Shabbos Bulletin Parshas Beshalach 5779
L’kovod the Upcoming Tu BiShevat
When eating two foods with the same bracha, e.g. a date and an apple that both require Ha’aitz, one bracha covers both foods.
If you plan to eat more than one kind of fruit, the principle is: Say a blessing (bracha) over the more important of the two foods. The Code of Jewish Law (OC 211) outlines a specific order in which to say the bracha over (and consequently which food to eat first).
A key factor in determining “importance” is the special “Seven Species.” Therefore when faced with two foods of the same bracha – e.g. dates and apples – you would say Ha’aitz on the dates (one of the seven species).
[The special status of the Seven Species applies even to non-Israeli produce. Although, with all things being equal, produce grown in Israel has bracha-preference over produce from the Diaspora.]
Furthermore, this verse teaches the order of importance within the seven species themselves. The rule is that a fruit or grain that is mentioned closer to the word “land” (which appears twice in the verse) is considered of higher importance. Within the seven species, the order of importance is:
wheat / barley / olives / dates / grapes / figs / pomegranates
To memorize this list, one rabbi suggests the following ditty, whose first letters correspond to the first letter of the seven species, in order: We Believe One Day God Forgives Penitents.
(Note from Rav Malinowitz: You might as well memorize the passuk!!)
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