Brachot 38 - Bread and vegetables
Before eating bread, one washes his hands, then says "Blessed is the One Who brings forth (ha-motzi) bread from the ground." However, Rabbi Nechemyah says that the proper form is "motzi," not "ha-motzi". What is their argument? All agree that "motzi" means "Who brings forth," and that it works. However, the Sages say that even "ha-motzi" also means that, whereas Rabbi Nechemyah says that it refers only to the future, as in "God, Who brings them forth from Egypt" - and that promise was given when the Exodus was only in the future.
The students praised the son of Rav Zevid to their teacher, Rabbi Zeira, saying that he is an expert in blessing. When he was invited to a meal with Rabbi Zeira, he said the blessing on bread using "motzi." Rabbi Zeira was upset, saying, "Is that your great expert? He should have said 'ha-motzi,' to teach us the meaning of this word, and to tell us that the law is like the Sages!" And what did the "expert" think? - He chose a form acceptable to all, in order not go into a dispute.
On vegetables one says "Blessed is the One Who created the fruit of the earth." Since this law is taught right after the law of bread, we understand that it refers to cooked vegetables as well. However, others say that cooked vegetables loose their special blessing and get the generic blessing on food, "Blessed is the One by Whose word everything was created". Rav Chisda reconciles the two sides: if the vegetable is usually eaten raw and not cooked, then it looses its special blessing. However, if it is usually eaten cooked but not raw, then the raw vegetables gets a generic blessing, and the cooked one - "Who created the fruit of the earth." What is an example of the first? - Garlic.
Art: August Muller - A bottle of Chateau Margaux, a goblet, fruit, bread, cheese ...