If a vegeatble that is normally eaten cooked and normally not eaten raw is eaten in its raw state, one should say shehakol instead of ha'adamah.

I don't think raw horseradish is commonly eaten in the U.S. Many people use horseradish for maror at the Seder table. I see the instructions in many haggadot such as the Art Scroll and Riskin hagadah say that when one says the bracha of borei pri ha'adamah on karpas at the beginning of the Seder, one should have in mind that this same bracha will exempt one from having to repeat this bracha on maror later on.

That would work well if one uses romaine lettuce for maror. But, if one uses horseradish, would that rule work? I don't know of anyone that's saying shehakol prior to eating the horseradish. Are so many people making a mistake, then?

  • 1
    Indeed, though the primary mistake seemingly is thinking horseradish root is valid as maror.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 16:29
  • @DoubleAA Agreed, though, IIRC, horseradish is in the Mishnah list of acceptable items, though it is near the bottom. Perhaps, this additional problem that I mentioned may lend stronger support to change people's habits?
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 16:31
  • 1
    No, horseradish is actually not in the Mishna, and the few Rishonim who discussed it were talking about eating its leaves.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 16:32
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – kouty
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


The Magen Avraham was bothered by this (OC 475:2) and suggests that there is no need to say Shehakol since you can rely on the opinions that Hamotzi covers it. He further suggests that even Shehakol is unnecessary since it's like a spice that no one ever eats alone (cf. OC 202:16). (According to this one could eat plenty of food at Karpas and say Borei Nefashot without any concerns.)

R. Akiva Eiger there thinks that even though one usually says Shehakol when it's not the normal way to be eaten, Haadama works Bedieved.

The Chok Ya'akov there suggests that this blessing is effectively a Birkat HaMitzva so we should stick to the standard formulation of Haadama.

The Beiur Halakha there suggests that since one is using this to fulfill a Mitzva, it shows it is a significant act of eating and hence is elevated to the full blessing of Haadama.

In the end though the question is probably better than the answers.

  • The חק יעקב you cite reminds me of the (I think אשכנזי) practice of saying ב״מ בשמים during הבדלה even on scents that would normally get a different ברכה.
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 22:42
  • @msh210 It reminded me more of the practice of saying Kiddush on schnapps (ראיה לסתור). It's not even clear Besamim is a Birkat HaMitzva judaism.stackexchange.com/a/27279/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 22:47
  • A similar issue applies to modern "oat matza" which tastes terrible since no human usually eats oats that aren't steam treated, and hence should be shehakol
    – Double AA
    Commented May 21, 2021 at 22:18
  • Ritva sefaria.org/Ritva_on_Pesachim.39a says maror needs to be edible enough to need a bracha
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 2:35

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