Monday, July 20, 2009

Baba Metzia 87b - Bracha on sucking a fruit

The gemara learns from a pasuk that a worker is allowed to eat the grapes the he is working with, but he is not allowed to suck out the juice. The gemara somehow understands that the term "v'achalta" comes to exclude sucking. How? Tosafos implies that it is darshened from the term "v'achlta" being translated as eating to the exclusion of drinking (Rashash points out that when he works in drink, he may drink, but when he works in food he can only eat but not drink). Sucking out the juice is drinking, and therefore not permitted. But, Rashi understands the drasha is from the fact that he must consume the entire fruit and not throw away the skin (which would cause an unnecessary loss to the ba'al habayis). An obvious difference between rashi and tosafos would be whether it is permitted to suck the juice and then eat the chartzanim that remain. According to rashi it should be permitted since he is consuming the entire fruit without any waste, but according to tosafos since he is doing an act of drinking rather than eating it should be forbidden.
Another difference between rashi and tosafos that is pointed out by the rashash is what bracha to make on the sucking of a grape (when you won't be eating the entire grape). On fruit juice the bracha is shehakol (as we make on OJ, although that is debatable nowadays where the oranges are grown for the purpose of juice), but on the actual fruit the bracha is shehakol. If we consider the sucking to be drinking, it is equivalent to drinking the juice so the bracha should be shehakol (tosafos), but if we consider it to be eating it should be ha'eitz (rashi). The Rashash points out a gemara in krisus that seems to categorize the milk of a nursing mother as "food" rather than drink (because it needs hechsher to be mekabel tu'mah) - this implies that we consider the sucking of a liquid to be "eating" rather than drinking (not like tosafos) and therefore the Rashash paskens that the bracha would be ha'eitz.

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