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Birkat Hamazon: Grace After Meals

by Gabriella Tzin

Birkat hamazon (ברכת המזון) is the traditional Jewish blessing known in English as the Grace After Meals. Its purpose is to thank God for providing food, for the Land of Israel, as well as for His unwavering kindness towards His people. Likewise, part of this blessing serves as a type of plea to the Lord, asking Him to swiftly rebuild the city of Jerusalem, for continued sustenance, and for the coming of the Messiah.

Birkat Hamazon: Grace After Meals

According to halacha (Jewish religious laws), one must say this blessing after eating a meal that included an olive-sized piece of bread or matzah made from either wheat, rye, barley, spelt, or oats. This blessing is typically read to oneself, though many choose to sing it aloud as a community on Shabbat or biblical holidays.

Reciting the birkat hamazon is considered a mitzvah and is based on the following verse from Deuteronomy 8:10:

“When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He gave you.”

This blessing is broken up into four different parts and is usually initiated with a psalm. On Shabbat or other traditional feasts, Psalm 126 (Song of Ascents) is often read before the birkat hamazon. During the weekdays, however, Psalm 137 is recited instead, though this practice is less common.

The first blessing out of the four parts is known as the “birkat hazan (ברכת הזן).” It is based on the blessing of thanksgiving given by Moses when the children of Israel received manna in the wilderness during the Exodus from Egypt.

The second blessing is called “birkat haaretz (ברכת הארץ),” and it is attributed to the blessing that Joshua said out of gratitude after he led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Additionally, this blessing thanks God for sustaining the Jewish people throughout history with food as well as with the Land of Israel.

The third part of the birkat hamazon concerns the rebuilding of Jerusalem and is accredited to King David, who made Jerusalem the capital, as well as King Solomon, who built the Temple there. “Birkat boneh Yerushalayim (ברכת בונה ירושלים)” asks the Lord to be merciful towards the Jewish people while also requesting that the city of Jerusalem be rebuilt speedily and soon.

The final blessing is “birkat hatov v’hameitiv (ברכת הטוב והמטיב),” which was written by Gamliel the Elder in early First Century AD. Its purpose is to thank the Lord for His goodness and relationship with the Jewish people.

According to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, an influential and famous rabbi in the 20th century, the birkat hamazon can be depicted as a ladder of prayer. The first blessing speaks of personal needs, the second touches on the needs of the nation of Israel, the third discusses the Jewish people’s spiritual yearnings through Jerusalem and the Temple, and the fourth part talks about the idea of being a light to the nations.

Another tradition associated with this blessing pertains to a group of at least three people that have eaten bread together. This forms a “zimmun (זימון),” and it obligates the group to say a few additional statements. The opening words are said by one of the three people, and it serves as a type of invitation for the others to join in on the recitation of the birkat hamazon. If a minyan of ten or more people are present, there are even more additions to the invitation.

There are many variations of the birkat hamazon depending on the sect of Judaism and the occasion (if it is recited during a specific holiday, brit milah, or wedding). Due to this, there may be words or verses that are either added or omitted. Nonetheless, below is the traditional version of this blessing including the opening words said in the presence of a zimmun:

Birkat Hamazon

Preliminary Psalms:

ביום שאומרים בו תחנון:

עַל נַהֲרוֹת בָּבֶל שָׁם יָשַׁבְנוּ גַּם בָּכִינוּ בְּזָכְרֵנוּ אֶת צִיּוֹן. עַל עֲרָבִים בְּתוֹכָהּ תָּלִינוּ כִּנֹּרוֹתֵינוּ. כִּי שָׁם שְׁאֵלוּנוּ שׁוֹבֵינוּ דִּבְרֵי שִׁיר וְתוֹלָלֵינוּ שִׂמְחָה שִׁירוּ לָנוּ מִשִּׁיר צִיּוֹן. אֵיךְ נָשִׁיר אֶת שִׁיר יְהוָה עַל אַדְמַת נֵכָר. אִם אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלָ‍ִם תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי. תִּדְבַּק לְשׁוֹנִי לְחִכִּי אִם לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי אִם לֹא אַעֲלֶה אֶת יְרוּשָׁלַ‍ִם עַל רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי. זְכֹר יְהוָה לִבְנֵי אֱדוֹם אֵת יוֹם יְרוּשָׁלָ‍ִם הָאֹמְרִים עָרוּ עָרוּ עַד הַיְסוֹד בָּהּ. בַּת בָּבֶל הַשְּׁדוּדָה אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם לָךְ אֶת גְּמוּלֵךְ שֶׁגָּמַלְתְּ לָנוּ. אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת עֹלָלַיִךְ אֶל הַסָּלַע.

