Chew on This (If You Can)

Daf 36. Summary. “Any food that is primary, and it is eaten with food that is secondary, one recites a blessing over the primary food.” The rabbis debate which blessings are associated with different foods. For example, is the heart of palm a fruit if the palm tree was not planted with the heart of palm “in mind”? The caper-bush and the pomegranate are considered, especially the relations of the parts to the whole. Dry pepper and dry ginger may be chewed on Yom Kippur; it is not considered to be eating.

Comment. We have departed from the island of aggadah. What do we plant? When do we harvest it? For what purpose? All of us who do our harvesting in the right-most aisle of the supermarket, our eyes glaze over. The urgency of these distinctions do not touch us.

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