6/22/2005

Making 'Brachot' on Non-Kosher Food

I will post an essay on this topic soon (I'm writing it up). But beforehand, I'm going to throw the question out to the readers. The Shulkhan Arukh (OC 196:1-2) is pretty straightforward, and he's basing himself on Rambam Brachot 1:18, which is also pretty straightforward (though the Ra'avad there disagrees).

To make this more intriguing, let's look at this from a couple of different angles:
  • What type of person does the Halakhic literature assume would make a 'Bracha' on non-Kosher food?
  • In a contemporary setting, are there people who aren't addressed by the halakhic codes? Does this matter at all in the decision process?
  • To take some examples - a person who is trying to increase their spirituality and God-awareness in the routines of their life, but doesn't yet feel ready or would cause terrible strife (e.g., a student who lives at home) is they went completely kosher.
  • Alternatively, one straying from youthful habits and routines, for whatever reasons, but not as an act of rebellion, but still feels 'connected' to certain practices, including 'bentching'.

I'm curious to hear thoughts on this issue; I don't expect everyone to know the Halakhic sources of this debate, but I will request that the discussion remain in a halakhic framework.

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