From Talmud Brachot 40a, we learn that if one accidentally said "Shehakol" as the before blessing instead of a food's proper blessing, this is fine, and he doesn't need to repeat the correct blessing.

I'm curious as to why "shehakol" was chosen as the "overall" blessing and not Borei minei mezonot which means "Who creates different types of foods (or sustenance)." This blessing mentions the term "food" whereas "shehakol" does not.

It seems that at some point or for some reason, "mezonot" was used to refer only to foods made from one of the 5 grains. We can also question, likewise, why mezonot which has no mention specifically of "grain-type" foods was made as the bracha specifically for these types of foods?

For that matter, if "mezonot" means "food", then why not use this bracha and not even need the "shehakol" bracha to be created at all?

  • 1
    "HaKol" means "all". Why would everything be less inclusive than Mezonot? Clearly "HaKol" covers everything.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 16:26
  • @DoubleAA - Agreed. It would only make sense for the brocha that mentions "all" would be chosen as the overall blessing.
    – ezra
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 23:30
  • @ezra Meh. I don't think any blessing was chosen as the overall blessing. This one just is an overall blessing because it covers "all" הכל. There's no reason a priori that there must be an overall blessing. Similarly there's no reason a priori that there couldn't be multiple equally effective overall blessings.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 23:30
  • Don’t be so sure it’s not. See Brachos 12a that one who makes a Mezonos on dates is yotzei since dates are considered sustenance. אכל תמרי וקסבר נהמא אכל ופתח בדנהמא וסיים בדתמרי יצא דאפילו סיים בדנהמא נמי יצא מאי טעמא שתמרח נמי מיזם זייני. As long as the food is considered sustenance (as opposed to a snack) it would seem that one could rely on Mezonos. It is noteworthy, however, that Ein Mishpat doesn’t quote any Poskim on this Gemara.
    – DonielF
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 21:29
  • @DonielF Interesting find. Make it an answer. Just because, you have refuted my premise, doesn't mean it can't be an answer. Blessings to you for a year of great health and great wisdom.
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


The Mishna (Eruvin 3:1) says:

הנודר מן המזון, מותר במים ובמלח
One who vows to treat "Mazon" as forbidden, is permitted to water and salt.

In other words, water is not included in "Mazon". Thus your blessing wouldn't be a catch all for everything.

The Chayei Adam (58:3) rules that Mezonot would work for any food except water and salt, along the lines of your argument. The Arukh haShulchan (OC 167:19) argues though. Igrot Moshe (OC 4:40:1) says that if you already said Mezonot one should only rely on the Chayei Adam to eat a crumb of the food and not more (rather one should create a hefsek and then make the correct blessing to continue).


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