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Do two people recite a blessing on the same food?

  

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Rabbi Shalom Hazan: Welcome to Askmoses! Please tell me what is on your mind...

Seeker: A general question about food blessings: Once a piece of bread is blessed, if shared with another person, does this second person have to do a blessing over the piece of bread (or any other food/drink)? In other words, is it the piece of food being blessed, or are you sanctifying your personal act of eating, even though the food has been blessed already? (I personally think, it's the latter).

Rabbi Shalom Hazan: Very good question. When saying a blessing before eating, we are not blessing the food. We are blessing and thanking G-d for providing us with that food. It follows that whoever eats (whether from the same piece or not) must say a blessing.

Rabbi Shalom Hazan: The same is true for other blessings too. For example, when we recite the blessings before lighting the Chanukah candles, before reading the Megillah on Purim, or before eating Matzah on Pesach, we are not blessing the object. Rather, we are blessing G-d for privileging us with this particular commandment.

Seeker: Is there ever a possibility of one person reciting a blessing for another?

Rabbi Shalom Hazan: There are cases, such as Kiddush on Shabbat, when one person says a blessing that can cover for others as well. This is only if the one saying the blessing has in mind that he is reciting it for the others too, and those listening must also have in mind to "be covered."

Seeker: Thanks for the info.

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Blessings

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Matzah
(pl. Matzot). Unleavened bread which is eaten on Passover, especially at the Passover Seder (feast), commemorating the Matzah which the Jews ate upon leaving Egypt. It consists of only flour and water and resembles a wheat cracker.
Purim
A one-day holiday celebrated in late winter commemorating the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from a decree of annihilation issued by Persian King Ahasuerus in the year 356 BCE.
Chanukah
An eight day mid-winter holiday marking: 1) The miraculous defeat of the mighty Syrian-Greek armies by the undermanned Maccabis in the year 140 BCE. 2) Upon their victory, the oil in the Menorah, sufficient fuel for one night only, burned for eight days and nights.
Kiddush
Prayer recited at the beginning of the Sabbath or Holiday meal--both the evening and afternoon meals. This prayer, acknowledging the sanctity of the day, is recited over a cup of wine or grape juice.
Megillah
A scroll. Usually a reference to the Book of Esther, one of the books of the "Written Torah", which is read--from a scroll--on the holiday of Purim.
Pesach
Passover. A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
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.