On weekdays, recite:

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, sat and wept, as we thought of Zion. There on the poplars we hung up our lyres, for our captors asked us there for songs, our tormentors, for amusement, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.” How can we sing a song of the LORD on alien soil? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither; let my tongue stick to my palate if I cease to think of you, if I do not keep Jerusalem in memory even at my happiest hour. Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem’s fall; how they cried, “Strip her, strip her to her very foundations!” Fair Babylon, you predator, a blessing on him who repays you in kind what you have inflicted on us; a blessing on him who seizes your babies and dashes them against the rocks!

ביום שאין אומרים בו תחנון:

שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת בְּשׁוּב יְהוָה אֶת שִׁיבַת צִיּוֹן הָיִינוּ כְּחֹלְמִים. אָז יִמָּלֵא שְׂחוֹק פִּינוּ וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה אָז יֹאמְרוּ בַגּוֹיִם הִגְדִּיל יְהוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת עִם אֵלֶּה. הִגְדִּיל יְהוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמָּנוּ הָיִינוּ שְׂמֵחִים. שׁוּבָה יְהוָה אֶת שְׁבִיתֵנוּ כַּאֲפִיקִים בַּנֶּגֶב. הַזֹּרְעִים בְּדִמְעָה בְּרִנָּה יִקְצֹרוּ. הָלוֹךְ יֵלֵךְ וּבָכֹה נֹשֵׂא מֶשֶׁךְ הַזָּרַע בֹּא יָבוֹא בְרִנָּה נֹשֵׂא אֲלֻמֹּתָיו.

On Sabbaths and holidays, Psalm 126 is recited:

A Song of Degrees—When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like unto them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with exultation: then said they among the nations, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereat we rejoiced. Bring back our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Though he goeth on his way weeping, bearing the store of seed, he shall come back with joy, bearing his sheaves.

Zimmun:

שלשה שאכלו כאחד חיבין לזמן והמזמן פותח

רַבּוֹתַי, נְבָרֵך:

The following introduction is customary if three or more males above the age of thirteen, having eaten at table together:

Let us say grace.

המסבים עונים:

יְהִי שֵׁם יְיָ מְבֹרָךְ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם:

The others respond:

Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever.

המזמן אומר:

בִּרְשׁוּת מְרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי, נְבָרֵךְ (בעשרה אֱלֹהֵינוּ) שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ:

He who says grace proceeds:

With the sanction of those present, if there are ten or more males present above the age of thirteen, the words “our God” are added: We will bless (our God) Him of whose bounty we have partaken.

המסבים עונים:

בָּרוּךְ (בעשרה אֱלֹהֵינוּ) שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִינוּ:

The others respond:

Blessed be (our God) He of whose bounty we have partaken, and through whose goodness we live.

המזמן חוזר ואומר:

בָּרוּךְ (בעשרה אֱלֹהֵינוּ) שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִינוּ:

He who says grace replies:

Blessed be (our God) He of whose bounty we have partaken, and through whose goodness we live. Blessed be He and blessed be His name.

Birkat Hazan: Blessing on the Food

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַזָּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בְּטוּבוֹ בְּחֵן בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים, הוּא נֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל־בָּשָׂר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ וּבְטוּבוֹ הַגָּדוֹל תָּמִיד לֹא חָסַר לָנוּ וְאַל יֶחְסַר לָנוּ מָזוֹן (תָּמִיד) לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד בַּעֲבוּר שְׁמוֹ הַגָּדוֹל כִּי הוּא אֵל זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס לַכֹּל וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל וּמֵכִין מָזוֹן לְכָל־בְּרִיּוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who feedest the whole world with thy goodness, with grace, with lovingkindness and tender mercy; thou givest food to all flesh, for thy lovingkindness endureth forever. Through thy great goodness food hath never failed us: O may it not fail us for ever and ever for thy great name’s sake, since thou nourishest and sustainest all beings and doest good unto all, and providest food for all thy creatures whom thou hast created. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who givest food unto all.

