After eating at least a k'zayit of food (approximately one ounce) or a revi'it of liquid (approximately four ounces), a bracha acharonah (after-blessing) is said. After-blessings should be said as soon as possible after one finishes eating. There are three different after-blessings. The text of these can all be found in any siddur (prayer book).

In order to say the after-blessing, the above-mentioned minimum amount of food should be eaten within approximately six minutes. If it takes longer, such as when slowly sipping a hot drink, it is questionable whether one is allowed to recite the after-blessing.

Borai Nefashot

This brief blessing is said after eating a variety of foods.

  • It is said after eating one or more foods belonging to the categories of ha-aitz (fruit), ha-adamah (vegetables), and shehakol.
  • When more than one food requiring Borai Nefashot is eaten at one sitting, the after-blessing is said only once. Examples are meat and vegetables, potato chips and milk, coffee and eggs.

Bircat Main Shalosh

Bircat Main Shalosh is a short paragraph with variations in wording that adapt it to the following three categories:

  • "Al hamichya" is said after foods made of any of the five grains - wheat, barley, rye, oat, spelt;
  • "Al hagafen" is said after wine and grape juice;
  • "Al ha-aitz" is said after one or more of the five fruits with which Israel is blessed - grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives or dates.

When more than one of these foods is eaten, the after-blessing is said only once, incorporating the appropriate sections as indicated in the prayer book. On Shabbat, Yom Tov, or Rosh Chodesh, an additional sentence mentions the special day.

If a food or foods requiring the after-blessing of Borai Nefashot are eaten along with those requiring Bircat Main Shalosh, then Bircat Main Shalosh is said before Borai Nefashot.

Two exceptions are:

  • After drinking wine and other liquids, say only the after-blessing on wine. Borai Nefashot need not be said for the other liquids.
  • After eating one or more of the five fruits of Israel together with other fruits, say only the after-blessing on the fruits of Israel.

Bircat Main Shalosh should be recited while seated, immediately after eating, in the same place where one ate.

Bircat Hamazon (Grace After A Meal)

This special blessing is said after concluding a meal in which a k'zayit (approximately one ounce) of bread was eaten. It contains several paragraphs originally instituted by some of our great sages thanking G‑d for giving us food. No other after-blessing need be said. Reciting the Bircat Hamazon is known as bentching, from the Yiddish word bentch, to bless.

  • Bircat Hamazon should be recited seated at the same place where you ate, unless at the time of saying hamotzi you intended to complete the meal elsewhere.
  • Before saying Bircat Hamazon, should rinse your fingertips and lips slightly. The water used for this is called mayim achronim (final waters). This may be done at the sink, but is often done at the table, using a special vessel. The water should be removed from the table before beginning the Bircat Hamazon.
  • When three or more over the age of Bar Mitzvah (13) recite Bircat Hamazon together, this is known as a mezuman. A short introductory paragraph is recited.
  • On Shabbat, Yom Tov, Chanukah, Purim and Rosh Chodesh, there are special additions inserted in the Bircat Hamazon.

Click here for a PDF the English and Hebrew text of Grace After Meals


Birkat Hamazon in English

The Blessing After A Meal is recited seated, at the place where the meal was eaten.

On days when Tachnun is recited:

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept as we remembered Zion. There, upon the willows we hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, and those who scorned us—rejoicing, [saying,] “Sing to us of the songs of Zion.” How can we sing the song of the L-rd on alien soil? If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its dexterity. Let my tongue cleave to my palate if I will not remember you, if I will not bring to mind Jerusalem during my greatest joy! Remember, O L-rd, against the Edomites the day of the destruction of Jerusalem, when they said, “Raze it, raze it to its very foundation!” O Babylon, who are destined to be laid waste, happy is he who will repay you in retribution for what you have inflicted on us. Happy is he who will seize and crush your infants against the rock!

For the choirmaster, a song with instrumental music, a psalm. May G‑d be gracious to us and bless us, may He make His countenance shine upon us forever, that Your way be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. The nations will extol You, O G‑d; all the nations will extol You. The nations will rejoice and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples justly and guide the nations on earth forever. The peoples will extol You, O G‑d; all the peoples will extol You, for the earth will have yielded its produce, and G‑d, our G‑d, will bless us. G‑d will bless us; and all, from the furthest corners of the earth, shall fear Him.

