Birkat Hamazon - The Blessing after a Meal

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What is a Bencher?

A bencher is a booklet containing the Birkat Hamazon. It can come in many sizes, styles and is often given at events as a form of commemoration.

What is Birkat Hamazon?

Birkat Hamazon is the last blessing that must be recited at the end of the meal. In this blessing we thank the Creator.

Birkat Hamazon consists of 4 parts:

  • The Blessing over the food we ate.
  • Birkat Ha’aretz – Blessing over the land
  • Blessing thanking G-d for our holy city, Jerusalem
  • Blessing over the general good that we are given each and every day

Occasionally, there are additions to the Birkat Hamazon such as:

  • Al Hanisim – an addition to Birkat Ha’aretz, which is added during Chanukah and Purim.
  • R’tzay- added on the blessing over Jerusalem on Shabbat.

Yale V’Yavo – an addition to the blessings over Jerusalem, which is said on holidays such as:

Rosh Chodesh, Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (for those who are forbidden to fast).

What is a Zimun?

The Zimun is a statement that we say before the blessing when there are at least 3 men who are of Bar Mizvah age (13 years or older), in which one member of the group calls his friends to bless together with him. When there are at least 10 men it is obligatory to mention the name of God in the Zimun.

There are several versions of the Birkat Hamazon depending on your custom:

  • Ashkenaz version.
  • Sfard version.
  • Sephardic version.
  • Yemenite Style (בלדי).
  • Yemenite Style (שאמי).
  • Chabad version.
  • Short version.

At what age do you begin to recite Birkat Hamazon?

Many Jews begin teaching their children to say Birkat Hamazon at the age of 6-9 years old. There are also various groups Judaism that begin the mitzvah at the age of 3, if the child already knows to speak and is capable to recite the blessing.

It is important to note that the Birkat Hamazon is a mitzvah from the Torah, not an addition of the Sages.

Here at My Siddurname every bencher is special. Here you can give your parents or friends a stylized bencher with a dedication that will remain with them for many years to come as a personal gift from you and will remind them of you whenever they pull it out after a meal. For more information contact us on +972-55-925-5166 or on the Contact Us page built into the website.

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