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What is the 'Al HaMichyah' prayer?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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There is a condensed version of the Grace After Meals called the 'Brachah Me'ain Shalosh' - 'Blessing From (or Similar to) "Three"'. It is called so because it is modeled after the three blessings included in the Grace After Meals (Birkat Hamazon) recited after eating bread or Matzah.

The opening and closing words of the Brachah Me'Ain Shalosh are altered depending on the food that was eaten. The three adaptations are the following: 

After eating a food (other than bread or Matzah) made of the five grains (wheat, barley, spelt, rye or oats) - such as cake, cookies, crackers, pasta or cereal - we recite the 'Condensed' Grace After Meals version called "Al Hamichyah."

After drinking wine or grape-juice we recite a slightly different version of the "Condensed" Grace After Meals - the "Al Hagefen".

Since the Torah praises the Land of Israel with grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (Deuteronomy 8:8), we recite for them a special after-blessing - yet another version of the "Condensed" Grace After Meals - the "Al Haperot".

You can find this blessing in most Prayer books after the regular Grace After Meals. Click here for online translation or Hebrew/English PDF (blessing on p. 96).

Also read about 'What is Grace After Meals'.


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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Matzah
(pl. Matzot). Unleavened bread which is eaten on Passover, especially at the Passover Seder (feast), commemorating the Matzah which the Jews ate upon leaving Egypt. It consists of only flour and water and resembles a wheat cracker.
Grace After Meals
Biblically mandated prayer, consisting of four blessings, recited after eating more than an ounce of bread.
Birkat Hamazon
Grace after Meals. A Biblically mandated prayer, consisting of four blessings, recited after eating more than an ounce of bread.
Deuteronomy
The fifth of the Five Books of Moses. This book is a record of the monologue which Moses spoke to the Israelites in the five weeks prior to his passing.