361. Interrupting After a Bracha

50:5 Between making the bracha on a food item and eating some of it, one should pause no more than a brief moment. (Mishnah Brurah 487:4 defines this as the time it takes to say three words; MB 206:12 identifies these words as the greeting “shalom alecha, rebbe.”) One should not even make interruptions while chewing until he swallows it because the act of chewing does not require a bracha. If one spoke in between the bracha and eating, if it was not relevant to the eating, he must repeat the bracha. If he waited silently, he need not repeat the bracha. If the waiting is necessary for the eating, it’s not even considered an interruption. Therefore, if one wants to eat a large fruit in pieces, the proper procedure is to say the bracha on the fruit while it’s still whole, since this is a mitzvah. The time it takes to then cut up the fruit is not problematic as an interruption because it’s necessary for the eating. On the other hand, if one is concerned that a piece of fruit might be infested, he should open it and check before reciting the bracha.

One who pours out a small amount before drinking water from a fear that the water might be bad should do so before starting his bracha because doing so afterwards shows disdain for the bracha (and constitutes an interruption – MB 206:12).