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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth
like cakes, it is liable for hallah, if like boards,1 it is not liable.
Abaye said to R. Joseph: What blessing is said over dough baked in a cavity in the ground? — He replied: Do you think it is bread? It is merely a thick mass, and the blessing said over it is 'who createst various kinds of foods'. Mar Zutra made it the basis of his meal and said over it the blessing, 'who bringest forth bread from the earth' and three blessings after it. Mar son of R. Ashi said: The obligation of Passover can be fulfilled with it. What is the reason? We apply to it the term, 'bread of affliction.
Mar son of R. Ashi also said: Over honey of the date-palm we say, 'by whose word all things exist'.2 What is the reason? — Because it is merely moisture [of the tree]. With whose teaching does this accord? — With that of the following Tanna, as we have learnt: With regard to the honey of the date-palm and cider and vinegar from stunted grapes3 and other fruit juices of terumah. R. Eliezer requires [in case of sacrilege] payment of the value and an additional fifth,4 but R. Joshua exempts [from the additional fifth].5
One of the Rabbis asked Raba: What is the law with regard to trimma?6 Raba did not quite grasp what he said. Rabina was sitting before Raba and said to the man: Do you mean of sesame7 or of saffron8 or of grape-kernels?9 Raba thereupon bethought himself10 and said: You certainly mean hashilta;11 and you have reminded me of something which R. Assi said: It is permissible to make trimma12 of dates of terumah, but forbidden to make mead of them.13 The law is that over dates which have been used to make into trimma we say the blessing 'who createst the fruit of the tree'. What is the reason? They are still in their natural state.
With regard to shatitha,14 Rab said that the blessing is 'by whose word all things were made', while Samuel said that it is 'who createst various kinds of foods'. Said R. Hisda: They do not really differ: the latter is said over the thick variety, the former over the thin. The thick is made for eating, the thin for a medicine. R. Joseph raised an objection to this: Both alike15 say that we may stir up a shatitha on Sabbath and drink Egyptian beer. Now if you think that he intends it as a remedy, is a medicine permitted on Sabbath? — Abaye replied: And do you hold that it is not? Have we not learnt: All foods may be eaten on Sabbath for medical purposes and all drinks may be drunk?16 But what you must say is: in these cases the man intends it for food;17 here too, the man intends it for food. (Another version of this is: But what you can say is that the man intends it for food and the healing effect comes of itself. So here too. the man intends it for food, and the healing effect comes of itself.) And it was necessary to have this statement of Rab and Samuel.18 For if I had only the other statement19 I might think that [he says a blessing because] he intends it for food and the healing effect comes of itself; but in this case, since his first intention is to use it for healing. I might think that he should not say any blessing at all over it. We are therefore told that since he derives some enjoyment from it, he has to say a blessing.
FOR OVER BREAD IS SAID, WHO BRINGEST FORTH etc. Our Rabbis taught: What does he say? 'Who bringest forth [ha-mozi] bread from the earth'. R. Nehemiah says: 'Bringing [mozi]20 forth bread from the earth'. Both agree that the word mozi means 'who has brought forth',21 since it is written, God who brought them forth [moziam] from Egypt.22 Where they disagree is as to the meaning of ha-mozi. The Rabbis held that ha-mozi means 'who has brought forth', as it is written, Who brought thee forth [ha-mozi] water out of the rock of flint,23 whereas R. Nehemiah held that ha-mozi means 'who is bringing forth', as it says, Who bringeth you out [ha-mozi] from under the burden of the Egyptians.24 The Rabbis, however, say that those words spoken by the Holy One, blessed be He, to Israel were meant as follows: When I shall bring you out, I will do for you something which will show you that it is I who brought you forth from Egypt, as it is written, And ye shall know that I am the Lord your God who brought you out.24
The Rabbis used to speak highly to R. Zera of the son of R. Zebid25 the brother of R. Simeon son of R. Zebid as being a great man and well versed in the benedictions. He said to them: When you get hold of him bring him to me. Once he came to his house and they brought him a loaf, over which he pronounced the blessing mozi. Said R. Zebid: Is this the man of whom they say that he is a great man and well versed in benedictions? Had he said ha-mozi,
he would have taught us the meaning of a text and he would have taught us that the halachah is as stated by the Rabbis. But when he says mozi, what does he teach us?1 In fact he acted thus so as to keep clear of controversy. And the law is that we say, ha-mozi bread from the earth', since we hold with the Rabbis who say that it means 'who has brought forth'.
