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Halachos of Daily Living

Halachos related to Berachos

Tetzave

What bracha is recited on papaya?

We recite borei pri ha’eitz on fruit and borei pri ho’adama on vegetables. Halachically, is papaya treated as a fruit or a vegetable?
A related issue is whether or not the first three years of a papaya plant’s fruit is treated as orlah and may not be consumed? Orla applies only to fruit and not to vegetables. Most poskim assume that the halacha views papaya as a vegetable because the papaya tree displays vegetable-like characteristics in the following two ways: the papaya tree bears fruit in the first year of growth, and the quality of the fruit tends to diminish after the first 4 years, as the plant ages.
The Chazon Ish and Rav Ovadya Yosef, zt”l are of the opinion that if we consider papaya a vegetable with respect to orlah, then a papaya is a vegetable as well in the realm of brachos, and the proper bracha is ho’adama. However, Rav Belsky, zt”l suggested that the status of papaya with respect to orlah and brachos are not necessarily one and the same, and one may recite ha’eitz on a papaya since it grows on a tree. However, Rav Belsky thought it best to recite ha’eitz and ho’adama on a separate fruit and vegetable, and then eat the papaya. By doing so, one covers all the bases and satisfies all opinions.

What bracha does one recite on candied orange peel?

The Mishnah Berurah (OC 202:39) writes that there are three opinions as to what bracha should be recited on candied orange peels. The Taz (OC 204:15) writes that one should recite ho’adama since the Gemara writes that on the peel of the fruit of the caper bush one recites ho’adama. The Taz maintains that the same holds true for other peels as well. The Magen Avrohom (202:17) writes that one should recite ha’eitz. Unlike the peel of the caper which separates from the fruit while it grows, the orange peel is part of the fruit. The Pri Megadim (202:17) writes that the bracha is Shehakol. He explains that the ikar (main ingredient) in candied orange peels is the sugar or honey, which is Shehakol. The Mishnah Berurah concludes that because of the doubt, one should recite Shehakol, since it is the most inclusive bracha. However, bedieved (after the fact), if one recited ha’eitz or ho’adama, they may rely on the other opinions and eat the peel.

What bracha should one recite on dried cranberries?

Most dried cranberries are sugar infused. This means the cranberries are soaked in sugar water and then dried to look like raisins. Rav Belsky, zt”l ruled that the bracha on dried cranberries is ho’adama. Although the cranberry plant survives from year to year, and in fact can live for over a hundred years, since the berries grow on or near the ground, the brachais ho’adama. The Mishnah Berurah (203:3) writes that there is a dispute as to which bracha to recite on berries that grow on low bushes that are within three tefachim (9 to 12 inches) of the ground, and the minhag ha’olam (the accepted practice) is to recite ho’adama. Individuals who grow their own cranberry bushes may have cranberries that grow higher than 3 tefachim. On berries that grow on those bushes, one should recite ha’eitz. However, commercially grown cranberries are grown in bogs, on or near the ground, so their bracha is ho’adama.

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