Rabbi's Message

  • August 26, 2016


    Halachos from the Parsha  

    In this week’s parsha, Eikev, we have the source for the Torah obligation to bless and thank Hashem after eating bread, “V’achalta v’savata u’vairachta es Hashem Elokecha… – You will eat, and you shall be satisfied and you will bless Hashem your G-d…”(Devarim 8:10).  (Incidentally, the Rambam points out in the beginning of his codification of the laws of berachos, that this verse is the source for almost every beracha that we have today.)  As such, it is a good opportunity to review some halachos related to birchas hamazon:  

    ·       It is ideal to bentch by reading birchas hamazon from a siddur or bentcher rather than saying it by heart, as this will help a person concentrate.

    ·       One should sit while saying birchas hamazon.

    ·       It is best to have some bread still on the table while one bentches.

    ·       One should not interrupt bentching with any conversation. 

    ·       It is important to recite birchas hamazon in the place that you ate the meal.

    ·       To be obligated in birchas hamazon, one must have eaten a kezais of bread in a span of approximately 4 minutes.  The size of a kezais is greatly debated.  One can assume that from an average loaf of bread, half of the middle piece of the loaf would certainly meet the size requirement.

    ·       When one is a guest in another’s home, there is a special prayer that is to be said shortly after the fourth beracha of bentching on behalf of the host, beginning with the words, ‘Yehi Ratzon.’  [In Artscroll siddurim this prayer can be found in middle of the ‘harachamans’ at the end of bentching. {Pages 192-193 in the standard Artscroll siddur.}]

    ·       On Shabbos, if one forgets the special insertion of ‘Retzay’ during the third beracha, one is obligated to repeat the entire bentching.  However, this rule does not apply if one forgets when bentching after Shalosh Seudos.

    Have a beautiful Shabbos.