Shiur #43: Interruptions (4) Shinui Makom
Dedicated to Liora & Ari Tuchman
In honor of the Bat Mitzvah of Danelle Sophia
and in honor of the birth of their son, Adin Emanuel
This week’s shiurim are dedicated in memory of Herschey Hawk z”l
by Dr. Jerry Hawk
Over the past few weeks, we have studied the laws of “interruptions” before and during a meal. We discussed interruptions during berakhot, between the berakha and eating, and between netilat yadayim and eating bread. We also questioned the extent of “berakha coverage” throughout the meal, and then related to the manner in which one ends a meal, as well as other interruptions during a meal.
This week, we will conclude our discussion of interruptions as we study the laws of shinui makom. According to the Talmud, under certain circumstances, when one leaves the place in which he said a blessing, he must say another blessing before eating again. We will explore the source, scope, and details of this principle.
Shinui Makom – R. Chisda and R. Sheshet
The Talmud (Pesachim 101b) cites a debate between R. Chisda and R. Sheshet:
Furthermore, R. Chisda sat and said in his own name: As to what you said: For a change of place he must recite the blessing [again], we said this only of things which do not require a blessing after them in the same place; but for the things that demand a blessing after them in the same place, he need not recite the blessing [again]. What is the reason? He [mentally] returns to the first appointed place. But R. Sheshet maintained: Both for the one and the other he must recite the blessing [again].
R. Sheshet maintains that whenever a person changes location, he must repeat the blessing before eating again, while R. Chisda maintains that it depends on the food in question. When one eats a food that requires that the berakha acharona be recited in its place, once he leaves, his meal is considered to be over and a new blessing must be recited if he eats again. However, if one eats a food that does not require that the berakha acharona be recited in the place in which he ate, leaving the place is not necessarily considered to be a form of ending the meal, and therefore a new blessing is not required if he eats again.
Although the Rif (Pesachim 20b) and Rambam (Hilkhot Berakhot 4:4) rule in accordance with the view of R. Sheshet and do not distinguish between different types of foods, Tosafot (Pesachim 102a, s.v. ke-shehen) and the Rosh (Pesachim 10:6) rule in accordance with R. Chisda. The Shulchan Arukh (178:1) cites the Rambam and rules that one must always say another blessing upon moving locations, while the Rema (ibid. 2) relates that the custom is in accordance with R. Chisda, who distinguishes between different foods. We will return to the final halakhic rulings at the end of this shiur.
Why does changing one’s location require one to say another blessing? We might suggest that leaving one’s place is considered to be an interruption, a hesech ha-da’at, that “ends” the coverage of the initial blessing. Indeed, the Rashbam (Pesachim 100b, s.v. yedei yayin) writes that “since he has uprooted from his place, it is considered to be a hesech ha-da’at, and he must say the blessing.” Alternatively, we might suggest that upon leaving one’s place of eating, one has ended his meal, and when he begins eating again in a different place, he has begun a new meal. In other words, a change of location is objectively considered to be the end of a “sitting.” If so, it is possible that not only must he say another berakha rishona, but he must also say a berakha acharona over the food he eat during the previous sitting.
The Rishonim debate this question of whether R. Sheshet and R. Chisda, who both fundamentally accept the principle of shinui makom, maintain that one must first say a berakha acharona before saying another berakha rishona and resuming eating. Tosafot (Pesachim 101b, s.v. ke-shehen) and the Rosh (Pesachim 10:6) maintain that shinui makom is no different than a hesech ha-da’at, and one must repeat only the berakha rishona. The Rambam (Hilkhot Berakhot 4:3; see also Ran 20b, s.v. ve-ka), however, explains that one must also say the berakha acharona in the place in which he ate.
Once again, the Shulchan Arukh (178:1-2) rules like the Rambam, while the Rema (ibid. 2) relates that the custom is in accordance with the Tosafot/Rosh. The Yalkut Yosef (178:1) notes that many Sephardic authorities rule like the Rema, in accordance with the principle of “safek berakhot le-hakel.”
The Shulchan Arukh implies that the law of shinui makom applies even if one leaves and then returns to the same place in which he ate. Although the Mishna Berura (178:4) implies that the moment one steps out of his house, he must say another blessing upon eating again, some Acharonim (see Shulchan Arukh Ha-Rav 178:8, Arukh Ha-Shulchan 178:10) disagree, arguing that briefly leaving one’s place of eating is not a hesech ha-da’at and another blessing is therefore not require. R. Moshe Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe, OC 5:16; see also Piskei Teshuvot 178:2) rules that preferably, one who leaves his place in order to go to the bathroom should first say a berakha acharona, but if he did not, he should not say a berakha rishona upon returning and resuming his meal.
