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Grace After Meals - Birkat Hamazon

Birkat Hamazon-

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The Blessing for a meal...

When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God
for the good land which He has given you.
Deut. 8:10

Jews normally do not say "grace" before meals (as do many Christians), but rather after they have eaten. They do not "bless" the food, either, but rather acknowledge that God is the One who provides for their sustenance.

The dinner table is an altar before the LORD where we partake of other sacrificed life forms so that we ourselves might live. Therefore, after we eat our meals we offer our thanks to God for His provision and care.

The full grace said after meals, called Birkat Hamazon, is a rather long prayer that involves several blessings (see a good Siddur for the entire recitation). An alternative, shorter version is provided here (it is actually the first part of the entire blessing):

Blessed are you, LORD our God, master of the universe, Who nourishes the whole world in goodness, with grace, kindness, and compassion. He gives bread to all flesh, for His mercy endures forever. And through His great goodness we have never lacked, nor will we lack food forever, for the sake of His great Name. For He is God, who nourishes and sustains all, and does good to all, and prepares food for all His creatures which He created. Blessed are You, LORD, who nourishes all. Amen.


Barukh attah Adonai eloheynu melekh ha'olam
hazzan et ha'olam kullo betuvo, bechen bechesed uvrachamim.
Hu notein lechem lekholbasar ki le'olam chasdo.
Uvtuvo haggadol tamid lo chaseid lanu
ve'al yechsar lanu mazon le'olam va'ed,
ba'avur shemo haggadol. Ki hu El zan umfarneis lakhol,
umeitiv lakol umeikhin mazon lekhol b'riyotav, asher bara.
Barukh attah hazzan et hakkol. Amein.

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