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Misnha Berura 188:6 Doubt if mentioned ‘retzei’ in bentsching



The Mishna Berura 188-16 mentions that if one is uncertain whether they mentioned ‘retzei’ (for the obligatory meals of course) they should repeat, because de facto they would not have mentioned it. If one does usually not eat bread during the week (or very seldom), to the extent that they bentsch (far) more frequently on Shabbos than otherwise, can one say that the chazakah would work the other way around and therefore if they were uncertain if they mentioned ‘retzei’ on Shabbos (for the obligatory meals of course) then they would not need to repeat? Any sources would also be much appreciated.

A related question: is the obligation to mention ‘retzei’ Rabbinical, and therefore if one forgot/left it out, then the requirement to repeat (if after having started enough of the fourth brocha) would be Rabbinical, but that on a Torah level they would have satisfied their obligation (provided they had eaten k’deis’viah)? If so, is there a nafka minah if the person initially was bentsching wasn’t satiated (with regards to the requirement to repeat) – one doesn’t seem to find such a distinction in the Mishna Berura.




  1. In order to change your nature you have to have bentched 90 times only on Shabbos (6-7 months) without eating a bread meal during the week. This is extremely uncommon. However if it indeed is applicable and this became his norm, then he would not have to go back.
  2. Interesting point, however it isn’t going to make a difference, and in both cases he has to recite bentching again. The reason is because we assume that he certainly didn’t say, and it isn’t even a doubt. Even if ritzei is rabbinical, this is part of what was instituted, that when we assume that it wasn’t said that he has to say it again.



 M:B 188-16. Shar Hatzion ibid.

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  1. Hi Rabbi Zidell,

    Thanks for answering my question so quickly – very much appreciated!

    Just a few points:
    1) I would change ‘Mishna Berura 188-16’ in the question back to what I originally had, which refers to seif katan 16 (MB 188:6), otherwise this could be misleading, as well as in your quoted sources;
    2) Would you be able to clarify and reference if the requirement to mention ‘retzei’ is d’Oraisa or d’Rabonon? I looked in the Pischei Teshuvos and, from my reading and understanding (in footnote 28), seems to imply it is d’Rabonon;
    3) I do not find anywhere in the Sha’ar ha’Tzion what you mentioned in your answer. I have tried to look in a variety of sources, but have not been matzliach. Someone mentioned to me that in the 3 Feb issue of Yated Neeman, in the Dirshu supplement, this was discussed and that the conclusion was that there can be a chazakah the other way around (I don’t know if it required 90 Shabbosim without any other bentsching to establish this – I was unable to locate this source). Do you have any other sources to support your answers?

    Thanks so much again!


    1. 1. I don’t understand what is misleading about this.
      2. To explain what I wrote; the M”B says that even if one is in doubt if he forgot ritzei we assume that he CERTAINLY forgot it, therefore it isn’t a sefek, but a vadai that he forgot. Therefore it doesn’t matter whether it is d’rabonon or d’orayso.
      3. In the Sha’ar Hatzion he also says that even if it is safek he has to repeat bentching. I discussed this matter with a few poskim in Eretz Yisroel

      1. B’kavod Rabbi Zidell,

        Thanks again for your prompt response, very much appreciated.

        Thanks also for your patience in dealing with a stam ba’al habayis :-)

        My comments follow below:

        1) I just thought that ‘Mishna Berura 188-16’ could indicate seif 16, and not seif katan 16, but if there is no ambiguity then perhaps it’s my misinterpretation :-);
        2) My understanding of the MB is that there is a de facto assumption that he never mentioned ‘retzei’, and this is because of regilus. In other words, if there wasn’t the regilus to not mention ‘retzei’, then this would mean that de facto he would have mentioned it, and would obviate the need to repeat the betnsching;
        3) I understood the Sha’ar Hatzion to mean that it is because of this regilus that when it’s a sofek he would repeat. I don’t understand why it would be required to have to have bentched 90 times only on Shabbos (6-7 months) without eating a bread meal during the week to establish a regilus the other way around – this doesn’t seem analogous to, for example, what we find in siman 114 regarding saying mashiv haruach . Also, if there is this 90 time requirement, then there wouldn’t even be a regilus for not saying retzei, as people don’t bentsch 90 times during the week.

        FYI: I managed to get hold of the Dirshi supplement I mentioned previously. The question posed (different to mine) was: “What would be the halacha regarding a person who only washes for hamotzi on Shabbos and never does so during the week – such as someone who is on a gluten-free diet or other special diet. Can we assume that he said retzei because he never washes during the week and thus he is “accustomed” to recite retzei?”.

        HaGaon Harav Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz answered: “We can assume that he did say retzei and he does not have to recite Birchas Hamazon again. Proof can be brought from the Gemara in Masechta Bava Kama that says that an ox that only gores on Shabbos can be a mued, considered accustomed to gore only on Shabbos and not during the week.”

        Thanks again very much for your time.


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