Question:

In a school setting where the policy is that all students say birkat haMazon after eating together,
is there any source which would allow a student who has not eaten bread to still say birkat haMazon with the group so that he is still part of the group. The school is a Jewish school, but most of the students do not come from religious homes.

Answer:

 

Unfortunately I don’t know of any sources that would allow a student to say birkat hamazon when it is essentially teaching them to make a bracha l’vatala. We will have to look for other occupations for them to do while everyone else is saying birkat hamazon, such as them saying al hamichya or borei nefashos, or if applicable to provide them with an incentive to want to eat bread and be part of what everyone else is doing.

Tags: Birkas Hamazon children Chinuch

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6 Responses to “Can a child in school that didn’t eat bread say Birkat HaMazon with the rest of the class?”

  1. They could say it as long as they (the students who did not eat bread) don’t say the actual name of Hashem, but say the word “Hashem” etc. Then it is certainly not a bracha l’vatala.

    • Technically that it true, but it will teach the child to fake bentching, and it might also mix him up

  2. what about the kids that did not eat a kzayis
    or not bkdei achilas pras
    what about a kid who spaced out and missed the first half, he would not be allowed to say the second half vchulei vchulei
    so it would seem the teacher should teach the rule properly- eat bread then bench – but would not have to stop a kid from benching along – he is being taught properly – just not getting it right – like all chinuch for mitzvos its a process

    • you mean to say that not eating and bentching is only called not getting it right?

      • what is the difference between eating a cucumber and less than a kzayis of bread
        except that there is a bigger chashash of asi lmisrach by less than a kzayis, a common mistake, no one mistakenly benches on cucumbers

        • That’s why they are differant, and we can’t be mechanech a child to bentch on cucumbers.

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