Birkat Haaretz: Blessing on the Land

נוֹדֶה לְּךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל שֶׁהִנְחַלְתָּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָּה טוֹבָה וּרְחָבָה וְעַל שֶׁהוֹצֵאתָנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וּפְדִיתָנוּ מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים וְעַל בְּרִיתְךָ שֶׁחָתַמְתָּ בִּבְשָׂרֵנוּ וְעַל תּוֹרָתְךָ שֶׁלִּמַּדְתָּנוּ וְעַל חֻקֶּיךָ שֶׁהוֹדַעְתָּנוּ וְעַל חַיִּים חֵן וָחֶסֶד שֶׁחוֹנַנְתָּנוּ, וְעַל אֲכִילַת מָזוֹן שָׁאַתָּה זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס אוֹתָנוּ תָּמִיד, בְּכָל יוֹם וּבְכָל עֵת וּבְכָל שָׁעָה.

We thank thee, O Lord our God, because thou didst give as an heritage unto our fathers a desirable, good and ample land, and because thou didst bring us forth, O Lord our God, from the land of Egypt, and didst deliver us from the house of bondage; as well as for thy covenant which thou hast sealed in our flesh, thy Law which thou hast taught us, thy statutes which thou hast made known unto us, the life, grace and lovingkindness which thou hast vouchsafed unto us, and for the food wherewith thou dost constantly feed and sustain us on every day, in every season, at every hour.

לחנוכה ולפורים:

עַל הַנִּסִּים וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן וְעַל הַגְּבוּרוֹת וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעוֹת וְעַל הַמִּלְחָמוֹת שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

On Chanukah and Purim add:

We thank thee also for the miracles, for the redemption, for the mighty deeds and saving acts, wrought by thee, as well as for the wars which thou didst wage for our fathers in days of old, at this season.

לחנוכה—בִּימֵי מַתִּתְיָהו בֶן יוֹחָנָן כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל חַשְׁמוֹנָאִי וּבָנָיו כְּשֶׁעָמְדָה מַלְכוּת יָוָן הָרְשָׁעָה עַל עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהשַׁכִּיחָם מִתּוֹרָתָךְ וּלְהַעֲבִירָם מֵחֻקֵּי רְצוֹנָךְ וְאַתָּה בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים עָמַדְתָּ לָהֶם בְּעֵת צָרָתָם רַבְתָּ אֶת רִיבָם דַּנְתָּ אֶת דִּינָם נָקַמְתָּ אֶת נִקְמָתָם מָסַרְתָּ גִבּוֹרִים בְּיַד חַלָּשִׁים וְרַבִּים בְּיַד מְעַטִּים וּטְמֵאִים בְּיַד טְהוֹרִים וּרְשָׁעִים בְּיַד צַדִּיקִים וְזֵדִים בְּיַד עוֹסְקֵי תוֹרָתֶךָ וּלְךָ עָשִׂיתָ שֵׁם גָּדוֹל וְקָדוֹשׁ בְּעוֹלָמָךְ וּלְעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל עָשִׂיתָ תְּשׁוּעָה גְדוֹלָה וּפֻרְקָן כְּהַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּאוּ בָנֶיךָ לִדְבִיר בֵּיתֶךָ וּפִנּוּ אֶת הֵיכָלֶךָ וְטִהֲרוּ אֶת־מִקְדָּשֶׁךָ וְהִדְלִיקוּ נֵרוֹת בְּחַצְרוֹת קָדְשֶׁךָ וְקָבְעוּ שְׁמוֹנַת יְמֵי חֲנֻכָּה אֵלּוּ לְהוֹדוֹת וּלְהַלֵּל לְשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל.

