I'm sitting down to eat some fruit and vegetables. On my plate is a tomato (ha'adamah), an apple and a date (both ha'etz). I want to eat them all now. In terms of my taste preferences, I rank them apple (most favourite) > tomato > date (least favourite).

Which bracha do I make first: ha'etz or ha'adamah? And if ha'etz, on which item, the apple or the date?

Some background

I have always been taught, and this is also my understanding based on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, 211:1, with Mishnah Berurah, that for any two out of the three items listed above, the priority rules would be as follows:

  1. Date > Apple (because both are ha'etz, and dates are of the shivat haminim where apples are not; in such a case personal preference is not taken into consideration)
  2. Apple > Tomato (because I prefer the apple)
  3. Tomato > Date (because one is ha'etz and one is ha'adamah, and I prefer the tomato; in such a case shivat haminim is not taken into consideration)

So I can prioritise between any two, but when I need to prioritise between all three I just go round in a circle: date takes priority over apple, which has priority over tomato, which has priority over date etc. etc.

What do I do to break this loop, and why?


2 Answers 2


I do not see the dilemma. You have both fruits and vegetables before you. In such a situation, the priority for eating is: whole, haviv (preferred), 7 species, larger and, finally, eitz. Since all are whole, you move to haviv. You prefer apple, so you eat the apple. It is only when you have only eitz foods in front of you that the 7 species take precedence. (Then the order of precedence is: 7 species, whole, haviv, and larger.)

  • Can you source this? I would think that 7 species always has top priority. Then, "adama" comes before "etz" since there is a rule that bedieved if one said adama on an etz item, it is fine, but not vice versa. This b/c all trees grow from the ground, so every "etz" item is also an adama item.
    – DanF
    Sep 28, 2017 at 14:51

This article (Hebrew) outlines two reasons to first say ha'etz on the date.

  1. R. Benzion Felman suggested (based on an a similar conundrum in Zevachim 90b) that the only reason to prefer the tomato is because of its status as chaviv (preferred). But the apple is even more chaviv than the tomato. So we proceed to ignore the tomato, as it is 'subsumed' into the apple's status. We then judge between the apple and the date, and choose the date based on its status as one of the shiv'at haminim.

  2. R. Ya'akov Yisra'el Kanievsky (the Steipler Ga'on) notes that we're dealing with two subtly different questions: a) whether to say ha'etz or ha'adamah first, and b) whether to say the ha'etz on the apple or the date. Question a) is resolved by choosing to say ha'etz first, because you prefer the apple to the tomato. Once you resolve that question, you resolve question b) in favor of saying ha'etz on the date (shiv'at haminim) but the ha'etz in this case still refers to the chaviv apple as well, which explain its precedence over the ha'adamah of the tomato.


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