My specific example is with ice cream sandwiches.

According to the common holding that one says shehakol if the ice cream is the ikkur but mezonot if the biscuit is the ikkur, should one make an attempt to cultivate an appreciation for the biscuit so one can merit to say the mezonot afterbracha which contains 2 blessings, and not the shehakol afterbracha that contains only one?

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    Source that "one says shehakol if the ice cream is the ikkur"? I thought the general rule is that a long as there is a 'substantial' Mezonos, even if it isn't the Ikkur, one still says a Mezonos on it (possibly in addition to Shehakol on the ice cream). – Salmononius2 Jan 14 at 21:21
  • @Salmononius2 that is correct unless the mezonot is only here to provide structure in small quantities. I would not think this applies to ice cream sandwiches – mbloch Jan 14 at 21:53
  • Would it not be easier to eat a cookie beforehand if you want the mezonot after beracha? Also not sure your "common holding" is so common, see e.g., dailyhalacha.com/m/halacha.aspx?id=2630 (this being said, I wasn't the one to downvote) – mbloch Jan 14 at 21:55
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    What do you mean by “the mezonot afterbracha which contains 2 blessings”? – Joel K Jan 15 at 16:20
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    @Clint Do you mean it has “Baruch ata Hashem” at the beginning and the end? I wouldn’t call that two brachot. It’s one ברכה ארוכה. – Joel K Jan 15 at 17:28

I would suggest that the halacha is reactive to the person's preferences, and that there is not an imperative to develop one's preferences in order to change how halacha would respond. One "reaction" of halacha is not "better" than another reaction of halacha.

This would be my (subjective) reading of the gemara in Berachot 39a, which immediately leaped to mind from your question:

נימא כתנאי דהנהו תרי תלמידי דהוו יתבי קמיה דבר קפרא הביאו לפניו כרוב ודורמסקין ופרגיות נתן בר קפרא רשות לאחד מהן לברך קפץ וברך על הפרגיות לגלג עליו חבירו כעס בר קפרא אמר לא על המברך אני כועס אלא על המלגלג אני כועס אם חבירך דומה כמי שלא טעם טעם בשר מעולם אתה על מה לגלגת עליו חזר ואמר לא על המלגלג אני כועס אלא על המברך אני כועס ואמר אם חכמה אין כאן זקנה אין כאן

With regard to the appropriate blessing over boiled vegetables: Let us say that this dispute is parallel to a dispute between the tanna’im, as the Gemara relates: Two students were sitting before bar Kappara when cooked cabbage, cooked Damascene plums and pullets were set before him. Bar Kappara gave one of the students permission to recite a blessing. He hurried and recited a blessing over the pullets and his counterpart ridiculed him for gluttonously reciting the blessing that should have been recited later, first. Bar Kappara became angry with both of them, he said: I am not angry with the one who recited the blessing, but at the one who ridiculed him. If your counterpart is like one who never tasted the flavor of meat and was therefore partial to the pullet, and hurriedly ate it, why did you ridicule him? Bar Kappara continued and said to the second student: I am not upset at the one who ridiculed him, rather it is with the one who recited the blessing that I am angry. And he said: If there is no wisdom here, is there no elder here? If you are uncertain which blessing to recite first, couldn’t you have asked me, as I am an elder?

The student had a preference for meat, which caused him to say shehakol first. Yes, describing him as "like one who never tasted the flavor of meat and was therefore partial to the pullet" seems somewhat negative, in the sense of being unrefined, but it is not a criticism because of the resultant halachic repercussions. And bar Kappara felt that ridicule of the student was unwarranted.

That is just my subjective reading of this source, though.


You address several rules. If there is in the set of foods one food from the 5 species of cereals, he is the Ikar, but there is exceptions, if this food function to sweat the dammaging effect of one other food, or is only to help against suffocation. The rule of 5 species of cereals is a part of the svara of Ykar and tafel, essentiality and contingency.

  1. Mishna brachot (in gemara 44a) taught the principle of ykar and tafel. (By the bye,from this principle is derivated rules of rov (majority).)

זה הכלל כל שהוא עיקר ועמו טפלה מברך על העיקר ופוטר את הטפלה

  1. Concept of lelafet et hapat (the condiments of bread) (in gemara 41b) says that foods that are eaten with a piece of bread are tafel the bread.

    אמר רב פפא הלכתא דברים הבאים מחמת הסעודה בתוך הסעודה אין טעונים ברכה לא לפניהם ולא לאחריהם

  2. Gemara regarding the rule of 5 species of cereals (36b), they adress a mixture or a combination of essential food and an accompanying food. The ykar of the mixture is not necessarily the component that is in greater amoun., if one the components is a 5 cereals specie, it's the ykar.

דרב ושמואל דאמרי תרוייהו כל שיש בו מחמשת המינין מברכין עליו בורא מיני מזונות

Apparently it's an exception to the second rule, but in reality a case that shows the deep sense of the second rule. (from the upcited mishna 44a). When the food eaten with a piece of bread is what you want to eat, but you can't eat it alone because it's too strong, e. g. too salted. In this case, the bread comes as an attenuator and is tafel.

הביאו לפניו מליח תחלה ופת עמו מברך על המליח ופוטר את הפת שהפת טפלה לו

Tosfot says that this case comes to teach that bread is not always the essential food even if you eat the second food with the bread (as a sandwich for instance)

ואף על גב דאשמעינן דפת פוטר את הפרפרת איצטריך לאשמעינן דפעמים דפת טפל

  1. The concept of chashuv is generally used when two foods with the same beracha, to decide on what to bless.

So we explained some principles regarding ykar and tafel, you addressed in the text of the question.

  1. But your case address the din kdima, precedence, of brachot. A case in which you need anyway to make 2 Berachot, on what to begin. Gemara 41a take an example of bracha Haadama and bracha Haets. There is an opinion in Gemara that such a case is in machloket between Rabbi Yehuda and rabanan in mishna (the Mishna is in 40b on Gemara). Rabbi Yehuda says to begin by min Shiva (the 7 species quoted in Tora in the shevach of erets Israel), and rabanan say that to begin by the favorite. In halacha OC 211.1 there are several opinions and a lot of cases are discussed.

For the kdima, e.g. between shehakol and mezonot, the bracha of mezonot is more specific, and bread is from the 7 species, so, it's before shehakol. Ha motsi is before all. See the whole siman 211 in SA OC

All this if you want to eat the both at the same time. But if there is an order in the art of eating, this order is prominent. It's normally to eat the sandwich before.

  1. Regarding the after bracha, if there is not a case of ykar and tafel, to globalize in one after bracha, the question is if there is a notion of seuda, if there is a kviut seuda, the after bracha is birkat hamazon. If not, there is two after bracha anyway.

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