On Chanukah—In the days of the Hasmonean, Mattathias son of Johanan, the High Priest, and his sons, when the iniquitous power of Greece rose up against thy people Israel to make them forgetful of thy Law, and to force them to transgress the statutes of thy will, then didst thou in thine abundant mercy rise up for them in the time of their trouble; thou didst plead their cause, thou didst judge their suit, thou didst avenge their wrong; thou deliveredst the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the arrogant into the hands of them that occupied themselves with thy Law: for thyself thou didst make a great and holy name in thy world, and for thy people Israel thou didst work a great deliverance and redemption as at this day. And thereupon thy children came into the oracle of thy house, cleansed thy temple, purified thy sanctuary, kindled lights in thy holy courts, and appointed these eight days of Chanukah in order to give thanks and praises unto thy great name. For all these things thy name, O our King, shall be continually blessed and exalted for ever and ever.

לפורים—בִּימֵי מָרְדְּכַי וְאֶסְתֵּר בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה כְּשֶׁעָמַד עֲלֵיהֶם הָמָן הָרָשָׁע בִּקֵּשׁ לְהַשְׁמִיד לַהֲרוֹג וּלְאַבֵּד אֶת־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִים מִנַּעַר וְעַד זָקֵן טַף וְנָשִׁים בְּיוֹם אֶחָד בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר הוּא חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר וּשְׁלָלָם לָבוֹז וְאַתָּה בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים הֵפַרְתָּ אֶת עֲצָתוֹ וְקִלְקַלְתָּ אֶת מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ וַהֲשֵׁבוֹתָ־לוֹ גְמוּלוֹ בְרֹאשׁוֹ וְתָלוּ אוֹתוֹ וְאֶת בָּנָיו עַל הָעֵץ וְעָשִׂיתָ עִמָּהֶם נִסִּים וְנִפְלָאוֹת וְנוֹדֶה לְשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל סֶלָה.

On Purim—In the days of Mordecai and Esther, in Shushan the capital, when the wicked Haman rose up against them, and sought to destroy, to slay and make to perish all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, on one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,—then didst thou in thine abundant mercy bring his counsel to nought, didst frustrate his design, and return his recompense upon his own head; and they hanged him and his sons upon the gallows. For all these things thy name, O our King, shall be continually blessed and exalted for ever and ever.

וְעַל הַכֹּל יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים לָךְ וּמְבָרְכִים אוֹתָךְ, יִתְבָּרַךְ שִׁמְךָ בְּפִי כָּל חַי תָּמִיד לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד, כַּכָּתוּב: וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבַעְתָּ, וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ הַטּוֹבָה אֲשֶּׁר נָתַן לָךְ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל הַמָּזוֹן.

For all this, O Lord our God, we thank and bless thee, blessed be thy name by the mouth of all living continually and forever, even as it is written, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied, and thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord, for the land and for the food.

Birkat Boneh Yerushalayim: Blessing on Jerusalem

רַחֶם נָא יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ, וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִירֶךָ, וְעַל צִיּוֹן מִשְׁכַּן כְּבוֹדֶךָ, וְעַל מַלְכוּת בֵּית דָּוִד מְשִׁיחֶךָ, וְעַל הַבַּיִת הַגָדוֹל וְהַקָדוֹשׁ שֶׁנִּקְרָא שִׁמְךָ עָלָיו. אֱלֹהֵינוּ, אָבִינוּ, רְעֵנוּ, זוּנֵנוּ, פַרְנְסֵנוּ וְכַלְכְּלֵנוּ וְהַרְוִיחֵנוּ, וְהַרְוַח לָנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מְהֵרָה מִכָּל צָרוֹתֵינוּ. וְנָא אַל תַּצְרִיכֵנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, לֹא לִידֵי מַתְּנַת בָּשָׂר וָדָם וְלֹא לִידֵי הַלְוָאָתָם, כִּי אִם לְיָדְךָ הַמְּלֵאָה הַפְּתוּחָה הַקְּדוֹשָׁה וְהָרְחָבָה, שֶׁלֹא נֵבוֹשׁ וְלֹא נִכָּלֵם לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.

