Bentching/Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals

How easy it is, when we are wanting, to ask G-d for the food, to remember our “please and thank yous,” to be grateful when we see food before us. It is much harder to recall that gratitude once the hunger has been satisfied. Grace After Meals, known in Hebrew as Birkat HaMazon and in Yiddish as Bentching, reminds each person that they need to show gratitude after the meal as well. Birkat HaMazon is recited after any meal with bread, for which one would also have washed their hands and recited the Ha’Motzee blessing. There are shorter After-Blessings which are recited following a snack.

Shir HaMaalot
On Shabbat and Festivals, Psalm 126, foretelling the restoration of Zion, is sung before Birkat HaMazon.

A Song of Ascents. When the L-rd brought the exiles back to Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with glad song. Then it was said among the nations: “The L-rd has done great things for them.” The L-rd had done great things for us, and we rejoiced. Restore our captives, O L-rd, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. Though the farmer bears the measure of seed to the field in sadness, he shall come home with joy, bearing his sheaves.

Shir hama’alot b’shuv Ad-onai et shivat Tzion, hayinu k’cholmim. Az yimalay sichok pinu u’lshonaynu rina, az yomru va’goyim higdil Ad-onai la’asot eem eleh. Higdil Ad-onai la’asot emanu hayinu simachim. Shuva A-donai et shivataynu ka’aphikim banegev. Ha’zorim b’dima b’rina yikzoru. Haloch yelech u’vacho nosay meshech ha’zara bo yavo v’rina nosay aloomatav.

Actual Bentching:
The words “our G-d” in parentheses are added if a minyan (quorum) is present.
Leader: Let us say grace.
Guests respond, then leader repeats: Blessed be the name of the L-rd from this time forth and forever.
Leader: With your permission, let us now bless (our G-d) whose food we have eaten.
Guests respond, then Leader repeats: Blessed be (our G-d) whose food we have eaten and through whose goodness we live.

All: Blessed be He and blessed be His name
Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who nourishes the whole world with grace, kindness and mercy. You give food to all creatures, for Your kindness endures forever. Through this great goodness we have never been in want; may we never be in want of sustenance for His great name’s sake. He is the G-d who sustains all, does good to all, and provides food for all the creatures that He has created. Blessed are You, O L-rd, who sustains all.

We thank You, L-rd our G-d, for having given a beautiful, good, and spacious land to our ancestors as a heritage; for having taken us out, L-rd our G-d, from the land of Egypt and redeemed us from the house of slavery; Your covenant which you have sealed in our flesh; for Your Torah which You have taught us; for Your statutes that You have made known to us; for the life, grace and kindness that You have bestowed on us; and for the food with which You
sustains us at all times.

For everything, L-rd our G-d, we thank You and bless You. May Your name constantly be blessed by all forever, as it is written: “After you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the L-rd your G-d for the good land He has given you.” Blessed are You, O L-rd, for the land and the food.

Have mercy, L-rd our G-d, on Israel Your people, on Jerusalem Your city, on Zion the abode of Your glory, on the kingdom of the house of David Your anointed one, and on the great and holy Temple that bears Your name. Our G-d, our Father, tend and feed us; sustain and support us and relieve us. Speedily, L-rd our G-d, grant us relief from all our troubles. L-rd our G-d, O make us not rely on the gifts and loans of men but rather on Your full, open and generous hand, that we may never be put to shame and disgrace.

On Sabbath add the following paragraph:
(Favor us and strengthen us, L-rd our G-d, with Your commandments, with the commandment concerning the seventh day, this great and holy Sabbath. This day is great and holy before You to abstain from work and rest on it in love according to Your will. In Your will, L-rd our G-d, grant us rest so that there be no sorrow nor grief on our day of rest. Let us, L-rd our G-d, live to see Zion Your city comforted, Jerusalem Your holy city rebuilt, for You are Master of all salvation and consolation.)

Remember us this day, L-rd our G-d, for goodness; consider us for blessing; save us for life. With a word of salvation and mercy spare us and favor us; have pity on us and save us, for we look to You, for You are a gracious and merciful G-d and King.

