Halacha for Sunday 16 Av 5781 July 25 2021

Reciting Birkat Hamazon in the Place One Has Eaten

Question: Is one obligated to recite Birkat Hamazon specifically where one has eaten bread or may one recite this blessing elsewhere?

Answer: One who eats a bread meal must recite Birkat Hamazon in the place where one has eaten and one may not go to a different place and recite the blessing there. Only after one has recited Birkat Hamazon in the original place one has eaten may one continue on to another place.

If One Moves to Another Place
We must now discuss the law of an individual who leaves the original place where he has eaten and moves to another place: Will this individual be required to return to the original place where he has eaten or will he be permitted to recite Birkat Hamazon in the new place he has gone to?

This actually depends: If one intentionally left the original place one has eaten, one must return to that place in order to recite Birkat Hamazon and one may not recite it in the place one currently finds himself.

However, if this was done unintentionally, i.e. if one had forgotten to recite Birkat Hamazon, moves to another place, and only later remembers that one must recite Birkat Hamazon, the Rishonim disagree whether or not one must return to the original place where one has eaten in order to recite Birkat Hamazon. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (beginning of Chapter 184) writes: “If one unintentionally leaves one’s original place, according to the Rambam, one may recite Birkat Hamazon in the place one remembers to do so; according to Rabbeinu Yonah and the Rosh, however, one must return to one’s original place in order to bless.”

The Poskim are unsure whether Maran intends to rule in accordance with the view of the Rambam and one who moves unintentionally need not return to one’s original location in order to recite Birkat Hamazon or if Maran indeed intents to rule in accordance with the opinion of Rabbeinu Yonah and the Rosh that even if this was unintentional, one must nevertheless return to his previous place.

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that Maran indeed intended to rule in accordance with the view of the Rambam as opposed to the opinion of Rabbeinu Yonah and the Rosh who are a lone opinion on this matter. Thus, halachically speaking, one need not return to one’s original place in order to recite Birkat Hamazon. Besides for the fact that the opinion of the Rambam is agreed upon by a majority of the Poskim, we must add the fact that Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch based his halachic work for the most part on the rulings of the Rambam, as Maran himself states in his Responsa Avkat Rochel that the Rambam was the greatest of Poskim whom all communities in Israel, the Middle East, and North Africa accepted as their rabbi and followed his every word.

Thus, the letter of the law dictates that one who unintentionally leaves the place where one has eaten without reciting Birkat Hamazon and later remembers that one must recite Birkat Hamazon may recite Birkat Hamazon wherever one is when one remembers, in accordance with the ruling of the Rambam. However, if one acts stringently and returns to one’s original place in order to recite Birkat Hamazon in accordance with the opinion of the Rosh, this is certainly praiseworthy.

Summary: One must recite Birkat Hamazon in the place where one has eaten one’s meal. If one intentionally leaves the place where one has eaten without reciting Birkat Hamazon, one must return to one’s original place in order to bless. However, if one leaves one’s original place unintentionally, according to the letter of the law, one need not return to one’s original place in order to recite Birkat Hamazon; however, if one does so, one shall surely be blessed from Above.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin recitin......

Read Halacha

The Laws of One Who Forgets to Mention “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” in the “Blessing of the Years”

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed in a general manner that our Sages enacted that beginning from the Seventh of Marcheshvan (outside of Israel from the Fourth or Fifth of December), one begins reciting “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” (a request for dew and rain) in the “B......

Read Halacha

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

“The Blessing of the Years”

Beginning from last night, the Seventh of Marcheshvan, we have begun to request rain in the Amida prayer (only in the Land of Israel; the law for those outside of Israel will be discussed further). Let us therefore review some of these pertinent laws. The Enactment of the Sages to Request Rain O......

Read Halacha


When the Sanctity of Shevi’it Will Apply to Fruits and Vegetables and More on “Heter Mechira”

In the previous Halachot we have explained that any produce grown in Jewish-owned fields in the Land of Israel this year (5782) retain the sanctity of Shevi’it. We have likewise discussed the ramifications of this sanctity and the proper way to treat such produce. This sanctity rests even on f......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Shevi’it in a Cooperative Garden

This year (5782) is the Shemitta year. In previous Halachot, we have already explained the basic laws of Shemitta including the fact that one may not plant in or work (in any manner) any land within the Land of Israel unless the work is meant to protect the crops from harm that will befall them if t......

Read Halacha

Sprouting Avocado Pits During Shevi’it and the Blessing on Hydroponic Produce

Question: What is the blessing on vegetables that grow from the water (and not from the ground)? Likewise, is it permissible to plant such hydroponic produce during Shevi’it? Answer: The Blessing on Mushrooms and Truffles The Mishnah in Masechet Berachot (40b) states: “On things whi......

Read Halacha

Forbidden and Permissible Forms of Work During Shevi’it

In this Halacha and the next, we shall discuss the basic laws of tending to a garden during Shevi’it. We shall not discuss all of the details of these laws, for these laws do not apply to those residing outside of Israel. Works Forbidden by Torah Law and Rabbinic Enactment Some works forbi......

Read Halacha