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Soul Food
‘It Comes To Include A Fragrance’
(Niddah 52a)

One must recite a berachah prior to eating (berachah rishonah) and another one after eating (berachah acharonah). The mishnah on 51b states that there are some instances where only a berachah rishonah is required.

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The Gemara explains that the mishnah is referring to someone who smells a pleasant fragrance. He should recite a berachah (“borei minei besamim”) prior to smelling the fragrance, but not afterwards.

Why not? Rashi (s.v. “reichani”) explains that one berachah is sufficient since smelling only provides a han’ah mu’etes, a limited amount of pleasure.

Quick And Immediate

Alternatively, the Kol Bo (cited by Sha’arei Tziyun, Orach Chayim 216, sk3) explains that there is a time limit within which a berachah acharonah may be recited. The berachah acharonah after eating must be recited before the food is digested. If a longer period has elapsed and a person no longer feels satiated from his meal, he may no longer recite a berachah acharonah. By the same token, a person does not recite a berachah acharonah after smelling a fragrance because the pleasure he derives does no linger. Thus the time limit to recite a berachah acharonahin the instance of a fragrance expires immediately.

No Bodily Benefit

The Me’iri (Yalkut Hame’iri citing Berachos 42b) offers yet another reason. He writes that smell is something that benefits the soul, but not the body. Therefore, one cannot say the berachah acharonah.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf, published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

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RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.
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