Tuesday, March 16, 2021

ikar poteil es ha'tafeil -- chakira of the emek bracha

An interesting question to think about:

If a person ate matzah but it was tafeil to some other food so no bracha needed to be recited on it, is a person yotzei the mitzvah of achilas matzah?

A few months from now you can discuss the same question by sukkah: if a person ate bread on leil sukkos but it was tafeil to some other food so it did not require a bracha, is a person yotzei the mitzvah of eating a meal in sukkah?

What's the safeik?  Saying a bracha is not m'keiv the mitzvah?  

The issue is how to understand the din that ikar poteir es ha'tafeil.  The Emek Bracha (and others) make the following chakira: is it that the tafeil is its own achila and should get its own bracha, but the halacha of ikar poteir es ha'tefil tells us that the bracha on the ikar suffices, or does the din of ikar poteir tafeil mean that the achila of the tafeil is not an achila -- it's like you just ate the ikar, and that's why only the ikar gets a bracha.

There are ra'ayos both ways, among them the simple diyuk in the language of ikar POTEIR es ha'tafeil, which implies there is a chiyuv bracha on the tafeil that is being fulfilled, not that there is no chiyuv.  

In any case, the sefer where I saw this question raised wanted to say that the issue by matzah or sukkah hinges on this chakirah.  If the achila of the tafeil is not an achila, then you haven't been yotzei matzah or sukkah; if it is an achila, just the bracha on the ikar suffices, then you would be yotzei.

I leave it to you to mull over whether the chakira fits and what the proofs are one way or the other.


  1. where can i find this in Emek Bracha?

  2. Page 58 in Emek Bracha.
    I don't believe this is a correct presentation of the Emek Bracha (I think likely this sefer's fault not your fault)
    The chakira of the Emek Bracha is - does the tafeil not need a bracha, or does it need a bracha and it's covered by the bracha of the ikar. I don't think the first tzad is saying it's not an achila at all.
    Which sefer made this tliya?

    1. Explain why the tafeil does not need a bracha.

      Saying it's not an achila is an inevitable outcome of the chakira.

    2. I'm not sure about that. The tafeil doesn't need a bracha because chachamim were not mechayev a bracha when eating a tafel. Why not - presumably because it's a less chashuv achila, similar to why matemet doesn't require a bracha. But that doesn't mean it's not an achila at all. When dealing with a derabbanan of brachos, it's much harder to prove that that indicates on a level deoraysa that it's not an achila.

    3. >>>it's a less chashuv achila

      I would have used that sevara to explain why even though it should be chayav in bracha, it doesn't get one. But if that's how you explain the other tzad, I don't see how you formulate the chakira:

      Either it is not chayav in bracha because it is not a chashuv achila, or it is chayav in bracha but doesn't get one because....?

    4. Either side of the chakira is that it's a less chashuv achila.
      The chakira is, given that it's a less chashuv achila, what was the takanas chazal - no bracha at all required, or that the bracha on the ikar paters it.

    5. A raayah that it is a less chashuv achila is that the Ramah paskens that if one eats the tafeil first, you make a beracha, but only shehakol, not its regular beracha. O.C. 212:

      אבל אם אוכל הטפל תחלה כגון שרוצה לשתות ורוצה לאכול תחלה כדי שלא ישתה אליבא ריקנא או שאוכל גרעיני גודגדניות למתק השתיה מברך על האוכל תחלה אע"פ שהוא טפל לשתיה ואינו מברך עליו רק שהכל הואיל והוא טפל לדבר אחר. (תרומת הדשן סי' ל"ה):

      If it is not an achila at all, there should be no need to make a shehakol.

    6. https://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=57305&st=&pgnum=95&hilite=

      Dealt with there.

    7. "Dealt with there."

      It discusses that din. And a machlokes whether the beracha said on the tafeil is shehakol or the regular beracha that you would say on that food.

      But it does not discuss why one should say a beracha if it is not an achila at all. So that is a very solid raayah that it is considered some kind of an achila.

  3. The more I think about this safek, the less I like it...
    The pasuk says "al matzos umerorim yochluhu" - so you're eating the korban pesach on matza, a classic ikar/tafel situation, and the pasuk calls it achila. Is that not a proof that even a tafel is considered achila?
    Now you might try to argue out of it by saying some sort of achshevei due to the mitzva etc...

    But a parallel case, would anyone in their right mind argue that it might be mutar to eat a bacon on rye, because the bacon is tafel to the bread so it's not an achila on the bacon?

    1. See:


    2. Thanks for that.
      So he has my "raya kelusha" from the maror, and the dechiya of mitzvaso bekach/achshevei.
      And also the Maharal Tzintz who says pashut it's not a ptur for issurin. Honestly, I think the question is crazy, there's no tzad that anyone would be matir eating issurin as a tafel.

      I think the more reasonable diyun, that he mentions Levushei Mordechai has in the teshuva, is whether achila in sukka, and potentially achilas matza, require achilas kvius, like kvius seuda. This question though doesn't depend on how you understand ikar/tafel, and is really a question about chiyuv matza/sukka.

    3. But a parallel case, would anyone in their right mind argue that it might be mutar to eat a bacon on rye, because the bacon is tafel to the bread so it's not an achila on the bacon?

      Yes, I thought of the same thing. Hard to say it is not a maaseh achilah.

  4. if >anointing< with maaser sheni fulfills the mitzvah of "achila" (Devarim 14:23), how much more so a consumption of "tafeil"!

  5. I wonder how the dinim of bittul would change if we applied the concept of ikkar and tafeil. It wouldn't matter if it is nosen taam, as long as the issur is tafeil. Maybe that's pshat in taam kalush.