Birkat Hamazon

Jewish blessings after meals

Birkat haMazon (Blessing of the Meal) is known in English as the Grace/Blessing after a Meal.

A "Meal" is defined as a meal which began with the breaking of bread. Without bread, the meal is seen as just a "snack", and the formula for this Grace is not said.

The traditional Grace consists of 4 Talmudic blessings followed by a collection of later medieval petitions/requests (and the number and contents differ between the various Ashkenazi, Sefardi and Mizrachi forms of the Birkat haMazon).

The Four Talmudic blessings are

  1. Blessing God for providing food
  2. Blessing God for the land and the food which is grown on it (and the land referred to here is understood to be the land of Israel).
  3. Blessing God for Jerusalem (ancient capital of the land of Israel), home of the Temple
  4. Blessing God for His Goodness

There are also additions for special occasions (the sabbath, festivals etc. - and for such matters as circumcisions, weddings and funerals).

References change