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What is the definition of a tree as far as the blessings go?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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[According to Jewish law, a blessing should be recited before partaking of any food. There are specific blessings for specific foods. The blessing for vegetables, for example, is “Blessed are You G-d...who creates the fruit of the ground.” The blessing for fruits, on the other hand, is “Blessed are You G-d...who creates the fruit of the tree.”]

Halachah defines a tree as a plant which lasts from year to year, whereas a vegetable is replanted each season.

So bananas and pineapples, for example, are not considered fruit in this context since their trees do not produce a second crop and are destroyed each season.

Additionally, most authorities maintain that it is not sufficient for the roots to remain; rather, the plant stem itself must remain from year to year.

Case in point would be strawberries, whose roots remain intact but whose stems do not survive the winter. Strawberries are therefore considered a vegetable as far as the blessing is concerned.

Sources: Seder Birkat Hanehnin 6:6

TAGS: banana

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Agriculture Related

Halachah
Jewish Law. All halachah which is applicable today is found in the Code of Jewish Law.
Seder
Festive meal eaten on the first two nights of the holiday of Passover (In Israel, the Seder is observed only the first night of the holiday). Seder highlights include: reading the story of the Exodus, eating Matzah and bitter herbs, and drinking four cups of wine.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.