Birkat HaMazon

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Interruptions in Birkat HaMazon

  1. One shouldn’t interrupt Birkat HaMazon at all to answer or greet someone. [1]

Saying it sitting

  1. One should sit during Birkat HaMazon whether one ate while seated or standing for at least the four Brachot of Birkat HaMazon. [2]
  2. If one was traveling on the road and ate while traveling he may say Birkat HaMazon also while traveling. [3]
  3. One should sit while making a Bracha Achat Mein Shalosh at least when it’s for Mezonot (Al HaMichya). [4]
  4. It’s forbidden to make Birkat HaMazon or any Bracha while doing work. [5]

If one left where one ate

  1. If one ate and left that place intentionally, one must return to the place where one ate and if one made Birkat HaMazon in the second place one has fulfilled one’s obligation after the fact. If one ate and left that place unintentionally, one should return to the place where one ate unless there’s a great need. [6]
  2. This is only the case if one doesn’t have bread with him in the second place, however, if one has bread in the second place, one may eat it there (eat a piece even if it’s less than a Kezayit) and then make Birkat HaMazon there. (This doesn’t mean that one may leave one’s place initially but only in a after the fact situation.) [7]
  3. According to Ashkenazim, Al HaMichya should be said in the place where one ate and so if one left it would have the same law as Birkat HaMazon. [8]

If one is in doubt if one said Birkat HaMazon

  1. If one ate and was full and now is unsure whether one said Birkat HaMazon, preferably one should have another Kezayit (upon which one should wash and say HaMotzei) and then say Birkat HaMazon, however, the strict law is that one should said Birkat HaMazon in cases of doubt. [9]
  2. If a person ate bread and is full but is in doubt whether he said Birkat HaMazon, one must go back and say Birkat HaMazon. According to Ashkenazim, one should say the entire Birkat HaMazon, whereas according to Sephardim, one should only say the first 3 Brachot. [10]
  3. If a person ate a Kezayit of bread but wasn’t full, and now is in doubt whether he said Birkat HaMazon he shouldn’t go back and make Birkat HaMazon, but it’s preferable to wash again, make Hamotzei, eat a Kezayit and make Birkat HaMazon. [11]
  4. If a person ate bread and is still thirsty becuase he didn't drink enough during the meal and now has a doubt whether he said Birkat HaMazon, some say he should repeat Birkat HaMazon and some say not to repeat it. [12]
  5. A women who ate bread and is unsure whether she said Birkat HaMazon, she should hear it from someone else or wash again and make another HaMotzei to remove herself from doubt. However, if that's impossible, Ashkenazim hold that she may say Birkat HaMazon, but according to Sephardim she is not supposed Birkat HaMazon out of doubt. [13]

How long does one have to say Birkat HaMazon?

  1. If one ate bread and is full, preferably one should make Birkat Hamazon within 72 minutes and after the fact, one may make it as long as one is full from what one ate. However, after 72 minutes, if one is a little hungry, one can no longer make the Birkat HaMazon. [14]
  2. If it’s past 72 minutes and one is in doubt whether one is still full one can make Birkat HaMazon, yet, it’s preferable to eat another kezayit before making Birkat Hamazon. [15]
  3. However, if one just had a Kezayit and was not full, one should try to make the Birkat HaMazon right away and if one didn't one may only make Birkat HaMazon up to 72 minutes after one ate. [16] Some add that if one waited more than a half hour it's preferable to have another Kezayit of bread before making Birkat HaMazon. [17]
  4. If one has a very long meal and continues to have appetizers or drinks, one may make the Birkat HaMazon as long as the meal continues even 4 or 5 hours. [18] One should have something to eat or drink every 72 minutes, however, if one didn't then one may still say Birkat HaMazon. [19]

Minimum amount of bread

  1. One only makes Birkat HaMazon if one ate a Kezayit of bread. [20]

In any language

  1. It’s preferable to say Birkat Hamazon in Hebrew, but strictly speaking it is permissible to say it in any language one understands. [21]

Saying it aloud

  1. One should say Birkat HaMazon loud enough that one can hear oneself say the words, however if one said it quietly one fulfills one’s obligation as long as one enunciated the words with one’s lips and didn’t just read or think it. [22]
  2. It’s better to say Birkat HaMazon out loud in order to inspire having proper intent and also on Shabbat and Yom Tov it’ll help make sure one doesn’t forget adding the appropriate paragraphs. [23]

If one is drunk

  1. One may say Birkat Hamazon even if one is slightly drunk and is unable to speak properly but still would be able to speak before a king, however, if one is unable to speak properly and can’t speak before a king one should try to say Birkat HaMazon before reaching that point, but one may still say Birkat HaMazon. [24]
  2. However, if one is totally drunk like Lot one certainly may not say Birkat HaMazon and if one did one should say Birkat Hamazon again when one is sober but still hasn’t digested the food yet (and isn’t hungry again). [25]
  3. It’s forbidden to say any Bracha or Torah within 4 amot of feces. However, after the fact, if one said Birkat HaMazon one should say birkat hamazon again, but if one said Birkat Mazon within 4 amot of urine one doesn’t go back to make Birkat Hamazon. [26]

