Essentially we are to pray before and after eating and drinking to thank Hashem for what He has given us. The easiest way to explain this is that there are prayers we say on food before we eat.  And there are prayers we say after we eat and drink.  The text of these can all be found in any siddur (prayer book) or as stated below.

PRAYERS BEFORE EATING

These are the categories:

 

1.  Before eating grain products – Mezonot - Such as eating non-bread (e.g. cake, cookies, cereals) products of wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt (and rice, according to many opinions):

 

 

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא מיני מזונות

 

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha‑olam, bo're minei m'zonot.

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who creates varieties of nourishment."

 

2.  Before drinking wine – Ha-Gafen -

This blessing is made for wine made from grapes, but not any other fermented drink. Wine made from other fruits, and other alcohols, require the Shehakol blessing.

 

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן

 

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha‑olam, bo're p'ri ha‑gafen.

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine."

 

3.  Before eating fruit – Ha-Etz -

This blessing is said on fruit that is ripe and that grows on trees.  The part that you are eating is the principal part of the fruit.  (Example, the inside of an orange but not its peel). 

 

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי העץ‏

 

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha‑olam, bo're p'ri ha‑etz.

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree."

 

4.  Before eating non-fruit produce – Ha-Adama-

Before eating produce that grew directly from the earth:

 

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי האדמה‏

 

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha‑olam, bo're p'ri ha‑adama.

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the ground."

 

5.  Before eating other foods – She-Hakol-

Before eating or drinking any foods not in the first four categories: 2A2CD3

 

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, שהכל נהיה בדברו‏

 

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha‑olam, she‑hakol nih'ye bidvaro.

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, through Whose word everything comes into being."

 

6.  Before eating bread – Hamotzi

 

The blessing hamotzi, said at the beginning of a meal, is all inclusive and exempts one from saying additional blessings over the other foods eaten at the meal.

 

Before eating bread, we wash our hands in a specific ritual manner. Your hands must be clean and free of jewelry, or anything else which might intervene between the fingers and the flow of water. It is preferable to use a special two-handled cup, although any large cup can be used. The water is poured first on the right hand, two or three times according to your custom, then on the left hand the same number of times. If you will be eating at least two ounces of bread, say the blessing:


BA-RUCH A-TAH A-DO-NOI 
ELO-HAI-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM 
A-SHER KID-SHA-NU B'MITZ-VO-TAV 
V'TZI-VA-NU AL N'TI-LAT YA-DA-YIM
Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the 
Universe, Who has sanctified us with His 
commandments and commanded us concerning 
the washing of the hands

 

Then rub your hands together and dry them, and say the blessing hamotzi over the bread. Do not speak or engage in other activities between washing the hands and saying the blessing.  This is the blessing:

 

BA-RUCH A-TAH A-DO-NOI 
ELO-HAI-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM 
HA-MO-TZI LE-CHEM MIN HA-A-RETZ
Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the 
Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth

 

Other Blessings During The Meal: After the blessing of Hamotzi is said, we do not say blessings on the other foods in the meal, with the following exceptions:

  • A blessing is said on wine, unless the meal was preceded by Kiddush.

  • A blessing is required for some mezonot desserts.

  • A blessing is said on all other desserts (e.g. ice cream, coffee).

  •  

After concluding a meal in which at least one ounce of bread was eaten, we say Birkat Hamazon (Grace After Meals).

BEFORE AND AFTER EATING PRAYERS

 

 

Broken Down by Categories:

Bread, Cake and Cereals
Dairy Food
Meat, Fish and Eggs
Soups
Vegetables and Herbs
Fruits and Nuts
Drinks
Desserts, Candy and Sundries

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