On days when Tachnun is not recited:

A song of ascents. When the L-rd will return the exiles of Zion, we will have been like dreamers. Then our mouth will be filled with laughter, and our tongue with songs of joy; then will they say among the nations, “The L-rd has done great things for these.” The L-rd has done great things for us; we were joyful. L-rd, return our exiles as streams to arid soil. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed; he will surely return with songs of joy, carrying his sheaves.

By the sons of Korach, a psalm, a song whose basic theme is the holy mountains [of Zion and Jerusalem]. The L-rd loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, eternal city of G‑d. I will remind Rahav and Babylon concerning My beloved; Philistia and Tyre as well as Ethiopia, “This one was born there.” And to Zion will be said, “This person and that was born there”; and He, the Most High, will establish it. The L-rd will count in the register of people, “This one was born there.” Selah. Singers as well as dancers [will sing your praise and say], “All my inner thoughts are of you.”

Continue with "I will bless..."

I will bless the L-rd at all times; His praise is always in my mouth. Ultimately, all is known; fear G‑d and observe His commandments, for this is the whole purpose of man. My mouth will utter the praise of the L-rd; let all flesh bless His holy Name forever. And we will bless the L-rd from now to eternity. Praise the L-rd.

This is the portion of a wicked man from G‑d, and the heritage assigned to him by G‑d.

Rinse the fingertips and pass them over the lips, then recite the following:

And he said to me: This is the table that is before the L-rd.

ZIMMUN — INVITATION

When three or more men eat together, one of them leads the rest in the blessing. When ten or more eat together, add 'elo-haynu' as indicated.

Leader:
Rabosai mir vel’n bentsh’n.
 
Others:
Y’hi shaym Ado-nöy m’voröch may-atöh v’ad olöm.
 
Leader:
Y’hi shaym Ado-nöy m’voröch may-atöh v’ad olöm. Bir’shus mörönön v’rabönön v’rabosai, n’vöraych (elo-haynu) she- öchalnu mi-shelo.
 
Others who have eaten:
Böruch (elo-haynu) she-öchalnu mi-shelo uv’tuvo chö-yinu.
 
Those who have not eaten respond:
Böruch (elo-haynu) u-m’voröch sh’mo tömid l’olöm vö-ed.
 
Leader:
Böruch (elo-haynu) she-öchalnu mi-shelo uv’tuvo chö-yinu.
At a wedding or Sheva Berachot.

Leader:
Rabosai mir vel’n bentsh’n.

Others:
Y’hi shaym Ado-nöy m’voröch may-atöh v’ad olöm.
 
Leader:
Y’hi shaim Ado-nöy m’voröch may-atöh v’ad olöm. Bir’shus mörönön v’rabönön v’rabosai, n’vöraych elo-haynu she-hasimchö bi-m’ono she-öchalnu mi-shelo.
 
Others who have eaten:
Böruch elo-haynu she-hasimchö bi-m’ono she-öchalnu mi-shelo u-v’tuvo chö-yinu.
 
Those who have not eaten respond:
Böruch elo-haynu she-hasimchö bi-m’ono u-m’voröch sh’mo tömid l’olöm vö-ed.
 
Leader:
Böruch elo-haynu she-hasimchö bi-m’ono she-öchalnu mi-shelo u-v’tuvo chö-yinu.


The leader concludes each blessing aloud, and the others respond Amen.

Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, Who, in His goodness, provides sustenance for the entire world with grace, with kindness, and with mercy. He gives food to all flesh, for His kindness is everlasting. Through His great goodness to us continuously we do not lack [food], and may we never lack food, for the sake of His great Name. For He, benevolent G‑d, provides nourishment and sustenance for all, does good to all, and prepares food for all His creatures whom He has created, as it is said: You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Blessed are You, L-rd, Who provides food for all.

We offer thanks to You, L-rd our G‑d, for having given as a heritage to our ancestors a precious, good and spacious land; for having brought us out, L-rd our G‑d, from the land of Egypt, and redeemed us from the house of bondage; for Your covenant which You have sealed in our flesh; for Your Torah which You have taught us; for Your statutes which You have made known to us; for the life, favor, and kindness which You have graciously bestowed upon us; and for the food we eat with which You constantly nourish and sustain us every day, at all times, and at every hour.

