This Ritual Life Archive

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Saying Grace After Meals With Guests Of Different Faiths…

Sharing a meal offers a wonderful opportunity for people of different faiths to discover the religious values we hold in common: our dependence of God for the food that sustains us, and interdependence among humans, so all who are hungry will one day be fed.


May it be You will, that just as we have sat down and eaten together at this table in peace, so should all people be able to sit down and eat together in peace. Sustain us through your goodness, mercy, love and compassion to complete your holy work of perfecting the world.


As you conclude your meal, invite your guests to share their traditions' prayers of thanksgiving for food, saying or singing them aloud and explaining their meaning. Together, explore what your prayers have in common.


(From the perspective of Jewish tradition)

The Jewish grace after meals, Bircat Hamazon, emphasizes that one expression of God's love for all creatures is the provision of sufficient food for to sustain the world. The challenge it makes to us is to ensure that all people are actually able to share in God's bounty, a challenge which requires our working together.

Source of all blessing, we praise You; your goodness sustains the world with kindness and compassion.the You are the source of food for all who live-your love is everlasting. In your great goodness, we are always nourished. You provide food enough for all. We praise You, Source of food for the living.

Barukh atah hazon et ha'olam kulo b'tuvo b'chayn b'chesed u'vrachamim hu notein lechem l'chol basar ki l'olam chasdo u'btuvo hagodol tamid lo chasar lanu v'al yechsar lanu mauzone l'olam va'ed ba'avur sh'mo ha'godol ki hu kayl zun u'mfarneis lakol u'meyteev lakol u'maycheen mauzone l'kol b'riyotav asher bara barukh atah hazon et hakol.


"For the Lord Your God…loves the stranger, providing the stranger with food and clothing. And you too shall love the strangers for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Deut. 10:17-19)

Rab Judah said: The drawing out of a meal prolongs a person's days and years, because there is a greater chance that somebody who is poor will come and the person eating will give the hungry one something to eat. As it is written, "The altar of wood three cubits high", and also, "This is the table that is before the Lord" (Ezekiel 41:22) According to R. Johanan and R. Eleazar, the fact that the verse begins with 'altar' and ends with 'table' teaches us that as long as the Temple stood, the altar atoned for Israel, but now a person's table effects atonement (Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 54b-55a).

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant - these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples (Isaiah 56:6-7).

Hazon et hakol

You sustain all life

(CLAL faculty)

CLAL's National Jewish Resource Center develops and publishes rituals that help to bridge the gap between our contemporary lives and the ancient wisdom of the Jewish tradition.

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