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Al Hamichya: Understanding the Hebrew Blessing for Sustenance


Al Hamichya (על המחיה) is a Jewish blessing recited after consuming certain foods that are not part of a full meal and that come from the five species of grain (wheat, barley, spelt, oats, and rye), wine, or fruits from the seven species (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates). This prayer is also known as the Me’ein Shalosh because it is a condensed version of the three blessings (Birkat Hamazon) recited after meals that include bread.

The purpose of Al Hamichya is to thank God for providing sustenance and for the specific foods that were consumed. It acknowledges the Land of Israel and its agricultural bounty, expressing gratitude for the nourishment it provides.

al hamichya prayer

Below is the text of Al Hamichya in both Hebrew and English:

Al Hamichya Hebrew:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, עַל הַמִּיחְיָה וְעַל הַכַּלְכָּלָה, וְעַל תְּנוּבַת הַשָּׂדֶה וְעַל אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָה טוֹבָה וּרְחָבָה, שֶׁרָצִיתָ וְהִנְחַלְתָּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ לֶאֱכוֹל מִפִּרְיָהּ וְלִשְׂבּוֹעַ מִטּוּבָהּ. רַחֵם ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִירֶךָ וְעַל מִזְבְּחֶךָ וְעַל הֵיכָלֶךָ, וּבְנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ וְהַעֲלֵנוּ לְתוֹכָהּ וְשַׂמְּחֵנוּ בְּבִנְיָנָהּ, וְנֹאכַל מִפִּרְיָהּ וְנִשְׂבַּע מִטּוּבָהּ וּנְבָרֶכְךָ עָלֶיהָ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה וּבְטָהֳרָה. כִּי אַתָּה ה’ טוֹב וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל וְנֹדֶה לְךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל הַמִּיחְיָה. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל הַמִּיחְיָה.

al hamichya card

Al Hamichya English:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, for the sustenance and for the nourishment, for the produce of the field, and for the desirable, good and spacious land which You desired and gave as an inheritance to our forefathers, to eat of its fruit and to be satiated with its goodness. Have mercy, Lord our God, on Israel Your people, on Jerusalem Your city, on Zion the dwelling place of Your glory, on Your altar, and on Your Temple. Rebuild Jerusalem, the holy city, speedily in our days. Bring us up into it, and gladden us with its rebuilding. May we eat of its fruit and be satiated with its goodness and bless You upon it in holiness and purity. For You are good and do good to all, and we thank You for the land and for the sustenance. Blessed are You, Lord, for the land and for the sustenance.

Significance of Al Hamichya

Al Hamichya serves as a constant reminder of the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, as well as the importance of gratitude for sustenance. By reciting this blessing, Jews acknowledge that all their food and nourishment come from God, reinforcing a sense of humility and thankfulness. It is a shorter form than the full Birkat Hamazon, making it practical for situations where only a snack or drink has been consumed.

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