What are Berachos?

Everything in this world belongs to the one above.

Once we accept the above information than we have to formulate a thank you that will be most endearing to the Almighty. Well, this heavy task was already  formulated many years prior to today by our leaders! We can say thank you for what we receive in a most meaningful way to  the one above. The Almight made it for us by his infinite wisdom and grand compassion.  Look at the creations  and ask yourself to whom was this made for? It was made for you!  How great are the wonders of this world!

The human body has so many wonders and so does a plant, composition of all the chemicals, air,


insects, animal kingdom and much more.  Everything belongs to Hashem (G-d). He is the owner of everything.

Every wonder is only made possible by the one above. He makes it and sustains it.

The human body is intricate in its many details. As Hagone HaRav Avigdor Miller z”tl has written sefarim on the topic. Hashem in his ultimate kindness made us with openings and closings in the same structure.   We are a walking miracle! We have so much to thank Hashem.  It is his ultimate kindness and compassion for us that all exists.

He loves us and continues to do for us always.

What is a beracha?

We thank the one above. We thank him as the king of the world. He created for us and continues to create for us so that we shall thank him for everything.

What do we say berachos on?


Brachot on Special Occasions

Food, mitzvos, events, scents, sights.

Food: Where did the food come from?  Was it on a tree? Was  it from a bush? Was it grown in Israel?

Events: Wedding, bris, , babby girl/boy, thunder, lightening, exiting from the toilet.

Scents: Havdalah –upon the completion of Shabbos we smell an invigorating spice. What happens when we smell a pleasant spice or flower and it gives us pleasure?

Sights: When we see a miracle.  We may ask ourselves why did you merit to see something

and not your neighbor? Every thing in this world happens for a reason there is no coincidence. You were created for a purpose and everyone’s mission/task is different .  When one instills in themselves a recognition of  a creator and that you are the recipient of his absolute kindness it will fill your treasure houses with bliss. You are constantly being looked after and will be satiated. You are not alone for the creator is always creating for your needs constantly . It is for the special you that this world was created. The creator wanted you in his master plan!

After we acknowledge  from  whom the blessing was granted to we may partake from it.

By acknowledging this we are transcending  a unique holiness to our mists.

How to say berachos?

  • Slowly and clearly.

  • Invest yourself into the outcome of your specialness.

  1.  If it is on food make sure it is kosher. Remember: kosher style isn’t  necessarily kosher. Hebrew letters on a store or item doesn’t always translate as to kosher!

  • If you’re a man or boy a head covering should be worn. A head covering in Hebrew is yarmalka. This means that you fear the one above. The one above is giving you this necessity so that it is he that your thanking.

  • If it a food you place it in the right hand if you’re a righty and a left if you’re a lefty. The Sephardic custom is to put it in your right hand always.

  • Focus on the words. It should be said in Hebrew but if you are unable than use a translated version.

  • Awareness: Who are you saying thank you to? The king of kings! So be aware of your surroundings. Are  you are standing near a fowl odor?  Don’t thank him near the garbage can. You should be tidy. If your hands are dirty or you stepped in something smelly. Take a minute and get ready to present yourself in front of our king of kings.

  • Learn the particular blessing and after blessings you want to recite.


What  is a beracha made on food called?

A beracha rishona.

This is said when even you eat a small amount of food or drink.

Rememmber: Whole foods  take precedence over sliced foods.  If you want to make a blessing on bread and you have a whole apple or a cut up apple which one do you recite the bracha on?

Yes, the whole apple.

What is the list order of the berachos?

  1. Hamotzi- All bread products. First!

  2. Mezonos- Eg.cakes, cookies,cereal Second

  3. haGefen- wine,grapejuice.  Third

  4. Ha’eitz.-Items that  grow on a tree.Eg. ( Apples,oranges) Fourth

  5. Ha’adoma- Items that grow from the ground.Eg.(Potatoes.carrots )Fifth

  6. Shehakol. Sixth

The seven species that are unique to only the land of Israel superceedes the 1-6  order. Hashem praised Israel  with the following  produce:

When having two items in front of you that require #4, Ha’eitz.-Items that  grow on a tree, one needs  to recite the blessing on the produce from Israel and partake from it first. You have an apple from Germany and a grape from Israel to which one do you hold in your hand and recite the blessing?

  1. Yes , the grape from Israel takes precedence.

The seven species are:

  1. Wheat

  2.  Barley

  3. Spelt

  4. Rye

  5. Oats

  6. Olives

  7. Dates

  8. Grapes

  9. Figs

  10. Pomegranates.

What if you have many foods on the table like cereal and milk. Do you make 2 berachos?

That is falling under the rules ikar and tafel. Ikar is the main ingredient and tafel is the secondary.

There is much more reading on this topic. An example: The cereal is the ikar and the milk is the tafel. Only one bracha is made on the cereal and not on the milk.




What is an after beracha?

A blessing recited upon completion of eating.

When is an after bracha said?

On solid foods: If you ate a K’zayis of food and it was eaten in a certain amount of time called bichdei achilas pras.

K’zayis: This is  an amount of half the size of a slice of bread or half the size of an average egg including the shell. This is called a

Bichdei achilas pras: This equals three minutes.  B’dieved, four minutes.

On drinks: If you drink at least one revi’is. A revi”is is the amount equals a little more than three ounces. It must be drunk bichdei shtias revi”is. That means that you drank it within 2 sips which allows for  a short pause between the  sips.

Is there an order of brachos? There are general brachos on food and specific berachos

You recite it based on the order of importance as seen in the list above 1-6 but, if you prefer a specific food more than another that is also reason for it to be said first. There is much discussion on this topic. It is better that you read up on the topic and get more familiar with it. Below are books and websites to help you get more into the topic matter.


May you find happiness and bracha on your enriched route of better understanding in the concept of gratefulness and appreciation  to the one above.

A listing of the brachas  and after brachos can be found on this user friendly website: http://berachot.org/foods/letter_a.htm


Sefarim on the topic:

1.    Halachos of Brochos : by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner     Feldheim Publishers

2.    The Laws Of B’rachos R’ Binyomin Forst sefarim  Artscroll  Publishers

3.    Am Mordechai: Brachos. Yeshiva University Rabbi Willig

4.    Guidelines: Questions and Answers About the Laws of Brachos – VolumeOne & two by Rabbi  Elozor Barclay

5.  One Hundred Brachos  by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger

6. Hilchos Brachos  by Rabbi Fletchergarden18