Birkat Hamazon is the consummate bracha achrona, because while most of the food blessings were instituted by the Sages, Birkat Hamazon is a Torah-level obligation, based on Deuteronomy 8:10: ‘You shall eat, and be satisfied, and bless.’
Birkat Hamazon is longer and more encompassing than a regular bracha achrona. It is comprised of four brachot:
- The first blessing acknowledges the food that we ate.
– composed by Moses when the manna fell in the desert.
- The second blessing expresses our thanks for being given the Land of Israel.
– written by Joshua when he led the Jewish people into Israel.
- The third blessing expresses our yearning to rebuild the holy city of Jerusalem.
– formulated by King David…when his son King Solomon built the Holy Temple.
- The fourth blessing declares how God bestows His goodness to all creatures.
– instituted during the Second Temple period, when permission was given to bury millions of Jews who
had been slaughtered by the Romans.