Positive Mitzvah Nineteen

Brikat HaMazon - Thanksgiving AFTER Meals

Devarim 8:10 You will eat and you will be satisfied, and bless Hashem, your G-d, for the good Land which He gave you.

We are commanded to bless Hashem (Baruch Hu) after every meal. The Tosefta says: "That the saying of grace after meal is a precept laid down by the Torah we learn from the verse, 'And You shall eat and be satisfied, and bless [Hashem your G-d]." (Berachot, Tosefta 7:1)

The provisions of this Mitzvah are explained in many places in Tractate Berachot.

The Grace after meal is practically the only benediction which is enjoined by the Torah itself; all other benedictions are only of Rabbinic origin. According to some scholars, however, the benediction pronounced before reading or studying the torah is also enjoined by Scripture.

By an inference from minor to major the Sages further established that obligation to pronounce the various blessings over food and drink before partaking of them (Berachot 35a).

The Sages further instituted three groups of blessings:

  1. Blessings recited before partaking of any of the good things of life (e.g. before eating of the fruit of a tree, one must say: "Blessed are You, Hashem, our G-d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree")
  2. Blessings recited before fulfilling any Positive Mitzvah (e.g. on putting on the Tzitzit, one must say: "Blessed...who has sanctified us by Your Mitzvot, and has commanded us to wrap ourselves in Tzitzit")
  3. Blessings expressive of thankfulness to G-d for whatever befalls a person (e.g. on having escaped some great danger or recovered from sickness, one pronounces: "Blessed...who vouchsafed benefits unto the undeserving, who has also vouchsafed all good unto me").