jewish Funeral Guide

Jewish Mourning - the first Week

Grace after Meals (Sephardim)

We have already discussed the changes in the wording of the third blessing of Birkat HaMazon / ברכת המזון — Grace after Meals. Now we can proceed to the changes in the fourth blessing. Sephardim recite the beginning of the fourth blessing of Birkat HaMazon as usual until after the words “... Holy One of Jacob / קדוש יעקב ...” and continue with the special version as follows:

הַמֶּלֶךְ הַחַי הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב
אֵל אֱמֶת שׁוֹפֵט בְּצֶדֶק
לוֹקֵחַ נְפָשׁוֹת
שַׁלִּיט בְּעוֹלָמוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כִּרְצוֹנוֹ׃
וַאֲנַחְנוּ עַמּוֹ וַעֲבָדָיו׃
וְעַל הַכּל אֲנַחְנוּ חַיָּיבִים
לְהוֹדוֹת לוֹ וּלְבָרְכוֹ׃
גּוֹדֵר פְּרָצוֹת
הוּא יִגְדּוֹר אֶת הַפִּרְצָה הַזּאת מֵעָלֵינוּ
וּמֵעַל עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּרַחֲמִים׃

The living King, good and benevolent,
God of truth Who judges with righteousness,
Who takes souls,
Who rules in His world to do as He wishes.
And we are His nation and His servants.
For everything we must
thank Him and bless Him.
He Who repairs the breaches
may He repair this breach from us
and from His nation Israel in mercy.

The mourners skip the next portion of Birkat HaMazon that starts with “The Merciful One! May He be praised on His throne of glory / הרחמן, הוא ישתבח על כסא כבודו” and conclude with the usual ending:

עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו

הוּא בְּרַחֲמָיו יַעֲשֶׂה
שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל
‏[‏יש מוסיפים׃ עַמּוֹ‏]‏ יִשְׂרָאֵל
‏-‏ וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן׃

He who makes peace on high,

may He, in His mercy, make
peace for us and for all
[many add: His nation] Israel
- and let’s say to it, Amen.