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Every day when eating/drinking we say many times the blessing "sheakol niye bidvaro" (who created everything through his word). This blessing is not composed like the other food blessings, e.g., we say bore pri haeitz, bore pri haadama, bore mine mezonot, bore pri hagafen.

So why is sheakol focusing on bidvaro, creating all through his word?

Why not she bore et hakol or something similar.

The source of the blessing (Brakhot 40b) is not of much help.

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Rav Eliyahu Lifshitz of Maaleh Adumim explains that this is based on a fundamental conceptual difference between "shehakol" and the other birchoth hanehenin. He suggests that really only plant life (tzome'ach) was originally created for consumption. Thus the brachot - "borei minei mezonoth"/"borei pri..." suggest thanking for the creation of foodstuff. "Shehakol" is more an acknowledgement that even these things that were not primarily created as our food, also are created with His word and deserving of this recognition.

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    See Abudarham The response of the Rav Asher Milunnel. – kouty Feb 12 '16 at 14:09
  • Interesting. But lots of food/drink whose berakha is shehakol comes primarily or exclusively from plant life (e.g. juice). – Daniel Feb 12 '16 at 14:24
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    Interesting and +1, thanks for bringing this. Difficult to imagine though how water wasn't originally created for consumption (or what original man was drinking). Also doesn't really explain why the focus on dvaro but maybe this is just the wisdom of anshei knesset hagdolah and we cannot know – mbloch Feb 12 '16 at 14:24
  • @mbloch Technically, you could view the priority in reverse. All of creation, including plants, water, trees, fruits, etc. were created via G-d's WORD. See beginning of Breishit. – DanF Feb 12 '16 at 19:26
  • Considering the amount of water there is in the world, it is clear that his role as a beverage is contingent also after the eye of the believer man But your second question is Stronger. RI Bar Yakar explain Kol, Harav Ashen Milunnel explain why not Bore. But why not Osse kol. – kouty Feb 13 '16 at 19:47
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Shehakol is unique in that it thanks G-d for existence as a whole rather than the specific food in front of you. I think that's because it is defined as the berakhah you make when there is no berakhah specific to the food, or if you cannot determine the right berakhah.

Ideally one makes the right berakhah for the occasion. After all, which would make you feel better seeing in a thank-you card, "Dear ...., Thanks for your generous gift. I hope to use it wisely and enjoy it." Or, "Thanks for that XYZ, it's exactly what we needed. Now we can..."? Precision and awareness of what you're thanking for is indicative of greater gratitude.

So, we can talk about how G-d created from nothing baked goods, grape juice and wine, fruit from perennial trees, other food from plants. (Why bread is "hamotzi ... min haaretz" instead of "borei minei" is a good but different question. Also, Tosefta Berakhos ch 4 and the Yerushalmi have many more specific berakhos than we use today. For example "borei minei nefashos" on meat, eggs and milk. Another question would be why they fell out of usage.)

But in Shehakol, we are talking about creation as a whole. Therefore, rather than simply saying "Borei" -- "Who creates" or "the Creator of" this specific item, the berakhah's detail instead goes into how Creation was done.

There is a symmetry to the structure of the berakhah:

ברוך אתה You are the Wellspring from which everything flows

    ה' the Cause of existence

        אלוקינו our Master of all forces (thus the plural)

            מלך העולם Sovereign of the Universe

        שהכל the everything, ie the universe(s)

    נהיה exists

בדברו through His Word

The first part of the berakhah is to “You”, the berakhah ends “bidvaro” — His word. One is a progression to accepting Hashem as King, the other a progression from. And there is a symmetry between the two halves. A mirror at “Malekh haOlam”.

The tetragrammaton is the causative of "hoveh", present tense, to exist. (Aside from all the connotations the name carries, this is its translation.) Thus the parallel "nihyeh", existent.

Similarly, barukh is from bereikhah -- a spring of water. It implies a connecting flow between Creator and created. A closeness whose parallel is the closing notion that that existence is as a word Hashem speaks. "And Hashem said 'let there be light' and it" -- those very words 'yehi or' -- "was light". The Baal Shem Tov said that Genesis 1 uses speech as a metaphor for creation because speech only lasts as long as the speaker speaks. Unlike writing, which rests on the paper after the author puts down the pen. Hashem, to this very day, is saying "yehi or", and that is the light we see by. "Shehakol nihyeh bidvaro".

  • That is incredibly creative (in a positive way) - is it from you? – mbloch Feb 16 '16 at 20:20
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    Yes. Which is why I didn't give sources. It rings true enough for me to want to share, even though the lack of sources will likely get it voted way down. – Micha Berger Feb 16 '16 at 22:23
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    Credit to R' Reuvein Leuchter's recorded ve'adim on tefillah and his sefer which taught me how to daven in a way that finds such things. – Micha Berger Feb 16 '16 at 22:30
  • This is beautiful, but I'm not sure that it clearly addresses the question. Can you edit in an explanation for why the blessing for miscellaneous foods, in particular, has this special message? – Isaac Moses Feb 17 '16 at 3:22
  • Ah, I was focusing on the bidvaro, not the lack of "Borei". Which is really more of a question on haMotzi... why is bread the only thing that is sourced -- "from the land" -- rather than "who Creates from nothing"? Mezonos we trace back to Hashem creating the land too, but not bread? Thinking about a good edit... – Micha Berger Feb 17 '16 at 14:56
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A rav now showed me the commentary Yachin uBoaz (from R Israel Lipschitz, the Tiferet Yisrael, maybe an ancestor of R Eliyahu Lifshitz cited in another answer on this page ?) on Mishna Brachot 6:3 saying that God directly created fruits, vegetables, grapes and cereals, therefore the bracha on these was bore pri/bore mine mezonot.

The language of the bracha sheakol is different since God didn't directly create the rest of the food but we still want to acknowledge that he indirectly created all of what exists.

The language bidvaro parallels the language of the Torah (e.g., Bereshit 1:11) "And God said: let there be".

  • Why didn't God directly create water? I don't follow. – Double AA Feb 22 '16 at 2:12
  • @DoubleAA the lashon of the Torah is that God didn't create water, he gathered, separated and called the water, but didn't create it. So the lashon of the bracha cannot speak of creating water either – mbloch Feb 22 '16 at 5:35
  • What about chickens? ועוף יעופף על הארץ – Double AA Feb 22 '16 at 5:42

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