Saying 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]

How long does one have to say Bracha Achrona?

  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 one only ate a Kezayit and didn’t fill oneself up one shouldn’t say Birkat HaMazon in a case where there’s a doubt, however, it’s better to have another Kezayit (upon which one should wash and say HaMotzei) and obligate oneself to make Birkat Hamazon. [10]
  3. If one didn’t say a Bracha Achrona right away one may say it as long as the food one ate didn’t digest yet if one is no longer full from what one ate one may not make Bracha Achrona any longer. [11]
  4. However, if one ate a small amount of food and one wasn’t full even at that time, one may make Bracha Achrona until 72 minutes. [12]

Minimum amount of bread

  1. One only makes Birkat HaMazon if one ate a Kezayit of bread. [13]

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. [14]

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. [15]
  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. [16]

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. [17]
  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). [18]
  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. [19]

Women’s obligation

  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. [20]

If doesn't 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. [21]

References

  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
  10. S”A 184:4, Mishna Brurah 184:15
  11. S”A 184:5
  12. Mishna Brurah 184:20
  13. S”A 184:6
  14. S”A 185:1, Mishna Brurah 185:1
  15. S”A 185:2, Mishna Brurah 185:2
  16. Mishna Brurah 185:3
  17. S”A 185:4-5, Mishna Brurah 185:6
  18. Mishna Brurah 185:6
  19. S”A 185:4, Mishna Brurah 185:7-8
  20. Mishna Brurah 186:3
  21. S”A 194:3, Mishna Brurah 194:13