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Author:  Charles M
E-mail:  charles.mizrahi@verizon.net
Date:  12/7/2003 9:35:00 PM
Subject:  Short version
Message:  Regarding the short version of Birkat Hamazon, my wife is very upset when my children read it on erev Shabbat. They all know Hebrew quite well and know how to read the longer version of the Birkat Hamazom.

My wife feels that they are using the short version in order to get out of saying the longer Birkat Hamazon, especially since they have the time to say the long version on erev Shabbat. How do you suggest I proceed? Make them say the longer version when times permits or allow them to say the shorter version all the time?
   
Reply:  I say the short one almost every time. In today's day and age, there are so many more important things to concentrate on. Once you have all those things "down-pat," (thanks JH) start working on the long version of Birkat Hamazon (Grace after meals). I usually notice that when I'm in a group and I'm using my small one, the whole group ends up finishing about the same time anyway. Think about that one.....
We are the most ridiculous people on earth. We get up early rush to the Synagogue, and begin praying. We go for a half hour mumbling gibberish, bechuthefdscbhhjhnjikdeatg.....
Then as a special bonus, (God is tickled pink), we add two "Kapitlach Tehillim," Psalms. Also in a mumble jumble fashion. What is with us?! Have we gone mad?!
But God forbid we should ever think of reading the original basic form of Birkat Hamazon (Grace after meals), that was around all the years in all the Siddurim, and approved by practically everyone. If when the children use it, they commit to stop everything, and focus on the Birkat Hamazon (Grace after meals), and read it slowly, clearly, pronouncing all the words properly, and understanding them, then I say it is a huge accomplishment, and this will make God happy. Thanking God properly for your lunch, gives him the interest and the will to continue feeding you nicely, and even nicer than before.
AA

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