Have mercy, O Lord our God, upon Israel thy people, upon Jerusalem thy city, upon Zion the abiding place of thy glory, upon the kingdom of the house of David thine anointed, and upon the great and holy house that was called by thy name. O our God, our Father, feed us, nourish us, sustain, support and relieve us, and speedily O Lord our God, grant us relief from all our troubles. We beseech thee, O Lord our God, let us not be in need either of the gifts of flesh and blood or of their loans, but only of thy helping hand, which is full, open, holy and ample, so that we may not be ashamed nor confounded for ever and ever.

בשבת:

רְצֵה וְהַחֲלִיצֵנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּמִצְוֹתֶיךָ וּבְמִצְוַת יוֹם הַשְׁבִיעִי הַשַׁבָּת הַגָּדוֹל וְהַקָדוֹשׂ הַזֶּה. כִּי יוֹם זֶה גָּדוֹל וְקָדוֹשׁ הוּא לְפָנֶיךָ לִשְׁבָּת בּוֹ וְלָנוּחַ בּוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה כְּמִצְוַת רְצוֹנֶךָ. וּבִרְצוֹנְךָ הָנִיחַ לָנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁלֹּא תְהֵא צָרָה וְיָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה בְּיוֹם מְנוּחָתֵנוּ. וְהַרְאֵנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּנֶחָמַת צִיוֹן עִירֶךָ וּבְבִנְיַן יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ כִּי אַתָּה הוּא בַּעַל הַיְשׁוּעוֹת וּבַעַל הַנֶּחָמוֹת.

On Sabbath say:

Be pleased, O Lord our God, to fortify us by thy commandments, and especially by the commandment of the seventh day, this great and holy Sabbath, since this day is great and holy before thee, that we may rest and repose thereon in love in accordance with the precept of thy will. In thy favor, O Lord our God, grant us such repose that there be no trouble, grief or lamenting on the day of our rest. Let us, O Lord our God, behold the consolation of Zion thy city, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem thy holy city, for thou art the Lord of salvation and of consolation.

בראש-חודש ובמועדים:

אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא יַגִּיעַ יֵרָאֶה וְיֵרָצֶה יִשָּׁמַע יִפָּקֵד וְיִזָּכֵר זִכְרוֹנֵנוּ וְזִכְרוֹן אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, זִכְרוֹן יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִירָךְ, וְזִכְרוֹן מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד עַבְדָּךְ, וְזִכְרוֹן כָּל-עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל לְפָנֶיךָ, לִפְלֵטָה לְטוֹבָה לְחֵן לְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים לְחַיִּים וּלְשָׁלוֹם בְּיוֹם_______.

On New Moons and Festivals add:

Our God and God of our fathers! May our remembrance rise and come and be accepted before thee, with the remembrance of our fathers. of Messiah the son of David thy servant, of Jerusalem thy holy city, and of all thy people the house of Israel, bringing deliverance and well-being, grace, loving kindness and mercy, life and peace on this day of____________.

בראש חודש, בפסח, בסוכות, בשמיני עצרת, בשבועות, בראש השנה:

הַזֶּה, זָכְרֵנוּ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ בּוֹ לְטוֹבָה, וּפָּקְדֵנוּ בוֹ לִבְרָכָה, וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ בוֹ לְחַיִּים, בִּדְבַר יְשׁוּעָה וְרַחֲמִים; חוּס וְחָנֵּנוּ, וְרַחֵם עָלֵינוּ, וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ כִּי אֵלֶיךָ עֵינֵינוּ, כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אָתָּה.

וּבְנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, בּוֹנֵה בְרַחֲמָיו יְרוּשָׁלַיִם. אָמֵן.

On new moon, Passover, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Shavuot, and Rosh Hashanah:

Remember us, O Lord our God, thereon for our wellbeing; be mindful of us for blessing, and save us unto life: by thy promise of salvation and mercy, spare us and be gracious unto us; have mercy upon us and save us; for our eyes are bent upon thee, because thou art a gracious and merciful God and King.

And rebuild Jerusalem the holy city speedily in our days. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who in thy compassion rebuildest Jerusalem. Amen.

