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Hagafen Blessing for Ices

Can the beracha of hagafen cover ice cream or ices during the meal or at the end of the meal?


Poskim discuss the status of ice cream or ices–are they considered as liquids or solids? According to some poskim they are considered liquids, and would therefore be covered by the hagafen blessing (see especially Sephardi poskim: Or Le-Zion14:18; Yakut Yosef 3:177, 10; see also Ben Ish Chai, Masei 8; see also Be’er Moshe 1:11, and Vezos Ha-Berachah p.44, inthe name of Rav Elyashiv).

However, others write that they have the halachah of solids (see Shaar Ha-Zion 158:1; Mekor Ha-Berachah p.110, inthe name of the Steipler; Betzeil Ha-Chochmah 3:114, 4 distinguishes between ice creams that are made with many different ingredients, and ices that are predominantly frozen water).

Therefore, some recite a blessing over the ice cream even in a meal, and even after reciting hagafen at the beginning. This is probably the common custom among Ashkenazim. Most Sephardim do not recite a blessing on the ice cream, and leave eating the ice cream until after benching, following the ruling of Rav Ovadyah Yosef and other Sephardi poskim.

For ices that are licked and not chewed, it appears that this is certainly considered drinking and not eating, and the hagafen blessing will suffice.

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