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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth
all other boiled vegetables.) In that case the elaiogaron would be the main thing and the oil subsidiary, and we have learnt: This is the general rule: If with one article of food another is taken as accessory, a blessing is said over the main article, and this suffices for the accessory! — What case have we here in mind?1 The case of a man with a sore throat, since it has been taught: If one has a sore throat, he should not ease it directly with oil on Sabbath,2 but he should put plenty of oil into elaiogaron and swallow it.3 This is obvious!4 — You might think that since he intends it as a medicine he should not say any blessing over it. Therefore we are told that since he has some enjoyment from it he has to say a blessing.
Over wheaten flour5 Rab Judah says that the blessing is 'who createst the fruit of the ground' '6 while R. Nahman says it is, 'By whose word all things exist'. Said Raba to R. Nahman: Do not join issue with Rab Judah, since R. Johanan and Samuel would concur with him. For Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel, and likewise R. Isaac said in the name of R. Johanan: Over olive oil the blessing said is 'that createst the fruit of the tree', which shows that although it has been transformed it is fundamentally the same. Here too, although it has been transformed, it is fundamentally the same. But are the two cases alike? In that case [of olive oil] the article does not admit of further improvement, in this case it does admit of further improvement, by being made into bread; and when it is still capable of further improvement we do not say over it the blessing 'that createst the fruit of the ground', but 'by whose word all things exist'! — But has not R. Zera said in the name of R. Mattena reporting Samuel: Over raw cabbage and barley-flour we say the blessing 'by whose word all things exist', and may we not infer from this that over wheat-flour we say 'who createst the fruit of the ground'? — No; over wheat-flour also we say 'by whose word all things exist'. Then let him state the rule for wheat-flour, and it will apply to barley-flour as a matter of course?7 — If he had stated the rule as applying to wheat-flour, I might have said: That is the rule for wheat-flour, but over barley-flour we need say no blessing at all. Therefore we are told that this is not so. But is barley-flour of less account than salt or brine, of which we have learnt:8 Over salt and brine one says 'by whose word all things exist'? — It was necessary [to lay down the rule for barley-flour]. You might argue that a man often puts a dash of salt or brine into his mouth [without harm], but barley-flour is harmful in creating tapeworms, and therefore we need say no blessing over it. We are therefore told that since one has some enjoyment from it he must say a blessing over it.
Over the palm-heart,9 Rab Judah says that the blessing is 'that createst the fruit of the ground', while Samuel says that it is 'by whose word all things exist'. Rab Judah says it is 'that createst the fruit of the ground', regarding it as fruit, whereas Samuel says that it is 'by whose word all things exist', since subsequently it grows hard. Said Samuel to Rab Judah: Shinnena!10 Your opinion is the more probable, since radish eventually hardens and over it we say 'who createst the fruit of the ground'. This, however, is no proof; radishes are planted for the sake of the tuber,11 but palms are not planted for the sake of the heart. But [is it the case that] wherever one thing is not planted for the sake of another [which it later becomes], we do not say the blessing [for that other]?12 What of the caper-bush which is planted for the sake of the caper-blossom, and we have learnt: In regard to the various edible products of the caper-bush, over the leaves and the young shoots, 'that createst the fruit of the ground' is said, and over the berries and buds,13 'that createst the fruit of the tree'! — R. Nahman b. Isaac replied: Caper-bushes are planted for the sake of the shoots, but palms are not planted for the sake of the heart. And although Samuel commended Rab Judah, the halachah is as laid down by Samuel.
Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: In the case of an 'uncircumcised'14 caper-bush outside of Palestine,15 one throws away the berries and may eat the buds. This is to say that the berries are fruit but the buds are not fruit — A contradiction was pointed out [between this and the following]: In regard to the various edible articles produced by the caper-bush, over the leaves and the young shoots 'that createst the fruit of the ground' is said; over the buds and the berries 'that createst the fruit of the tree' is said! — [Rab Judah] followed R. Akiba, as we have learnt: R. Eliezer says: From the caper-bush tithe is given from the berries and buds. R. Akiba, however, says that the berries alone are tithed, because they are fruit.16 Let him then say that the halachah is as laid down by R. Akiba? — Had he said that the halachah is as laid down by R. Akiba, I should have thought that this was so even in the Holy Land. He therefore informs us that if there is an authority who is more lenient in regard to [uncircumcised products in] the Holy Land, the halachah follows him in respect of [such products] outside of the Holy Land, but not in the Land itself. But let him then say that the halachah is as laid down by R. Akiba for outside the Holy Land, because if an authority is more lenient with regard to the Land, the halachah follows him in the case of outside the Land? — Had he said so, I should have argued that this applies to tithe of fruit which in the Holy Land itself was ordained only by the Rabbis,17 but that in the case of 'orlah, the law for which is stated in the Torah, we should extend it to outside the Land. Therefore he tells us that we do not do so.