OVER VEGETABLES ONE SAYS etc. Vegetables are placed [by the Mishnah] on a par with bread: just as over bread which has been transformed by fire [the same blessing is said], so [the same blessing is said over] vegetables when they have been changed by fire. Rabinnai said in the name of Abaye: This means to say that over boiled vegetables we say 'who createst the fruit of the ground'. [How? — Because the Mishnah puts vegetables on a par with bread].2
R. Hisda expounded in the name of our Teacher, and who is this? Rab: Over boiled vegetables the blessing to be said is 'who createst the fruit of the ground'. But teachers who came down from the land of Israel, and who are these? 'Ulla in the name of R. Johanan, said: Over boiled vegetables the blessing to be said is 'by whose word all things exist'. I say, however,3 that wherever we say over a thing in its raw state 'who createst the fruit of the ground', if it is boiled we say 'by whose word all things exist'; and wherever we say over it in the raw state 'by whose word all things exist', if it is boiled we say 'who createst the fruit of the ground'. We quite understand that where the blessing over a thing in its raw state is 'by whose word all things were created', if it is boiled we say, 'who createst the fruit of the ground';4 you have examples in cabbage, beet, and pumpkin. But where can you find that a thing which in its raw state requires 'who createst the fruit of the ground' should, when boiled, require 'by whose word all things exist'?5 — R. Nahman b. Isaac replied: You have an instance in garlic and leek.
R. Nahman expounded in the name of our teacher, and who is this? Samuel: Over boiled vegetables the blessing to be said is 'who createst the fruit of the ground'; but our colleagues who came down from the Land of Israel, and who are these? 'Ulla in the name of R. Johanan, say: Over boiled vegetables the blessing to be said is 'by whose word all things exist'. I personally say that authorities6 differ on the matter, as it has been taught: One may satisfy the requirement [of eating unleavened bread on Passover] with a wafer which has been soaked, or which has been boiled, provided it has not been dissolved. So R. Meir. R. Jose, however, says: One fulfils the requirements with a wafer which has been soaked, but not with one which has been boiled, even though it has not been dissolved. But this is not the case.7 All [in fact] would agree that over boiled vegetables the blessing is 'who createst the fruit of the ground'; and R. Jose was more particular in the case of the wafer only because we require the taste of unleavened bread and it is not there. In this case, however, even R. Jose would admit [that boiling does not alter its character].
R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: Over boiled vegetables the blessing to be said is 'who createst the fruit of the ground'. R. Benjamin b. Jefet, however, said in the name of R. Johanan: Over boiled vegetables the blessing to be said is 'by whose word all things exist'. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: 'Ulla8 became confirmed in his error by accepting the word of R. Benjamin b. Jefet. R. Zera expressed his astonishment.9 How [he said], can you mention R. Benjamin b. Jefet along with R. Hiyya b. Abba? R. Hiyya b. Abba was very particular to get the exact teaching of R. Johanan his master, whereas R. Benjamin b. Jefet was not particular. Further, R. Hiyya b. Abba used to go over what he had learnt every thirty days with his teacher R. Johanan, while R. Benjamin b. Jefet did not do so. Besides, apart from these two reasons10 there is the case of the lupines which were cooked seven times in the pot, and eaten as dessert,11 and when they came and asked R. Johanan about them, he told them that the blessing to be said was 'who createst the fruit of the ground'. Moreover R. Hiyya b. Abba said: I have seen R. Johanan eat salted olives and say a blessing both before and after. Now if you hold that boiled vegetables are still regarded as the same, we can understand this: before eating he said 'who createst the fruit of the tree', and after it a grace of one blessing which includes three.12 But if you hold that vegetables after being boiled are not regarded as the same, no doubt he could say before eating 'by whose word all things are created', but what could he say after? — Perhaps he said, 'who createst many living things and their requirements for all that he has created'.
R. Isaac b. Samuel raised an objection: With regard to the herbs with which one may fulfil the requirement [of eating bitter herbs on] Passover,13 both they and their stalks may serve this purpose, but not if they are pickled or cooked or boiled.14 Now if you maintain that after boiling they are still regarded as the same, why may they not be used boiled? — The case is different there. because we require the taste of bitter herbs, and this we do not find.
R. Jeremiah asked R. Zera: How could R. Johanan make a blessing over a salted olive? Since the stone had been removed,
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