“Things That do not Require a Berakha After Them in the Same Place”
The Rishonim disagree as to which foods require one to say the berakha acharona in the same place. The Hagahot Maimoniot (Hilkhot Berakhot 4:1) writes that this refers only to bread. Other Rishonim (Tosafot, Rosh, and Rif cited above) explain that this refers to bread and other foods made from grains. The Rashbam (see Tosafot) and Rambam (Hilkhot Berkahot 4:1), however, claim that this refers to all of the seven species, including the fruits.
The Shulchan Arukh (178:5) cites two opinions regarding whether one must say the berakha acharona over all of the seven species or only over foods made from grains in the place in which he ate. The Rema cites the Hagahot Maimoniot, who maintains that this only applies to bread. The Magen Avraham (178:12) and the Mishna Berura (178:36) rule that one should preferably say the blessing over all of the seven species, as well as over grain products and bread, in the place in which he ate. The Magen Avraham writes that accordingly, one should not apply the law of shinui makom after eating the seven species. Therefore, practically speaking, one only says another blessing after eating a food upon which one says borei nefashot.
Definition of Shinui Makom
The Rishonim debate the definition of shinui makom regarding a berakha rishona. The Shulchan Arukh (178:2) rules in accordance with the Rambam (Hilkhot Berakhot 4:5) that moving within the same room is not considered to be a shinui makom. The Rema (178:1) adds that if one’s intention when saying the blessing was to eat elsewhere in the house, that is also not considered to be a shinui makom. The Mishna Berura (12) adds that even if one did not intend to move, as long as he can see the original place where he ate, it is not considered to be a shinui makom. The Acharonim note that nowadays it is not customary to say another blessing when moving within one house, especially when one is accustomed to walk from one room to another (see Piskei Teshuvot 178:4).
Based on the Yerushalmi (Berakhot 6:8), the Rambam (Hilkhot Berakhot 4:5) rules that when outside, one who walks from one side of a tree to the other must say another blessing. The Beit Yosef (178) explains that as there are no walls outside, it is vision that determines what is considered one place or another. The Shulchan Arukh (178:2) rules accordingly. The Mishna Berura cites a view that maintains that if one had in mind to eat on both sides of the tree, there is no need to say another blessing.
Interestingly, the Magen Avraham (178:10) writes that travelers (holkhei derakhim) may walk from place to place and do not need to say another blessing, as they never establish a certain places as their place of eating.
R. Moshe Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe, OC 2:57) adds that even if one begins eating in his own house, with the intention of leaving and traveling, is considered to be a holkhei derakhim. Therefore, he may continue eating when he leaves the house without saying another blessing.
One Who Leaves Behind Friends
The Talmud (Pesachim 102a) relates to a situation in which one leaves people behind, with the intention of returning:
For it was taught: If companions were reclining, and they [precipitately] arose to go to the synagogue or to the Bet Ha-Midrash, when they go out they do not need a blessing beforehand, and when they return they do not need a blessing at the beginning. Said R. Yehuda: When is that said? When they left some of their companions behind. But if they did not leave some of their companions behind, when they go out they need a blessing beforehand, and when they return they need a blessing at the beginning.
The gemara rules that if one left behind friends at the meal, he does not need to say another blessing upon returning. Apparently, this is not considered to be a hesech ha-da’at or ending one’s “sitting,” as by leaving behind friends he indicates that his meal has not ended.
The Shulchan Arukh (178:2) cites this passage and rules that if one leaves a meal in order to greet a bride or groom, he may return and finish his meal without reciting another blessing. The Mishna Berura (7) adds that this only applies when he returns to his place, and not when he wishes to continue eating elsewhere.
The blessing said before eating generally covers all food eaten at that sitting, as we discussed in previous shiurim. When eating a meal of bread or grain products (mezonot), one may change his location and continue eating in another place without saying another blessing. According to some, this also applies to fruits of the seven species and to wine.
However, one who is eating food whose berakha acharona is borei nefashot, such as drinks, fruits and vegetables, meat, etc., should not leave the place in which he ate without first saying a berakha acharona. If he did leave, then he must say another blessing before eating again, as the shinui makom, change of location, cancels the coverage of his first blessing. This only applies if one left the house in which he was eating. Walking from one apartment to another is considered to be a shinui makom.
One who began eating with the intention of traveling (holkhei derachim) does not say another blessing, nor does one who is eating while driving or hiking. Furthermore, if one left friends at his table before leaving and then returns to their table, another blessing is not required.
The Rema (178:2) writes that one should preferably not leave his place without first saying a berakha acharona, lest he forget to say a blessing, unless there is a serious need to do so, such as a mitzva whose time may pass (mitzva overet).