About the Author

Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Rabbi Shraga Simmons is the co-founder of Aish.com, and co-author of "48 Ways to Wisdom" (ArtScroll). He is Founder and Director of Aish.com's advanced learning site. He is co-founder of HonestReporting.com, and author of "David & Goliath", the definitive account of anti-Israel media bias. Originally from Buffalo, New York, he holds a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He lives with his wife and children in the Modi'in region of Israel.

Middot Series #1 - The Art of Character Perfection

Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Improving ourselves is a tangible way to improve the world.

44. The Aish Academy Brachot Food Guide

The correct bracha to say for over 500 food items.

43. 100 Blessings Each Day

Averaged over a typical day, one bracha is said every 10 minutes.

40. She'hecheyanu & Other Events

The blessing that thanks God for enabling us to reach a special milestone.

39. Answering Amen

When another person says a bracha, we answer "amen" as a testament that the statement is true.

38. Being Motzi Others

One person can say a bracha and exempt another person's obligation.

37. Bracha Achrona: After the Fact

What happens of you mistakenly said the wrong after-bracha?

36. Time and Space

An after-bracha is subject to restrictions of when and where.

35. Birkat Hamazon – Part 2

Grace After Meals requires extra dignity and concentration.

34. Birkat Hamazon – Part 1

The special after-bracha said following a bread meal.

33. Bracha Achrona on Mixtures

When foods are eaten in combination, which after-bracha do you say?

32. Which Bracha Achrona to Say

Guidelines for the Three-Faceted Blessing, and the "miscellaneous" after-bracha.

Happiness Hall of Fame

Aish.com author awarded for radiating the power of joy.

4 Reasons Why the Media is Biased against Israel

Understanding the media's insidious contribution to the war.

31. Bracha Achrona - Introduction

The guidelines for saying bracha after finishing to eat.

30. Shinuy Makom: Wrap-Up and Review

Instances when a bracha remains in effect even after making a shinuy makom.

29. Outdoor Eating

The difference between enclosed areas and open areas.

28. Leaving the House

Walking outside implies a cessation of this eating session.

27. Introduction to Shinuy Makom

Changing locations can terminate a bracha's effectiveness.

26. Terminating a Bracha's Effectiveness

Certain actions can signal your intention to stop eating.

25. The Right Environment

When saying a bracha, the surrounding environment must be dignified and clean.

24. Honor for Brachot

How to ensure that brachot are said with the correct spiritual intent.

23. Unauthorized Brachot

An unnecessary bracha is a problem of "saying God's Name in vain."

22. Soups & Cereals

A hodge-podge of ingredients produces some complex rules.

21. Special Status of Mezonot

A mezonot ingredient is always considered primary, even when not the majority.

20. Primary and Secondary Foods

A bracha on the primary food also covers the secondary food.

19. Including Other Foods – Part 2

The bracha said at the beginning of the meal covers all foods normally consumed in a meal.

18. Including Other Foods – Part 1

A bracha includes whatever foods you intend to eat at the time you said the bracha.

17. Sequence of Brachot – Part 2

When two foods have different brachot, which bracha is said first?

16. Sequence of Brachot – Part 1

When eating two foods that have the same bracha, we say the bracha over the more important food.

15. Drinks During a Meal

When you drink during a bread meal, when is a bracha required and when is it not?

14. Fruit During a Meal

Fruit can be eaten as a main course, an appetizer, or for dessert.

13. Other Foods at a Bread Meal

Generally, when other foods are eaten with bread, the only bracha recited is Hamotzee.

Should Israel accept Syrian Refugees?

Finding the right way to show compassion.

12. Non-Hamotzee Bread

Altering the state of bread can sometimes "downgrade" the bracha from Hamotzee to Mezonot.

11. The Mezonot Meal

When eaten as meal, cake attains the status of bread and its bracha is Hamotzee.

10. Three Mezonot Categories

How bread differs from cake, and how cake differs from pasta.

The Real Story behind the Viral Head-Lock

A Palestinian filmmaker scripts a confrontational scene – again.

9. Introduction to Mezonot

The special bracha said on satiating and nutritious grains.

8. Ha'gafen Covers All Drinks

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

7. Fruit Juice & Wine

Juice is considered a separate entity from the fruit.

6. Altered States

Altering the state of a food can also change its bracha.

5. Six Types

Getting practical: The six basic brachot said on food.

4. Eating without a Bracha?!

It is worse to eat without a bracha than it is to waste food.

3. When is a Bracha Not Required?

Since eating is an act of pleasure, some situations are exempt from a bracha.

Calling Charles Schumer a Traitor

The Jews are being blamed again.

2. Text and Meaning

Deconstructing the basic components of a bracha.

1. What is a Bracha?

The philosophy and inspiration behind the blessings.

Condemning the Violence

Israeli society is repulsed and outraged at the latest violence allegedly perpetrated by Jews.

34. M&Ms - Part 2: Memachaik, Mesarteit, Mechateich

Smoothing out solids, and cutting things to size.

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