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Halachot of Berachot  

The Various Brocha Achrona 's

Summary Chart

Bircas Hamozon

Al Hamichya

Al Hagefen

Al Ha’etz

Borei Nefashot

When is it Required?

Eat a kazayit of bread in 4 minutes

Eat a kazayit of mezonot five grains in 4 minutes

Drink a reviit of either wine or grape juice without pause

Eats a kazyit of "7 specifies" fruits within 4 minutes

Eat a kaziyit of any other food or drink a reviit of any drink besides wine and grape juice

What does it Cover?

Everything eaten during a meal

Only the mezonot foods

All drinks

All fruits

Other borei nefashot items

1. Bircas Hamazon

1) Is required when one eats a kazayit of bread within “Kdei Achilat Pras,” which is 4 minutes. Alternatively, if one eats a shiur kviat seudah of pas haba bikisnin, then he would also need to bentch.

2) Birkat Hamazon covers all the brocha achronas for all foods eaten DURING a meal.  It even includes foods that required a bracha rishona when eaten during a meal (i.e. deserts).

3) In terms of foods eaten BEFORE the meal, it depends on what food:

a) Mezonot foods – There is a dispute whether one should make al hamichya before beginning his meal or if he should use the birkat hamazon to cover this mezonot food eaten before a meal. What is clear is that if one starts to eat a mezonot food before a meal and then continues to eat it during the meal; he should not make an al hamichya. If one is not going to continue to eat the mezonot food during the meal – it is best to avoid this circumstance all together.

b) Foods that would require a bracha during a meal (i.e. fruits) – If one WILL continue eating fruits during the meal then he WOULD NOT  need to make a bracha achrona on the fruits eaten before the meal. If, however, he WILL NOT continue eating fruits during the meal – then he WOULD make a bracha achrona on the fruits eaten before the meal.

c) Foods that do not require a bracha during a meal (i.e. Potatoes) – These are not connected to the meal at all, and therefore they DO require a bracha achrona. This is true even if one will continue eating potatoes during the meal.


2. Al Hamichya

1) Is required when one eats a kazayis of mezonot foods.

2) There is a big question concerning whether one counts only the flour in determining the volume of the kzayis or whether the other ingredients can combine. See the whole thing.

3) Al Hamichya only cover other mezonot foods. Alternatively, they can cover non-mezonot foods if they are tofel to the mezonot food (see Ikar and Tafel). But it can’t cover non-mezonot, non-Tofel foods. Therefore it is likely that one will need to make both a Al Hamichya and a Borei Nefashos.

4) Keep in mind a Mezonot is made on foods that come from wheat, barley, spelt, oats, rye AND rice. But for Al Hamichya, rice is not included. The bracha achrona on rice is Borei Nefashot.


3. Al Hagefen

1) Is required when one drinks a reviit of wine or grape juice without pause.

2) Al Hagefen covers the beracha achrona for all other drinks.


4. Al Ha’etz

1) Is required when on eats a kazyit of fruit of the 7 specifies (olives, dates, grapes, figs, and pomegranates) within 4 minutes.

2) All other fruits are borei nefashot. However if one ate a kazayit of 7 species fruits and also ate some other fruits – only Al Ha’etz is required, since it covers all fruits.

3) For example: If one ate a kzayit of raisins (dried grapes, which are Al Ha'etz) and some oranges - he would only need to make an Al Ha'etz which would cover BOTH the raisins and the oranges. If he also ate some carrots (which grow fom the ground) he would need to make a separate borei nefashot on the carrots becuase the Al Ha'etz can only cover fruits that grow from trees, but not Ha'adoma items.


5. May'an Shalosh

1) consists of Al Hamichya, Al Hagefen and Al Ha'etz. The three of them share the body of the bracha yet have unique introductions and conclusions.

2) In a situation where one eats a full kazayit each of cake and grapes and thus would need to say both the Al Hamichya and the Al Ha'etz - he could group them together in one. The order among the different introductions and conclusions is: Al Hamichya > Al Hagefen > Al Ha'etz (just like its commonly printed) and this way he would only say the body of bracha one time.


6. Borei Nefashot

1) Is required when one eats a kazayit of any other food. Or drinks a revi’it of any drink besides for grape juice and wine.

Water – one makes a shehakol and borei nefashot when the water is drunk to quench thirst. Therefore, if one drinks water in order to swallow a pill – he cannot make either the shehakol or borei nefashot. Additionally, if one is not sure whether he ate enough food to make a borei nefashot and he wants to just drink 3oz of water now in order that he’ll have an obligation to make the borei nefashot – he cannot do so, since this water wasn’t drunk for the sake of thirst but rather to avoid safek.

2) Borei nefashot covers all other borei nefashot items.

Combining Amounts for Bracha Achrona

That was all when you ate a kazayit of the particular item, but what about when you have half a kaziyit of two different items:

  • If they have the same bracha then you can combine their amounts for one bracha achrona. For example, if one eats a half kzayit of pretzels and another half kzayis of cake – then he could make an Al Hamichya. Alternatively, if one ate a half kazayis of dates and then another half kzayit of a pomegranate – then he could make Al Ha’etz.

  • If the two items are of different Berachot achronot – like a half kzayis of pomegranate (Al Ha’etz) and half kzayis of an apple (Borei Nefashot), then you would make a borei nefashot. Even if you ate half of a kzayit of bread and half of a kazayit of some borei nefashot item – one would still make only a borei nefashot.

  • Half Al Hamichya and Half Al Ha’etz – there is a dispute concerning this specific case whether the guy should say borei nefashot (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch) like in the previous cases or should make an Al Hamichya and Al Ha’etz together in one (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach).





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