Birkat Hamazon the Grace after Meals is among the most ancient prayers in Jewish liturgy.
Deuteronomy 8:10 prescribes a benediction after eating; You shall eat and be full‚ and you shall bless your G-d for the good land which he has given you. Birkat Hamazon is often named Benching‚ the Yiddish word for Blessing‚ hence the word Benchers for the Birkat Hamazon texts and bencher holders for the container for the grace after the meal pages.
Like the Kiddush before the meal‚ the Grace after Meals raises the satisfaction of a physical craving into the realm of the spirit. The prayer expresses thankfulness for the food and binds the participants to their origin by expressing gratitude to G-d for all the past favors to the people as a whole and hope for a blessed future.
It is believed that Moses instituted for Israel the benediction saying; He Who feeds when the Mannah descended for the People of Israel. Joshua than added the benediction of the land when they entered the land. Later David and Solomon instituted the benediction which closes He Who builds Jerusalem.
Everyone has to wash his or hers hands before a meal and washing after a meal‚ Mayim Achronim‚ is considered a obligatory before saying grace.
Whenever three or more adults have eaten together a formal invitation to say Grace is said. This invitation is called Zimmun.
We have prepared illustrated text excerpts from Birkat Hamazon that will decorate your dining area and home.
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