We are beginning siman 5. The Chayei Adam summarizes the halachos we have learned thus far.
When two items are birchoseihen shavos (the same bracha), and the rules of precedence apply, if neither is of the shivas haminim, the chaviv takes precedence. If one of them is shivas haminim, it takes precedence, even if it is not whole and even if it is not chaviv.
If neither are shivas haminim or both are the same species of shivas haminim, the whole one takes precedence.
Whole takes precedence over chaviv, because whole is an objective hiddur in the item upon which the bracha is made, which chaviv is subjective to the individual.
If the two items are not birchoseihen shavos, the Chayei Adam paskened earlier that there is no precedence between haeitz and haadama, even if one of them is of the shivas haminim (shiur 1121). However, we learned that the Rambam holds that chaviv always takes precedence, even between haeitz and haadama (shiur 1122). Although we generally do not pasken in accordance with this opinion of the Rambam, since the arguing opinion, the Rosh, holds one can do whatever they please, one does not lose by following the Rambam’s opinion, but rather gains following both opinions.
It is important to note that the Rambam’s definition of chaviv is the item which is chaviv to the person at that moment, as opposed to the Rosh who holds the definition of chaviv is the item which is more chaviv to the person in general (see shiur 1116). We generally pasken like the Rosh when defining chaviv. However, over here, where we follow the Rambam’s opinion because the Rosh’s opinion does not oppose it, the chaviv upon which the person should make the bracha should be the item which is chaviv at that moment, in full accordance with the Rambam’s opinion regarding chaviv.
- When two items are birchoseihen shavos, the order of precedence is:
- Shivas haminim
- When two items are not birchoseihen shavos, the Chayei Adam holds there is no order of precedence. Therefore, we follow the Rambam’s opinion, and make the bracha on whichever item is chaviv to the person at that moment.