From the Rav’s Desk: Blessing on olives during meal

  1. Question: [Motzei Shabbos, 12th Teves 5781]

Should one make a blessing of Haietz when eating olives during a meal with bread? Is it similar to all fruits that we say a Haeitz during the meal or is it different being that it is not sweet?


One who eats olives during a meal with bread does not say a blessing over it even if he is eating it alone without any other food.

The explanation: The rule is that all meal foods are exempt with the blessing of Hazmotzi said over the bread and therefore an individual blessing over the food does not need to, and may not, be recited. The definition of a “meal food” is any food that is normally eaten with bread or is normally eaten during a meal, as opposed to a food that is usually designated to be eaten only as a dessert. Commonly, sweet fruits and vegetables are designated as dessert foods and therefore a blessing must be said over them during a meal whether it is Haietz [i.e. an Apple] or Hadama [i.e. watermelon]. However, fruits and vegetables that are not sweet are not designated dessert foods and therefore a blessing is not said over them during a meal. Accordingly, when eating olives during a meal a blessing is not recited. The same would apply to avocado. The differentiation in this matter is not in regards to what blessing is said, such as Haietz versus Hadama, but rather due to how the food is eaten as stated above.


Sources: See Admur Seder Birchas Hanehnin 4:1, Shulchan Aruch Admur 177:1 and Michaber 177:1 who all mention pickled foods as foods that are secondary to the meal, and therefore a blessing is not recited; Piskeiy Teshuvos 177 footnote 11

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