Rebuild Jerusalem the holy city speedily in our days. Blessed are You, O L-rd, who will rebuild Jerusalem in mercy. Amen.

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe. G-d, You are our Father, our King and Sovereign, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Maker, the Holy One of Jacob, the Shepherd of Israel, the good King who does good to all and has done good, is doing good, and will do good. You bestow favors on us constantly. You do ever lavish on us kindness and mercy, relief and deliverance, success, blessing, salvation, comfort, sustenance, support, mercy, life and peace and all goodness. May You never deprive us of any good thing.

May the Merciful One reign over us forever and ever.
May the Merciful One be blessed in heaven and on earth.
May the Merciful One be praised for all generations; may He be glorified through us
         forever and ever; may He be honored through us to all eternity.
May the Merciful One grant us an honorable livelihood.
May the Merciful One break the yoke from our neck; may He lead us upstanding
         into our land.
May the Merciful One send ample blessing into this house and upon this table at
         which we have eaten.
May the Merciful One send us Elijah the prophet of blessed memory who will bring
         us good tidings of consolation and comfort.

May the Merciful One bless…(choose the appropriate phrase:)

  • Guests recite the following line and, at one’s parents’ table, add the words in parentheses:
    (my revered father) the master of this house and (my revered mother) the mistress of this house.At one’s own table, add:
    myself (my wife/my husband and children) and all that belongs to me and all
    those who are participating in this meal.

All continue here:
May He bless us all together and all our possessions just as He blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with every blessing.

May He bless us all together with a perfect blessing, and let us say, Amen.

May they in heaven find merits with us so that we may enjoy a lasting peace. May we receive blessings from the L-rd, justice from the G-d of our salvation, and may we find favor and good sense in the eyes of G-d and men.

On Sabbath add sentence in parentheses:
(May the Merciful One cause us to inherit the day which will be all Sabbath and rest in the eternal life).

May the Merciful One enable us to live in the days of the Messiah and in the world to come.

He is the tower of salvation of His chosen king and shows kindness to His anointed prince, to David and his descendants forever.

He who creates peace in His heavenly heights, may He grant peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

Revere the L-rd, you His holy ones for those who revere him suffer no want. Lions may be hungry and starving, but those who seek the L-rd shall not lack any good thing. Give thanks to the L-rd, for He is good; His kindness endures forever. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Blessed is the man who trusts in the L-rd, and whose trust is in the L-rd. I have been young and now I am old, but never have I seen the righteous man forsaken, nor his children wanting bread. The L-rd will give strength to his people; the L-rd will bless His people with peace.

The word “Eh’lo’hay’nu ” in parentheses is added if a minyan is present.
Leader: Ra’bo’tai n’va’raych.
Guests respond: Y’hee shaym Ah’doh’nai m’vo’rach may’ah’tah v’ad o’lam.
Leader: Y’hee shaym Ah’doh’nai m’vo’rach may’ah’tah v’ad o’lam. Beer’shoot ma’ra’nahn v’ra’ba’nahn v’ra’bo’tai n’va’raych (Eh’lo’hay’nu) sheh’ah’chal’noo mee’sheh’lo.
Guests respond, then Leader: Ba’ruch (Eh’lo’hay’nu) sheh’ah’chal’noo mee’sheh’lo oov’too’vo cha’yee’noo.

All: Ba’ruch Hoo, oo’va’rooch sh’mo.
Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech ha’o’lam, ha’zan et ha’o’lam koo’lo b’too’vo b’chayn b’chesed oo’v’rah’cha’mim. Hoo no’tayn leh’chem l’chol basar kee l’o’lam chas’do. Oo’v’too’vo ha’ga’dol ta’mid lo cha’sar la’noo v’al yech’sar la’noo ma’zohn l’o’lam va’ed. Ba’ah’voor sh’mo ha’ga’doal, kee Hoo Ayl zahn oo’m’far’nays la’kol, oo’may’tiv la’kol, oo’may’cheen ma’zohn, l’chol bree’o’tav ah’sher ba’rah. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’do’nai, ha’zahn et ha’kol.

