8. Ha'gafen Covers All Drinks

August 16, 2015

7 min read


Two key conditions for Ha'gafen to cover other beverages.

In the previous class we learned about the special bracha on wine, "borei pri ha'gafen."

Additionally, because of this unique status, the bracha on wine "covers" other beverages that you are drinking at the same time.1 Therefore, if you had a glass of wine and a soft drink with dinner, you would only say Ha'gafen on the wine, but no bracha on the other drink.

This rule that Ha'gafen covers all other beverages, is subject to two conditions:

  1. The other drinks must be in front of you, or at least "in mind," when you say Ha'gafen on the wine.
  2. You must drink a minimum amount of wine.

We will now explain these two conditions in more detail.

Condition #1: Other Drinks in Front of You

In order for Ha'gafen on wine to cover other drinks, the other beverages should be in front of you when you say Ha'gafen.2 This insures that your bracha is "intended to cover" the other beverages as well. If the drinks are not in front of you, it is sufficient when saying Ha'gafen to "have in mind" that you will drink them.

If you said Ha'gafen intending only to drink wine, and then later decided to have another drink, that second drink requires its own Shehakol.

It is therefore advisable that when drinking wine, you should have any other beverages that you plan to drink in front of you,3 or have in mind for the bracha to cover any other beverages that you may subsequently drink.4

There are two exceptions to this rule:

Exception 1 – Guests

When you are invited to eat at someone else's home, you don't know what will be served. Therefore, your brachot are assumed to have been said with an all-inclusive intention.5 Consequently, Ha'gafen made by a guest covers any drinks that the host subsequently brings out.

In a home where one person prepares and serves the food, this rule applies to the other members of the household, since the standard intent when they say a bracha is that it will "cover" whatever is served to them.6 (Of course, this would not apply to the person who prepared the food.)7

In the middle of dinner, Linda brought out a pitcher of lemonade from the fridge. Her husband drank some without a bracha, but was surprised to hear her say Shehakol after pouring herself a glass. "Didn't we say Ha'gafen on the wine already?" he asked. "Yes," she replied, "but at the time I didn't think that I was going to have lemonade."

Exception 2 – A Wine-drinking Session

If you sat down explicitly to have a few drinks of wine, then the initial Ha'gafen also covers drinks that will be brought out later.

This will only apply, however, if some of the original wine still remains when you decide to bring the new drinks out.8

Condition #2: Drinking a Minimal Amount of Wine

As we learned, it is because of the superior status of wine that its bracha covers other drinks as well. Therefore, according to some opinions, this rule only applies when wine is consumed in a fashion that reflects its importance – i.e. when the wine is consumed in a halachic act of "drinking":

The minimum amount is a Talmudic measurement called melo lugmav (lit: "a cheekful"). Although opinions vary, for our discussion the consensus is that 2 fluid ounces (approx. 59 cc) is sufficient.9 The wine should additionally be drunk at once (in the time it normally takes to drink 3 ounces of wine). If it was drunk in a longer period, so long as less than 9 minutes passed from start to finish, it covers the other drinks.10

Consequently, if you are drinking less than 2 ounces of wine, it is questionable whether the bracha Ha'gafen covers other drinks or not. In such a case, you should say Shehakol on some food before partaking of other drinks. Another solution would be to ask someone else who is saying Shehakol to have you in mind when saying his bracha.11 This works according to the principle of shomeya k'oneh -- that listening is as reciting -- which we will learn about in class #38.

On Shabbat morning, three men sat down to enjoy Kiddush together. Mr-A recited the Kiddush, with the bracha Ha'gafen, and drank the cup of wine. Mr-B did not drink any wine at all, while Mr-C took a sip of the wine. Now they all want to drink some water. Who needs to say a bracha?

  • Mr-A should drink the water without a bracha – since the wine covers the water.
  • Mr-B must say a bracha on the water. Since he drank no wine, it did not "cover" the water.
  • Mr-C is in a situation of doubt. He should either: a) ask Mr-B to have him in mind when saying his Shehakol on the water, or b) say a bracha on some other Shehakol food, and have the water in mind as well.


At this point in the course, we have completed the brachot Ha'aitz, Ha'adama, Shehakol, and Ha'gafen. Let's quickly review the principles that we've learned so far.

Class #5: bracha Rishona – Ha'aitz, Ha'adama and Shehakol

  • There are six types of bracha rishona: Hamotzee, Ha'gafen, Mezonot, Ha'aitz, Ha'adama and Shehakol.
  • "Ha'aitz" is said on fruits of a tree whose trunk survives from year to year. On all other produce, the bracha is Ha'adama.
  • In case of real doubt, say Ha'adama, which is valid on fruits of a tree as well.
  • Shehakol is said on foods that don't grow from the ground.
  • Shehakol is used in cases of doubt, and for processed food that loses its original form.

Class #6: When Produce Loses its bracha

  • Produce eaten in an unusual state (raw if normally cooked, and vice versa) gets a Shehakol. Local practice determines what is considered "normal."
  • On underdeveloped vegetables, say Shehakol. On underdeveloped fruits, say Ha'adama.
  • On fruits or vegetables that are processed in a way that they are no longer intact or recognizable, say Shehakol. If you mistakenly said the "borei pri..." bracha, it is valid.

Class #7: Fruit Juices

  • The bracha on fruit (and vegetable) juices is Shehakol.
  • The bracha on wine and grape juice is Ha'gafen.
  • On diluted wine, say Ha'gafen as long as it would be served as wine. If not, say Shehakol.

Class #8: Ha'gafen

  • Ha'gafen covers other beverages, as long as:
    1. they were in front of you (or at least in mind) when you said Ha'gafen, and
    2. you drink at least 2 ounces of wine
  • A guest's Ha'gafen always covers subsequent drinks. The same is true at a "wine-drinking session."

This concludes the eighth class on Hilchot Brachot. In the coming lessons we will learn about the brachot Mezonot and Hamotzee

  1. Orach Chaim 174:2, with Mishnah Berurah
  2. Mishnah Berurah 174:3
  3. Mishnah Berurah 174:3
  4. V’Zot HaBracha, pg. 98-99
  5. Orach Chaim 179:5, 174:5, with Mishnah Berurah 19
  6. V’Zot HaBracha, pg. 68, citing Rabbi Y.S. Elyashiv
  7. Although in general, when eating a full meal, a person is considered to have general intent to eat many foods, even ones not on his original menu, people generally drink wine in a more limited fashion. Thus, only the wine (and drinks covered by the wine) he intended to drink are covered by the original bracha. See Mishnah Berurah 174:18 with Sha'ar HaTziyun 27.
  8. Mishnah Berurah 174:3
  9. Other rabbis maintain that any amount of wine is sufficient (Biur Halacha 174:1)
  10. Mishnah Berurah 271:68, Aruch HaShulchan 85:34
  11. Biur Halacha 174:1


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