Birkat Hatov v’Hameitiv: Blessing of Goodness

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הָאֵל אָבִינוּ, מַלְכֵּנוּ, אַדִירֵנוּ, בּוֹרְאֵנוּ, גֹּאֲלֵנוּ, יוֹצְרֵנוּ, קְדוֹשֵׁנוּ קְדוֹשׁ יַעֲקֹב, רוֹעֵנוּ רוֹעֵה יִשְׂרָאַל, הַמֶּלֶךְ הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּיטִיב לַכֹּל, שֶׁבְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם הוּא הֵיטִיב, הוּא מֵיטִיב, הוּא יֵיטִיב לָנוּ, הוּא גְמָלָנוּ, הוּא גוֹמְלֵנוּ, הוּא יִגְמְלֵנוּ לָעַד, לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים וּלְרֶוַח הַצָּלָה וְהַצְלָחָה, בְּרָכָה וִישׁוּעָה, נֶחָמָה פַּרְנָסָה וְכַלְכָּלָה וְרַחֲמִים וְחַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם, וְכָל טוֹב; וּמִכָּל טוּב לְעוֹלָם אַל יְחַסְּרֵנוּ.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, O God, our Father, our King, our Mighty One, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Maker, our Holy One, the Holy One of Jacob, our Shepherd, the Shepherd of Israel, O King, who art kind and dealest kindly with all, day by day thou hast dealt kindly, dost deal kindly, and wilt deal kindly with us: thou hast bestowed, thou dost bestow, thou wilt ever bestow benefits upon us, yielding us grace, lovingkindness, mercy and relief, deliverance and prosperity, blessing and salvation, consolation, sustenance and supports mercy, life, peace and all good: of no manner of good let us be in want.

הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִמְלוֹךְ עָלֵינוּ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִתְבָּרַךְ בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁתַּבַּח לְדוֹר דּוֹרִים, וְיִתְפָּאַר בָּנוּ לָעַד וּלְנֵצַח נְצָחִים, וְיִתְהַדַּר בָּנוּ לָעַד וּלְעוֹלְמֵי עוֹלָמִים.

The All-merciful shall reign over us for ever and ever. The All-merciful shall be blessed in heaven and on earth. The All-merciful shall be praised throughout all generations, glorified amongst us to all eternity, and honored amongst us for everlasting.

הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְפַרְנְסֵנוּ בְּכָבוֹד. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁבּוֹר עֻלֵּנוּ מֵעַל צַּוָּארֵנוּ, וְהוּא יוֹלִיכֵנוּ קוֹמְמִיוּת לְאַרְצֵנוּ. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁלַח לָנוּ בְּרָכָה מְרֻבָּה בַּבַּיִת הַזֶּה, וְעַל שֻׁלְחָן זֶה שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ עָלָיו. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁלַח לָנוּ אֶת אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא זָכוּר לַטּוֹב, וִיבַשֵּׂר לָנוּ בְּשׂוֹרוֹת טוֹבוֹת יְשׁוּעוֹת וְנֶחָמוֹת.

May the All-merciful grant us an honorable livelihood. May the All-merciful break the yoke from off our neck, and lead us upright to our land. May the All-merciful send a plentiful blessing upon this house, and upon this table at which we have eaten. May the All-merciful send us Elijah the prophet (let him be remembered for good), who shall give us good tidings, salvation and consolation.

בבית אביו אומר הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת אָבִי מוֹרִי בַּעַל הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה, וְאֶת אִמִּי מוֹרָתִי בַּעֲלַת הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה.

The following has to be varied according to circumstances: May the All-merciful bless my honored father, the master of this house, and my honored mother, the mistress of this house,

אוֹתָם וְאֶת בֵּיתָם וְאֶת זַרְעָם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם, אוֹתָנוּ וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָנוּ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּרְכוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב בַּכֹּל מִכֹּל כֹּל – כֵּן יְבָרֵךְ אוֹתָנוּ כֻּלָּנוּ יַחַד בִּבְרָכָה שְׁלֵמָה. וְנֹאמַר: אָמֵן.

them, their household, their seed and all that is theirs, us also and all that is ours, as our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were blessed each with his own comprehensive blessing; even thus may he bless all of us together with a perfect blessing, and let us say Amen.

