.

  • "the major poskim all rule that the Bracha is Mezonot." Whoever wrote that is quite ignorant (or perhaps inept at writing halacha clearly). (not your fault, I know you're just quoting) – Double AA Oct 28 '15 at 14:35
  • @DoubleAA How should the author have written it please? – Avrohom Yitzchok Oct 28 '15 at 16:16
  • "most major poskim rule that the Bracha is Mezonot" would seem to be a safer route to take. As noted (subtly) by Yishai above (and as mentioned elsewhere in the article you cite!) the Shulchan Arukh haRav (and Chassidei Chabad in general IIUC) would recite Shehakol in that case. – Double AA Oct 28 '15 at 16:19
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Basically, halacha recognizes rice and millet as quasi-grains. Mezonot but not al hamichya; their breads are not hamotzee, but a small amount of wheat mixed in with a lot of rice would be hamotzee (whereas a little wheat with a lot of corn would not be).

  • I think you mean "rice OR millet". – Double AA Oct 28 '15 at 14:34

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