No’deh L’chah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu ahl sheh’hin’chal’tah la’ah’vo’tay’noo eretz chem’dah tovah oo’r’chah’vah. V’al sheh’ho’tzay’tah’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu may’eretz Mitzrayim, oof’dee’tah’noo mee’bayt ah’vah’dim, v’al brit’chah sheh’cha’tam’ta biv’sah’ray’noo, v’al Torat’cha sheh’lee’mad’ditanu, v’al choo’keh’chah sheh’ho’dah’tanu, v’al chayim chayn va’chesed sheh’cho’nahn’tah’noo, v’al ah’chee’laht mah’zohn sheh’ah’tah zahn, oo’m’far’nays oh’tah’noo tah’mid b’chol yom oo’v’chol ayt oo’v’chol sha’ah.

V’al ha’kol Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu ah’nach’noo mo’dim lach, oo’m’var’chim oh’tach, yit’bah’rach shim’chah b’fee kol chai tah’mid l’oh’lam va’ed. Ka’ka’toov v’ah’chal’tah v’sah’vah’tah oo’vay’rach’tah et Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’heh’chah ahl ha’ah’retz ha’tovah ah’sher natan lach. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’do’nai, ahl ha’ah’retz v’ahl ha’mah’zohn.

Rah’chaym (nah) Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu ahl Yisrael ah’meh’chah v’ahl Yerushalayim Ee’reh’chah v’ahl Tzion mish’kahn K’vo’deh’chah v’ahl mahl’choot bayt David m’shee’cheh’cha v’ahl ha’ba’yit ha’gah’dol v’ha’ka’dosh sheh’nik’rah shim’chah ah’lahv. Eh’lo’hay’noo Ah’vee’noo r’ay’noo zoo’nay’noo par’n’say’noo v’chal’k’lay’noo v’har’vee’chay’noo v’har’vach lah’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu m’hay’rah mee’kol tza’ro’tay’noo. V’nah Ahl tazt’ree’chay’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’noo lo lee’day maht’naht ba’sar va’dahm v’lo lee’day hahl’va’ah’tahm, kee im l’yad’cha ha’m’lay’ah ha’p’too’cha ha’k’doh’sha v’har’cha’va, sheh’lo nay’voash v’lo nee’kah’laym l’o’lam va’ed.

On the Sabbath insert:
(R’tzay v’ha’cha’lee’tzay’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu b’mitz’vo’teh’cha, oo’v’mitz’vaht yom ha’sh’vee’ee, ha’Shabbat ha’gadol v’ha’kadosh ha’zeh. Kee yom zeh gadol v’kadosh hoo l’fah’neh’chah, lish’baht bo v’la’noo’ahch bo b’ah’ha’vah k’mitzvat r’tzo’neh’cha. Oo’vir’tzon’chah ha’nee’ach la’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu sheh’lo t’hay tza’rah v’ya’goan va’ah’na’chah b’yom m’noo’cha’tay’noo. V’har’ay’noo A’do’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu b’neh’chah’maht Tzion ee’reh’chah, oo’v’vin’yahn Yerushalayim eer kod’sheh’chah, kee ah’tah Hoo ba’ahl ha’y’shoo’oat oo’va’ahl ha’neh’cha’moat.)

Oo’v’nay Yerushalayim eer ha’kodesh bim’hay’rah v’yah’may’noo. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai bo’nay v’rah’chah’mav Yerushalayim ah’mayn.

Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech ha’o’lam, ha’Ayl ah’vee’noo mahl’kay’noo ah’dee’ray’noo bo’ray’noo go’ah’lay’noo yo’tzray’noo k’doh’shay’noo k’dosh Yaakov ro’ay’noo ro’ay Yisrael, ha’Melech ha’tov v’ha’may’tiv la’kol sheh’b’chol yom va’yom Hoo hay’tiv, hoo may’tiv, Hoo yay’tiv la’noo, Hoo g’mah’lah’noo, Hoo go’m’lay’noo, Hoo yig’ma’lay’noo la’ahd. L’chayn, oo’l’chesed, oo’l’rah’chah’mim, oo’l’reh’vach, ha’tza’lah v’hatzla’cha, b’racha vee’shoo’ah, neh’chah’mah
par’nah’sah v’chahl’ka’lah, v’rah’cha’meem v’chayim v’shalom v’chol tov oo’mee’kol toov l’olam ahl y’chas’ray’noo.

Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yim’loach ah’lay’noo l’o’lahm vah’ed.
Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yit’ba’rach ba’sha’mayim oo’va’aretz.
Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yish’tah’bahch l’dor doh’rim v’yit’pah’ar ba’noo la’ahd ool’nay’tzach
n’tza’cheem, v’yit’ha’dar ba’noo la’ahd ool’ol’may o’la’meem.
Ha’ra’chah’mahn Hoo y’far’n’say’noo b’chah’voad.
Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yish’bor oo’lay’noo may’ahl tza’va’ray’noo v’Hoo yo’lee’chay’noo ko’m’mee’yoot l’ar’tzay’noo.
Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yish’lahch lah’noo b’racha m’roo’bah ba’ba’yit ha’zeh v’ahl shool’chahn zeh sheh’ah’chahl’noo ah’lahv.
Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yish’lahch lah’noo et Ay’lee’yahoo ha’na’vee za’choor la’tov, vee’va’ser la’noo b’so’roat toh’voat y’shoo’oat v’neh’chah’moat.

Guests recite the following line and, at one’s parents’ table, add words in parentheses:
Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo y’vah’raych et (ah’vee mo’ree) ba’ahl ha’ba’yit ha’zeh v’et
(ee’mee mo’rah’tee) ba’ah’laht ha’bayit ha’zeh. O’tahm v’et bay’tahm v’et zar’ahm v’et
kol ah’sher la’hem.

At one’s own table, recite:
Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo y’vah’raych o’tee (husband adds: v’ish’tee) (wife adds:
oo’ba’ah’lee) (if one has children add: v’zar’ee) v’et kol ah’sher lee.

All continue here:
O’tah’noo v’et kol ah’sher lah’noo k’mo sheh’nit’bar’choo ah’vo’tay’noo Avraham, Yitzchak v’Yaakov bah’kol mee’kol, kol, kayn y’vah’raych o’tah’noo koo’lah’noo ya’chahd biv’rah’chah sh’lay’mah v’no’mar ah’mayn.

Bah’ma’roam y’lahm’doo ah’lay’hem v’ah’lay’noo z’choot sheh’tehay l’mish’meh’ret shalom. V’nee’sah b’racha may’ayt Ah’do’nai, oo’tzedaka may’Eh’lo’hay yish’ay’noo, v’nim’tza chayn v’say’chel tov b’ay’nay Eh’lo’him v’ah’dahm.

On the Sabbath:
(Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yahn’chee’lay’noo yom sheh’koo’lo Shabbat oom’noo’chah l’chayay ha’o’la’meem.)

Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo y’zah’kay’noo lee’moat ha’mashiach oo’l’chayay ha’o’lahm ha’ba. Mig’doal y’shoo’oat mahl’ko v’oh’seh chesed lim’shee’cho, l’David oo’l’zar’o ahd o’lahm. O’seh shalom bim’ro’mahv Hoo ya’ah’seh shalom ah’lay’noo v’ahl kol Yisrael v’im’roo Ah’mayn.

Ye’roo et Ah’doh’nai k’do’shav kee ayn mahch’sor lee’ray’ahv. K’fee’rim ra’shoo v’rah’ay’voo, v’dor’shay Ah’doh’nai lo yach’s’roo chol tov. Ho’doo la’Ah’doh’nai kee tov kee l’oh’lahm chas’doh. Po’tay’ach et yah’deh’chah oo’mas’bee’ah l’chol chai rah’tzon. Ba’ruch ha’gever ah’sher yiv’tach ba’Ah’do’nai, v’ha’yah Ah’doh’nai miv’tah’cho. Na’ar ha’yee’tee, gahm za’kahn’tee, v’loo rah’ee’tee tzaddik neh’eh’zahv v’zar’oh m’vah’kaysh lah’chem. Ah’doh’nai oaz l’ah’mo yee’tayn, Ah’doh’nai y’vah’raych et ah’mo va’shalom.