Tractate Berakoth, by , by A. Lukyn Williams, , at sacred-texts.com
M.VI. 1. What is the form of the Benediction over fruits? 4 Over the fruits of trees a man says: "Thou that createst the fruit of the tree"; with the exception of wine, for over wine he says: "Thou that createst the fruit of the vine." Over the fruits of the earth he says: "Thou that createst the fruit of the ground"; with the exception of a piece of bread, for over a piece of bread he says: "Thou that bringest forth bread from the earth." Over vegetables he says: "Thou
M.that createst the fruit of the ground." R. Judah used to say: "Thou that createst different kinds of herbs."
2. If a man has said over the fruits of trees the Benediction: "Thou that createst the fruit of the ground" 1 he has fulfilled his obligation. Over the fruits of the earth, "Thou that createst the fruit of the tree"—he has not fulfilled it. 2 And if he has said over them all, "By whose word all things exist," he has fulfilled it. 3
3. Over anything that has not grown out of the earth [e.g. animal food], he says, "By whose word all things exist." Over vinegar, and over locusts, 4 and over [fallen] unripe fruits, he says: "By whose word all things exist." 5 R. Judah says: Anything which belongs to a kind that has to do with a curse 6 must not have a Benediction said over it.
4. If a man has in front of him many kinds [of fruit], R. Judah says: If among them there is one of the seven kinds he says the Benediction over it. 7
M.[paragraph continues] But the Majority say: He says the Benediction over whichever of them he likes.
2. In the case of date-honey, cider, and vinegar made from late grapes, we say Benedictions over them in the same way that we say Benedictions over brine (pickle). 5
3. In the case of unmixed wine, they say over it the Benediction: "Thou that createst the fruit of the tree," 6 and take of it for washing the hands. If one has put water into it they say over it the Benediction: "Thou that createst the fruit of the vine," and they do not take of it for washing the hands. These are the words of R. Eliezer. But the Majority say: unmixed or mixed are all one. 7 They say over it the Benediction: "Thou that createst the fruit of the vine," and do not take of it for washing the hands.
4. If they have brought before him different
5. If he has seen figs, and has said: "Blessed be He who has created these figs; how beautiful they are"—this is their Benediction. R. Jose says: Everyone who changes the formula which the Majority formed in a Benediction has not fulfilled his obligation. R. Judah says, If anything is changed from its natural condition, and one then makes a change in the Benediction of it, he has fulfilled his obligation. 4
6. He that cheweth [grains of] wheat says the Benediction over them, "that createst different kinds of seeds." If he has baked them or boiled them, at the time when the grains remain [distinct], he says the Benediction over them: "Who bringest bread out from the earth," 5 and (after the meal) he says three Benedictions over them. 6 If the grains do not remain [distinct] he says the Benediction over them: "who createst different
7. He that cheweth rice 2 says the Benediction over it: "who createst different kinds of seeds." If he has baked it, or boiled it, so long as the grains remain [distinct], he says the Benediction over them: "who createst different kinds of foods," and does not say any Benediction after it at all. This is the general principle, that in the case of everything which begins with (the Benediction) "who bringest out bread," one says three Benedictions after it.
43:1 the Pharisees. The word does not occur in either of the two forms of the Shemoneh Esreh, though in the best text of the Babylonian "the pious" (hachasidim) are mentioned in No. 13 (SA, p. 48).
43:2 the Proselytes . . . the Elders. See the common text of No. 13.
43:3 David . . . Jerusalem. So the Palestinian and the common text of No. 14 (SA, p. 49). But David is not mentioned in the best text of the Babylonian form.
43:4 On Grace at meals, both before and after, see SA, pp. 278-286. The Grace before meals was very short (SA, p. 278), that after was elaborate and the rules following refer to variations in it.
44:1 The ground. Instead of "the tree" SA, p. 290.
44:2 he has not fulfilled it. A tree fairly comes under things that grow from the ground, and the Benediction may therefore pass. But a vegetable is not a tree, and to call it so in a Benediction spoils the Benediction.
44:3 SA, p. 290. For this gives glory to Him to whom it is due. The phrase "by whose word" may underlie John 13.
44:4 locusts. Matt 34.
44:5 exist. Some MSS. (not B.) add, "over milk and over cheese and over eggs, 'by whose word,'" etc.
44:6 a curse. Because of corruption as in the case of vinegar (from wine), fallen fruit, cheese, or by being symbols of destruction as in the case of locusts (Joel 21-11).
44:7 i.e. the Benediction that corresponds to whichever of the seven kinds (see p. 57) he chooses.
45:1 Ps. 241.
45:2 defrauded (the LORD). The verb ma‘al suggests Lev. 515.
45:3 loosed for him. One duty neglected leads to total disregard of the Law. Cf. Jas. 210. For "loosed" cf. Matt. 519.
45:4 Prov. 164.
45:5 brine (pickle). The Latin word muries is used. For the Benediction they must be treated as liquors, not as fruits.
45:6 the fruit of the tree. Unmixed wine was usually not drunk, it must therefore not have the same Benediction as wine mixed with water. Cf. p. 64.
45:7 are all one. Because both are from the vine.
46:1 Not verbally in SA, and so with most of the Benedictions in this section.
46:2 the seeds. Food, other than bread, prepared from any of "the five species of grain" (wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt (cf. SA, p. 287). Cf. infra, pp. 47, 53.
46:3 this is its Benediction. It is unnecessary to repeat the usual formula of SA, p. 278.
46:4 R. Judah grants that R. Jose is right if the figs are uncooked, but not otherwise.
46:5 out from the earth. SA, p. 278.
46:6 SA, p. 286, short old form; pp. 280-282, long form.