The obligation of women

  1. There is a dispute whether women are obligated in Birkat HaMazon on Torah level or only Rabbinically. Therefore, if a women ate bread and is full and is now unsure whether she said Birkat HaMazon, there’s is a dispute whether she should say it to be sure and there’s what to rely on to make it to be sure. Additionally, a women can fulfill the obligation of a man if he listens to her Birkat HaMazon, however, she shouldn’t fulfill his obligation if the man ate to satisfaction but rather one if he ate a kezayit and not to satisfaction. [27]

If doesn't know Birkat HaMazon in its entirety

  1. If one only knows the first three Brachot of Birkat haMazon one should say those Brachot, however, if one only knows some of the Brachot and doesn’t know the first three Brachot, according to Sephardim, he shouldn’t say Birkat HaMazon at all, but according to Ashkenazim, if he was full then he should say the Brachot he knows. [28]


  1. S”A 183:8
  2. S”A 183:9, Mishna Brurah 183:31
  3. S”A 183:11, Mishna Brurah 183:36
  4. S”A 183:10, Mishna Brurah 183:35 quoting the Gra
  5. S”A 183:12, Mishna Brurah 183:37
  6. S”A 184:1, Mishna Brurah 184:5, 184:7
  7. S”A 184:2
  8. Mishna Brurah 184:12 quoting the Gra
  9. S”A 184:4, Mishna Brurah 184:15, Kaf HaChaim 184:15
  10. S”A 184:4 rules that if a person is in doubt whether he said birkat hamazon he has to go back and say it since birkat hamazon is deoritta we don’t apply the general rule of Safek Brachot Lehakel. Mishna Brurah 184:13 comments that when one repeats the benching one must say all four Brachot even though the forth one is only derabbanan so that people don’t disregard it’s importance. However, the Sephardic achronim including the Kaf HaChaim (184:15) and Yalkut Yosef (Brachot pg 282) argue that since the forth Bracha is derabbanan we apply the rule of Safek Brachot without concern for a remote possibility of those who will degrade the forth Bracha.
  11. S"A 184:4. Mishna Brurah 184:15 writes that according to many Rishonim only if one ate and is full is one Biblically obligated, therefore if one only had a kezayit and is in doubt whether he said Birkat HaMazon one shouldn’t go back and say it out of doubt, rather it’s preferable to wash again, make hamotzei, eat a kezayit and make Birkat HaMazon. So rules Yalkut Yosef (Brachot 286).
  12. yalkut Yosef (Brachot pg 289) writes that since the opinion of S"A is that even if one is still thirsty the obligation of Birkat HaMazon is Deoritta, in cases of doubt one should go back and say Birkat HaMazon. However, Kaf HaChaim 184:26, Ben Ish Chai. and Or Letzion 13:6 hold that since there's an opinion that Birkat HaMazon is only Derabbanan if one is still thirsty one shouldn't go back and say Birkat HaMazon.
  13. Ben Ish Chai Chukat 9, Kaf HaChaim 184:25, Rabbi Ovadyah Yosef in Sh"t Yacheve Daat 6:10, and Halacha Brurah 184:10 (explained in Sh"t Otzerot Yosef 7:7)hold that a women is possibly obligated Deoritta and so in a case of doubt we revert to the rule of Safek Brachot and so a women wouldn't return and make the bracha. However, the Mishna Brurah 186:3 holds that there's enough to rely on for a women to go back and make Birkat HaMazon if she wants. So holds Rabbi Binyamin Zilber quoted in VeZot HaBracha (pg 351).
  14. S”A 184:5 writes that one may Birkat HaMazon until one is hungry again. Vezot HaBracha (pg 49, chapter 5) and Yalkut Yosef (Brachot pg 300) rule that if one didn’t make Birkat HaMazon until after 72 minutes, one may surely recite Birkat HaMazon as long as one is still full and one isn't hungry. Vezot HaBracha quotes Rav Elyashiv who says that it’s preferable to eat a little more before making Birkat HaMazon. Aruch HaShulchan 184:7 and 8 writes that since we don't know the precise determination of when we're still full must make Birkat HaMazon within 72 minutes and if one didn't then one should eat another Kezayit and then say Birkat HaMazon. Kaf HaChaim 184:28 writes that in order to fulfill all opinions if it has been 72 minutes one should eat another Kezayit and if one doesn't have bread one may make Birkat HaMazon as long as one is full.
  15. Mishna Brurah 184:15, Vezot HaBracha (pg 49, chapter 5)
  16. Yalkut Yosef (Brachot pg 300), Mishna Brurah 184:20
  17. Vezot HaBracha (chap 5, pg 50)
  18. Mishna Brurah 184:18, Vezot HaBracha (chap 5, pg 50), Yalkut Yosef (Brachot pg 301)
  19. Vezot HaBracha (chap 5, pg 51) quoting the Magan Avraham 184:9
  20. S”A 184:6
  21. S”A 185:1, Mishna Brurah 185:1
  22. S”A 185:2, Mishna Brurah 185:2
  23. Mishna Brurah 185:3
  24. S”A 185:4-5, Mishna Brurah 185:6
  25. Mishna Brurah 185:6
  26. S”A 185:4, Mishna Brurah 185:7-8
  27. Mishna Brurah 186:3
  28. S”A 194:3, Mishna Brurah 194:13