בַּמָרוֹם יְלַמְּדוּ עֲלֵיהֶם וְעָלֵינוּ זְכוּת שֶׁתְּהֵא לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת שָׁלוֹם. וְנִשָׂא בְרָכָה מֵאֵת יְיָ, וּצְדָקָה מֵאֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעֵנוּ, וְנִמְצָא חֵן וְשֵׂכֶל טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי אֱלֹהִים וְאָדָם.

Both on their and on our behalf may there be such advocacy on high as shall lead to enduring peace; and may we receive a blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of our salvation; and may we find grace and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

בשבת—הַרָחֲמָן הוּא יַנְחִילֵנוּ יוֹם שֶׁכֻּלוֹ שַׁבָּת וּמְנוּחָה לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָמִים.

On Sabbath—May the All-merciful let us inherit the day which shall be wholly a Sabbath and rest in the life everlasting.

ביום טוב—הַרָחֲמָן הוּא יַנְחִילֵנוּ יוֹם שֶׁכֻּלוֹ טוֹב.

On Festivals—May the All-merciful let us inherit the day which is altogether good.

בראש חודש—הַרָחֲמָן הוּא יְחַדֵּשׁ עָלֵינוּ אֶת הָחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לְטוֹבָה וְלִבְרָכָה.

On New Moon—May the All-merciful renew unto us this month for good and for blessing.

בראש השנה—הַרָחֲמָן הוּא יְחַדֵּשׁ עָלֵינוּ אֶת הַשָּׁנָה הַזֹּאת לְטוֹבָה וְלִבְרָכָה.

On New Year—May the All-merciful renew unto us this year for good and for blessing.

בסוכות—הַרָחֲמָן הוּא יָקִים לָנוּ אֶת סֻכַּת דָּוִד הַנּוֹפֶלֶת.

On the Intermediate Days of Tabernacles—May the All-merciful raise up for us the fallen Tabernacle of David.

הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְזַכֵּנוּ לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ וּלְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. מַגְדִּיל (ביום שמתפללים בו מוסף ובמלוה מלכה—מִגְדּוֹל) יְשׁוּעוֹת מַלְכּוֹ, וְעֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד לִמְשִׁיחוֹ, לְדָוִד וּלְזַרְעוֹ עַד עוֹלָם. עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאַל. וְאִמְרוּ: אָמֵן.

May the All-merciful make us worthy of the days of the Messiah, and of the life of the world to come. On Sabbaths, Festivals, and New Moons—He is a tower of salvation to his king; On weekdays—Great salvation giveth he to his king. And showeth lovingkindness to his anointed, to David and to his seed, for evermore. He who maketh peace in his high places, may he make peace for us and for all Israel, and say ye, Amen.

יְראוּ אֶת יְיָ קְדֹשָׁיו, כִּי אֵין מַחְסוֹר לִירֵאָיו. כְּפִירִים רָשׁוּ וְרָעֵבוּ, וְדֹרְשֵׁי יְיָ לֹא יַחְסְרוּ כָל טוֹב. הוֹדוּ לַיְיָ כִּי טוֹב, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת יָדֶךָ, וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל חַי רָצוֹן. בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּיְיָ, וְהָיָה יְיָ מִבְטַחוֹ. נַעַר הָיִיתִי גַּם זָקַנְתִּי, וְלֹא רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק נֶעֱזָב, וְזַרְעוֹ מְבַקֶּשׁ לָחֶם. יְיָ עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן, יְיָ יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם.

O fear the Lord, ye his holy ones; for there is no want to them that fear him. Young lions do lack and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his lovingkindness endureth forever. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest every living thing with favor. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose trust the Lord is. I have been young and now I am old; yet have I not seen. the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread. The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

About Gabriella Tzin

Gabriella is the content writer for Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry in Jerusalem. She enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors with her husband and cat in her spare time. Some of her other hobbies and interests include raising chickens, sheep wrestling, shotgun skeet shooting, photography, and making mosaics.

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