I’ve decided to take upon myself to start making brachos (not only on foods) with using various different cards (from my local judiaca store) in order to enable within myself an extra layer of concentration for g-d. I’d would like to start to attach a picture of a few of those cards (in which I’ve already bought) with hopes that you can help me determine… when to use them correctly. Also, I got a card that says basic brachos on foods such as fruits, breads, veggies, wine/grape juice etc… which is great. Tho, for memory of all verity of foods in general is there any way to learn them by memory. For instance, is there anything like flash cards or any other methods that you can prefer/ suggest? Thank you.
That is wonderful that you want to grow and strengthen you connection to H-shem by concentrating better when you make a bracha. I would be more than happy to assist you in any way I can, but I don’t now what these cards look like, and I isn’t clear to me what you want me to determine.
The correct way to learn which bracha to say would be to first learn the basic rules of what criteria is needed for each bracha. For example:
- Hamotzei is made only when eating bread, or bread like products, because the bracha “hamotzei lechem min ha’aretz” who takes bread out of the ground” is a bracha that is worded specifically for bread.
- For all other products made of the five grains, (acromnym BROWS Barley, Rye, Oats, Wheat, or Spelt) which are the five grains that give a person energy, we say Borie minay mezonos- who created different types of satiating food.
- On wine and grape juice, we say “Borei pri Hagafen” who created the fruit of the grapevine”.
- On fruits that grow from a tree, we say “Borei pri haetz” who created the fruits of a tree.
- On vegetables that grow, but not from a tree we say a more general bracha, “Borei pri hoadomo” who created the fruits (or produce) of the ground. Note; for these last two categories there are some technical issues when something is called a tree and when it isn’t.
- On anything that doesn’t grow from the ground, i.e. meat chicken, eggs, milk, cheese etc., will be shehakol, because the bracha “shehakol nihiyeh bd’varo” means that he created everything with his command, therefore it is a general bracha on everything that doesn’t have a specific bracha.
That only took a minute and now you know the basic rules, and it will be easy for you to get most of the specifics on your own. You should however get yourself the cards etc., or a brachos book because there are a number of foods that are exceptions. I’m sure that there are numerous things that can aid you with this. You can call a local seforim store or you can call Eichler’s and speak to someone, and they will be more than happy to help you.
Best wishes, and keep on growing!