This is a major work on a complex topic. The laws of blessings are far more involved than any of us realized when our mothers or teachers taught us those first words that sounded so pleasing and amusing to the admiring adults who never tired of listening.
What blessing does one recite on foods that have a variety of recognizable ingredients? When does a tree stop being considered a tree for the purpose of blessings? Under what circumstances can one person's blessing suffice for others as well? If new foods are brought unexpectedly during a meal, is a new blessing required? These are examples of the endless questions that can be asked. This book answers them all, but it goes much further.
As in most areas of Halachah, there are basic concepts underlying the laws. When one masters the concepts, the laws follow logically, because one has the knowledge that flows from understanding. That is the knowledge that enables one to break down a halachic problem to its essentials, and make the correct decision. The authors of this exceptional work do not merely throw facts at the reader, they guide him through the halachic process so that he can help himself when questions arise.
A major service of this volume is a comprehensive list of foods and their blessings. It contains virtually every food whose status presents difficulties - among them many of today's very common "hybrid" varieties, which are composed of combinations of items.
This work is taken essentially fro the highly regarded Pis'chei Halachah, by Rabbi Binyamin Forst, who wrote this book. To his credentials as an authoridy on the subject, he brings the unusual ability to teach and clarify, so that even the young student understands. His collaborator, Rabbi Aaron D. Twerski, a well known figure in Jewish life, contributed a thoughtful, incisive introduction, in the popular ArtScroll tradition.
This book is an important addition to anyone's Torah library. It will remain an authoritative work, as well as a valuable reference, for many years to come.