Brachot 36 - The special blessing for wine

The more specific one is in praising God, the better, and for wine one says a special blessing, "Blessed is the One Who created the fruit of the vine." Why is this so? On olive oil, for example, one does not say a special blessing, but rather the same blessing as on the olive itself?! This is because wine gladdens the heart. If wine is so important, let's give it a complete Grace after meals, just like one says after bread! - No, people's meal centers around bread, but it does not centers around wine. Rav Nachman asked Rava, "What if one made wine the center of his meal, does he say a complete Grace afterwards?" Rava answered: "When Elijah comes, he will answer you, but for now, since most people don't consider wine a bone-fide meal, his intention is unimportant compared to the majority."

What is a proper blessing on palm shoots (the new growth, which is soft and edible)? Rav Yehudah says that since right now it is fruit, it deserves the blessing of "Blessed is the One Who created the fruit of the ground." However, Shmuel, his teacher, says that since eventually it will harden and become bark, then even now it has the regular blessing of any food, "Blessed is the One Who created everything by His word." Shmuel then praised his favorite student, saying "Sharp one! You position is more reasonable, since on radishes, although they eventually harden, people say the blessing of the fruit of the ground." But even though Shmuel praised his student, the law does not follow his student. Why not? Radishes are planted with the intention to eat them soft, even though they will harden. Palms, however, are not planted for eating their shoots.

Art: Frederic Edwin Church - Tamaca Palms