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Weekday Minyan Times
Cafe 67: A Yom Ha'Atzmaut Celebration
In Deuteronomy 8:10, we are commanded that when we eat and are satisfied, we must bless the L-rd, our G-d. This commandment is fulfilled by reciting the birkat ha-mazon (blessing of the food) following a meal that includes bread or matzoh made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt. Reciting birkat ha-mazon is commonly referred to as bentsching, from the Yiddish word meaning "to bless." Although the word "bentsch" can refer to the recitation of any berakhah, it is almost always used to refer to reciting birkat ha-mazon.
The grace after meals is recited in addition to the various berakhot over food recited before meals.
Birkat ha-mazon actually consists of four blessings, three of which were composed around the time of Ezra and the Great Assembly and a fourth which was added after the destruction of the Temple. These blessings are:
In addition to these four blessings, the full birkat ha-mazon incorporates some psalms and additional blessings for various special occasions (holidays, guests, etc.).
Supplemental website for the full text of Birkat Hamazon: