The Mishnah (Brachos 6:1) says that anything that comes from the ground gets a Ha'adamah, except for bread, which gets a Hamotzi. Well, what about non-bread foods from the Five Grains? The Gemara (36b) says that Mezonos was instituted by Rav and Shmuel.

What brachah did the Tannaim make on those foods that we now make a Mezonos on? Did they make a Ha'adamah, since they're from the ground? Did they make a Hamotzi, and they equated all of the Five Grains to bread? Or did they make a Shehakol, since it's ground up beyond the point of recognition, or because that's the standard nondescript Brachah if nothing else fits (and it fits all foods, at least bedieved)? I would assume the last category as least likely, that these foods are worse off than Ha'adamah, and for the same reason I don't think not making a brachah is even an option.

I'm not sure if it's possible to answer this question, but I'm really curious if there's an answer out there.

1 Answer 1


Rav and Shmuel did not institute the blessing "mezonot".

Rav and Shmuel taught two laws, each of which contains new information:

  1. The novelty of the one is that only the 5 species needs mezonot, excluding orez and dochan. This sentence is rejected by a tyuvta in 37a ("תיובתא דרב ושמואל תיובתא"). For the Gemara it was not only obvious that the blessing of 5 species is mezonot, but after the proof from a berayta, the conclusion is that orez and dochan also needs Mezonot against Rav and Shmuel.

  2. The novelty of the other sentence is about mixtures, explaining that the 5 minim component is the Ykar and "wins" the blessing according to the principle of Ykar Vetafel, even if it is not in volumetric majority. This last rule is relevant for us in halacha. It is relevant not only for the 5 species but also to differentiate them from orez and dochan which also have the beracha of mezonot but are different when mixed. Orez and dochan are not necessarily the Ykar when mixed - only if they are the majority of the mixture. So for a mixture containing orez and other components e.g. which need ha'adama, the blessing follows the majority and would be ha'adama if the orez is not the majority.

Tana'im did bless the same bracha as us.

See for instance the Berayta in 37a, which says:

it has been taught: He says before partaking, 'Who createst various kinds of foods', and after it, he says one blessing which includes three? - It is on a par with cooked dishes in one way and not in another.

  • Your answer does not explain why mezonos is discussed in the gemara and not mentioned the mishna on page 35a, even tho that mishna there goes over the brachot: ha'adama, ha'eitz, ha'gafen, and ha'motzi. Also, why do you say "Tana'im did bless the same bracha as us"?
    – Yehuda W
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 2:52
  • @Yehuda W right this not an explanation regarding why. There is a Rambam concerning Tefilin re-defining the scope of the Mishna
    – kouty
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 3:54

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