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Halachot of Berachot

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Halachot of Berachot  

The Grains (Wheat, Corn & Rice)

Wheat (AKA The Five Grains)

  1. Halacha treats five types of grain as special. They are wheat, spelt, barley, oats, and rye. If any of these grains were ground up and then made into a cake / bread, it would get a mezonot / hamotzei.

  2. Oatmeal, which is cooked grains - is mezonot and al hamichya

  3. If the grain remained whole and it was only slightly processed (roasted or toasted) then the beracha would be haodoma.

  4. Therefore Granola, which are toasted grains, are Ha'adoma

  5. Puffed wheat is a matter of controversy whether we considered the process of puffing to be enough to make the grain mezonot or if it still remains hoadoma. Rav Moshe poskins one can make either beracha. Either way, the brocha achrona would be borei nefashot.

Corn (AKA The Non 5 Grains)

  1. If however, the grain is not one of the five mentioned above – then it can never receive the beracha of mezonot or hamotzei.

  2. Corn, potatoes, and kasha (a.k.a. buckwheat) are all not considered from the five special grains. Therefore, many products which are made only from corn flour are Shehakol.[1] However, one should note that "corn bread" is really also made with wheat flour and as such thw bracha is HaMotzei and not Shehakol (as was mistakenly implied by this halacha page before it was corrected).[2]

  3. If however the grain isn’t ground but is either popped or rolled – then it would be haadoma. That is why popcorn is hoadoma.

  4. Corn flakes can either be shehakol or haadoma depending on how they are made. If made from flour – then shehakol. If made from rolled grits – then haadoma.

  5. Corn tortillas and corn chips would be shehakol since both are processed to the point where they loose their ideal brocha.

Rice (AKA Rice)

  1. Rice is an interesting exception. It isn’t one of the five grains and in most halachic regards, it doesn’t receive the chashivut of the five grains (you’ll see this idea come up a lot thought the various halacha topics).

  2. However, since rice can satiate, Chazal gave rice the bracha of mezonot WHEN IT’S COOKED.

  3. This includes: white, brown and whole rice.

  4. Additionally it even applies to milled and ground rice flour.  Therefore, rice flour, like found in cereals, receives a mezonot. Even, rice bread is mezonot.

  5. Raw or roasted rice would be Ha’adoma.

  6. Rice Cakes, are made by steaming rice kernels until they pop – however this isn’t considered cooking and therefore Rice cakes according to many are Ha’adoma.
1. S"A 208:8, Mishna Brurah 208:33, Halachos of Brachos (p. 528)
2. Laws of Brachos (Rabbi Binyamin Forst, pg 365) writes that if corn bread is made with no wheat flour the bracha is Shehakol. However, Halachos of Brachos (Rabbi Pinchos Bodner, pg 467) writes that virtually all corn breads are made with wheat flour and so the correct bracha is HaMotzei.



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