On Chanukah and Purim, add the following.
And [we thank You] for the miracles, for the redemption, for the mighty deeds, for the saving acts, and for the wonders which You have wrought for our ancestors in those days, at this time
For Chanukah
In the days of Matityahu, the son of Yochanan the High Priest, the Hasmonean and his sons, when the wicked Hellenic government rose up against Your people Israel to make them forget Your Torah and violate the decrees of Your will. But You, in Your abounding mercies, stood by them in the time of their distress. You waged their battles, defended their rights, and avenged the wrong done to them. You delivered the mighty 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 wanton sinners into the hands of those who occupy themselves with Your Torah. You made a great and holy name for Yourself in Your world, and effected a great deliverance and redemption for Your people Israel to this very day. Then Your children entered the shrine of Your House, cleansed Your Temple, purified Your Sanctuary, kindled lights in Your holy courtyards, and instituted these eight days of Chanukah to give thanks and praise to Your great Name.
For Purim
In the days of Mordechai and Esther, in Shushan the capital, when the wicked Haman rose up against them and sought to destroy and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to take their spoil for plunder. But You, in Your abounding mercies foiled his counsel and frustrated his intention, and caused the evil he planned — to recoil on his own head, and they hanged him and his sons upon the gallows.

For all this, L-rd our G‑d, we give thanks to You and bless You. May Your Name be blessed by the mouth of every living being, constantly and forever, as it is written: When you have eaten and are satiated, you shall bless the L-rd your G‑d for the good land which He has given you. Blessed are You, L-rd, for the land and for the sustenance.

Have mercy, L-rd our G‑d, upon Israel Your people, upon Jerusalem Your city, upon Zion the abode of Your glory, upon the kingship of the house of David Your anointed, and upon the great and holy House over which Your Name was proclaimed. Our G‑d, our Father,

On weekdays:
tend us,
On Shabbat and festivals:
our Shepherd,
nourish us, sustain us, feed us, and provide us with plenty; and speedily, L-rd our G‑d, grant us relief from all our afflictions. L-rd our G‑d, please do not make us dependent upon the gifts of mortal men nor upon their loans, but only upon Your full, open, holy, and generous hand, that we may never be shamed or disgraced.

On Shabbat:
May it please You, L-rd our G‑d, to strengthen us through Your mitzvot, and through the mitzvah of the Seventh Day, this great and holy Shabbat. For this day is great and holy before You, to refrain from work and to rest thereon with love, in accordance with the commandment of Your will. In Your good will, L-rd our G‑d, bestow upon us tranquility, that there shall be no distress, sadness, or sorrow on the day of our rest. L-rd our G‑d, let us see the consolation of Zion Your city, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem Your holy city, for You are the Master of deliverance and the Master of consolation.

On Rosh Chodesh, festivals, and Chol Hamoed, add the following.
As the leader recites aloud the words Remember…for good life in the following paragraph, the others respond Amen as indicated.
Our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, may there ascend, come, and reach; be seen, accepted, and heard; recalled and remembered before You the remembrance and recollection of us, the remembrance of our fathers, the remembrance of Mashiach the son of David Your servant, the remembrance of Jerusalem Your holy city, and the remembrance of all Your people the House of Israel, for deliverance, well-being, grace, kindness, mercy, good life, and peace, on this day of
On Rosh Chodesh:
Rosh Chodesh.
On Pesach:
the festival of Matzot.
On Shavuot:
the festival of Shavuot.
On Sukkot:
the festival of Sukkot.
On Rosh Hashanah:
the festival of Remembrance.
On Shemini Atzeret:
the festival of Shemini Atzeret
On Rosh Chodesh and Chol Hamoed, omit the following line:
this holy festival day.

Remember us on this [day], L-rd our G‑d, for good (Amen); be mindful of us on this [day] for blessing (Amen); help us on this [day] for good life (Amen). With the promise of deliverance and compassion, spare us and be gracious to us, and have mercy upon us and deliver us, for our eyes are directed to You; for You, G‑d, are a gracious and merciful King.

And rebuild Jerusalem the holy city speedily in our days. Blessed are You, L-rd, Who in His mercy rebuilds Jerusalem. Amen.

Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, benevolent G‑d, our Father, our King, our Strength, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Maker, our Holy One, the Holy One of Jacob, our Shepherd, the Shepherd of Israel, the King who is good and does good to all, each and every day. He has done good for us, He does good for us, and He will do good for us; He has bestowed, He bestows, and He will forever bestow upon us grace, kindness, and mercy; relief, salvation and success; blessing and deliverance; consolation, livelihood and sustenance; compassion, life, peace, and all goodness; and may He never cause us to lack any good. 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, and pride Himself in us forever and to all eternity, and glorify Himself in us forever and ever. May the Merciful One provide our livelihood with honor.

May the Merciful One break the yoke of exile from our neck, and may He lead us upright to our land. May the Merciful One send abundant blessing into this house and upon this table at which we have eaten. May the Merciful One send us Elijah the prophet—may he be remembered for good—and let him bring us good tidings, deliverance, and consolation. May the Merciful One bless my father, my teacher, the master of this house, and my mother, my teacher, the mistress of this house; them, their household, their children, and all that is theirs; us, and all that is ours. Just as He blessed our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, “in all things,” “by all things,” with “all things,” so may He bless all of us together (the children of the Covenant) with a perfect blessing, and let us say, Amen.

From heaven, may there be invoked upon him and upon us such merit as will bring enduring peace. May we receive blessing from the L-rd and kindness from G‑d our deliverer, and may we find grace and good understanding in the eyes of G‑d and man.

On Shabbat:
May the Merciful One let us inherit that day which will be all Shabbat and rest for life everlasting.
On Rosh Chodesh:
May the Merciful One renew for us this month for good and for blessing.
On festivals:
On Festivals:
May the Merciful One let us inherit that day which is all good.
On On Sukkot and Chol Hamoed Sukkot:
May the Merciful One restore for us the fallen sukkah of David.

May the Merciful One grant us the privilege of reaching the days of the Mashiach and the life of the World to Come.
 

On weekdays:
He gives great deliverance
On Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, festivals and Chol Hamoed:
He is a tower of deliverance

to His king, and bestows kindness upon His anointed, to David and his descendants forever. He Who makes peace in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

Fear the L-rd, you His holy ones, for those who fear Him suffer no want. Young lions are in need and go hungry, but those who seek the L-rd shall not lack any good. Give thanks to the L-rd for He is good, for His kindness is everlasting. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Blessed is the man who trusts in the L-rd, and the L-rd will be his security.

At a wedding feast, the Seven Blessings ("Sheva Berachot") are recited here.

If one recited the Blessing After A Meal over a cup of wine:

Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.


Blessings After Other Foods

The following blessing is said after eating cooked or baked foods prepared from the five species of grain (wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt); after drinking wine; or after eating grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, or dates. If one partook of any combination of the above, their blessings should be combined, by adding the words in parentheses.

Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, for

After food prepared from the five grains:
After wine or grape juice:
After grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives or dates:
the sustenance and for the nourishment, (and for) the vine and for the fruit of the vine, (and for) the tree and the fruit of the tree,

for the produce of the field, and for the precious, good, and spacious land which You have graciously given as a heritage to our ancestors, to eat of its fruit and to be satiated with its goodness. Have mercy, L-rd our G‑d, on Israel Your people, on Jerusalem Your city, on Zion the abode of Your glory, on Your altar, and on Your Temple. Rebuild Jerusalem, the holy city, speedily in our days, and bring us up to it and make us rejoice in it, and we will bless You in holiness and purity.
 

On Shabbat:
May it please You to strengthen us on this Shabbat day.
On Rosh Chodesh:
Remember us for good on this day of Rosh Chodesh.
On Pesach:
Remember us for good on this day of the festival of Matzot.
On Shavuot:
Remember us for good on this day of the festival of Shavuot.
On Sukkot:
Remember us for good on this day of the festival of Sukkot.
On Rosh Hashanah:
Remember us for good on this day of the festival of Remembrance.
On Shemini Atzeret:
Remember us for good on this day of the festival of Shemini Atzeret

For You, L-rd, are good and do good to all, and we offer thanks to You for the land and for

After food prepared from the five grains:
After wine
or grape juice:
After grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives or dates:
the sustenance. the fruit of the vine. the fruits.

Blessed are You L-rd, for the land and for
 
After food prepared from the five grains:
After wine
or grape juice:
After grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives or dates:
the sustenance. the fruit of the vine. the fruits.


— BLESSING AFTER OTHER FOODS AND DRINKS —

Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, Creator of numerous living beings and their needs, for all the things You have created with which to sustain the soul of every living being. Blessed is He who is the Life of the worlds.