Brachos 14 – ברכות יד

Tosfos points out that the allowance to taste food without swallowing is limited to a taanis yachid (personally enacted fast) but is not permitted during a taanis tzibbur (a public fast).  If we see that tasting doesn’t require a bracha then obviously it doesn’t constitute eating, if so why is it forbidden on a taanis tzibbur more than by a taanis yachid?

4 thoughts on “Brachos 14 – ברכות יד

  1. My Maggid Shiur had a similar question and so did my father: Why is there a shiur for taste if it gets spit out. The Heter of tasting should, as logic dictates, make it Mutar to have any amount. I have no answer for the question I raised but I think your question can be aswered by saying on a Taanis tzibbur, there may be an issue of Maares Ayin
    which wouldn’t apply by Taanis Yachid since no one else is fasting.

    • “Why is there a shiur for taste if it gets spit out?” – Perhaps have a look in Divrei Chamudos (on the Rosh siman 6, footnote 27) who explains that a large amount assumes the status of eating/consumption. Apparently the quantity carries so much significance that it makes up for the quality… The Rosh points out that this is only pertaining to hilchos taanis (that it is considered akin to an act of eating) however thre is never a chiyuv bracha even on a large amount.

  2. Rabbenu Chananel indicates that there is no hanaah when he tastes and spits out; and therefore he does not require a bracha. The bracha therefore comes for the hanaah, not the act of eating. Perhaps this would be true by a taanis tzibbur except that if there is a tzibbur present, there is the issue of maaras ayin; and if he is in private without a tzibbur present 1) even bechadrei chdarim there would be an issue of maaras ayin or 2) taanis tzibbur is midivrei neviim and more chamur than a taanis yachid (I assume that a taanis yachid is miderabanan only).

    • Although Rabbeinu Chananel seems to say there is no hanaah (as you mentioned) it appears difficult to say he is referring to literal hanaah, since the Gemara clearly states that tasting involves hanaah “dilma hanaah kibeil alei v’ha ika”. Apparently Rabbeinu Chananel means hanaas achilah – a pleasure which has status of consumption, which is absent in this case since he merely tasting and spitting out. Similarly regarding a chiyuv bracha on food, only an act of consumption requires a bracha which is absent in this case.

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