Rabina once found Mar b. R. Ashi throwing away [uncircumcised] caper-berries and eating the buds. He said to him: What is your view? Do you agree with R. Akiba who is more lenient?18 Then follow Beth Shammai, who are more lenient still, as we have learnt: With regard to the caper-bush, Beth Shammai say that it constitutes kil'ayim19 in the vineyard, whereas Beth Hillel hold that it does not constitute kil'ayim in the vineyard, while both agree that it is subject to the law of 'orlah. Now this statement itself contains a contradiction. You first say that Beth Shammai hold that a caper-bush constitutes kil'ayim in a vineyard, which shows that it is a kind of vegetable,20 and then you say that both agree that it is subject to the law of 'orlah, which shows that it is a kind of tree!21 — This is no difficulty; Beth Shammai were in doubt [whether it was a fruit or a vegetable], and accepted the stringencies of both. In any case,22 Beth Shammai regard it [the caper-bush] as a doubtful case of 'orlah, and we have learnt: Where there is a doubt if a thing is subject to 'orlah, in the Land of Israel, it is prohibited, but in Syria it is allowed; and outside of Palestine one may go down
and buy it, provided he does not see the man plucking it!1 — When R. Akiba conflicts with R. Eliezer, we follow him, and the opinion of Beth Shammai when it conflicts with that of Beth Hillel is no Mishnah.2 But then let us be guided by the fact that it [the bud] is a protection for the fruit, and the All-Merciful said, Ye shall observe its uncircumcision along with its fruit;3 'with' refers to that which is attached to its fruit, namely, that which protects its fruit?4 — Raba replied: When do we say a thing is a protection for the fruit? When it does so both when [the fruit is] still attached [to the tree] and after it is plucked. In this case it protects while [the fruit is] attached, but not after it is plucked.
Abaye raised an objection: The top-piece of the pomegranate is counted in with it,5 but its blossom is not counted in.6 Now since it says that its blossom is not counted in with it, this implies that it is not food: and it was taught in connection with 'orlah: The skin of a pomegranate and its blossom, the shells of nuts and their kernels are subject to the law of 'orlah!7 — We must say, then, said Raba, that we regard something as a protection to the fruit only where it is so at the time when the fruit becomes fully ripe; but this caper-bud falls off when the fruit ripens. But is that so? Has not R. Nahman said in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: The calyces surrounding dates in the state of 'orlah are forbidden, since they are the protection to the fruit. Now when do they protect the fruit? In the early stages of its growth [only]. Yet he calls them a protection to the fruit'? — R. Nahman took the same view as R. Jose, as we have learnt: R. Jose says, The grape-bud is forbidden because it is fruit; but the Rabbis differ from him.8 R. Shimi from Nehardea demurred: Do the Rabbis differ from him in respect of other trees?9 Have we not learnt: At what stage must we refrain from cutting trees in the seventh year?10 Beth Shammai say: In the case of all trees, from the time they produce fruit; Beth Hillel say: In the case of carob-trees, from the time when they form chains [of carobs]; in the case of vines, from the time when they form globules; in the case of olive-trees, from the time when they blossom; in the case of all other trees, from the time when they produce fruit; and R. Assi said: Boser and garua'11 and the white bean are all one. ('White bean', do you say?12 — Read instead: the size [of them] is that of the white bean.) Now which authority did you hear declaring that the boser is fruit but the grape-bud is not? It is the Rabbis;13 and it is they who state that we must refrain from cutting down all other trees from the time when they produce fruit!14 — No, said Raba. Where do you say that something is the protection to the fruit? Where if you take it away the fruit dies, Here15 you can take it away and the fruit does not die. In an actual case, they once took away the blossom from a pomegranate and it withered; they took away the flower from a caper and it survived.16 (The law is as [indicated by] Mar b. R. Ashi when he threw away the caper-berries and ate the buds. And since for purposes of 'orlah they [the buds] are not fruit, for the purposes of benedictions also they are not fruit, and we do not say over them, 'who createst the fruit of the tree', but, 'who createst the fruit of the ground'.)17
With regard to pepper, R. Shesheth says that the blessing is 'by whose word all things exist'; Raba says: It requires no blessing at all.18 Raba in this is consistent; for Raba said: If a man chews pepper-corns on the Day of Atonement he is not liable [to kareth];19 if he chews ginger on the Day of Atonement he is not liable. An objection was raised: R. Meir says: Since the text says. Ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden,20 do I not know that it is speaking of a tree for food? Why then does it say [in the same context], ['and shall have planted all manner of] trees for food'? To include a tree of which the wood has the same taste as the fruit. And which is this? The pepper tree, This teaches you that pepper is subject to the law of 'orlah, and it also teaches you that the land of Israel lacks nothing, as it says, A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack anything in it!21 — There is no contradiction; one statement refers to moist pepper,22 the other to dried. The Rabbis23 said to Meremar: One who chews ginger on the Day of Atonement is not liable [to kareth]. But has not Raba said: The preserved ginger which comes from India is permitted,24 and we say over it the benediction 'Who createst the fruit of the ground'?25 — There is no contradiction: one statement refers to moist ginger, the other to dried.
With regard to habiz26 boiled in a pot, and also pounded grain, Rab Judah says the blessing is 'by whose word all things exist', while R. Kahana says that it is 'who createst various kinds of foods'. In the case of simple pounded grain all agree that the correct blessing is 'who createst various kinds of foods'. Where they differ is in respect of pounded grain made like boiled habiz.27 Rab Judah says that the blessing for this is 'by whose word etc.', considering that the honey is the main ingredient; R. Kahana holds that the blessing is 'who createst all kinds of food', considering the flour the main ingredient. R. Joseph said: The view of R. Kahana is the more probable, because Rab and Samuel have both laid down that over anything containing an ingredient from the five species [of cereals] the blessing is 'who createst all kinds of foods'.
The [above] text [states]: 'Rab and Samuel both lay down that over anything containing an ingredient from the five species [of cereals] the blessing is 'who createst all kinds of foods'. It has also been stated: Rab and Samuel both lay down that over anything made of the five species the blessing is 'who createst all kinds of foods'. Now both statements are necessary. For if I had only the statement 'anything made of etc.', I might say, this is because the cereal is still distinguishable, but if it is mixed with something else, this is not [the blessing].
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