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Why is Maseches Brachos in Seder Zeraim? It just doesn't seem to fit with the theme of agriculture. I've asked around and the only answer I got was because some Brachos are on seeds, but that doesn't sound right. Please cite sources.

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From the Rambam's introduction to the Mishna, in my own, loose translation:

When a doctor wants to keep a patient healthy, he first adjusts his diet. Thus, the wise compiler of the Mishna started with B'rachos, adjusting our diet, for no one may eat before saying a b'racha. Then, so as to deal with a complete topic, he spoke of b'rachos in general; and because he would speak of the b'rachos said for "Sh'ma", and saying "Sh'ma" is a mitzva every day, he had to first speak of "Sh'ma" itself, which is thus how he started the Mishna.

  • FYI, the same Ramba"m intro also explains more specifically why Brachot began with Kri'at SHema. It is summarized in dafnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Brachos_2.pdf. – DanF Jul 1 '16 at 15:41
  • See also Rabenu Yona at the begining of Pirke Avot. מאן דבעי למהוי חסידא, (avot, brachot, nezikin)he asks also why not as avot int in nezikin – kouty Jul 1 '16 at 15:47
  • @DanF ... that's already in this answer post. – msh210 Jul 1 '16 at 17:22

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