I understand that the Vilna Gaon did not approve of singing the zemiroh “Tzur Mishelo” on Shabbos because it could be valid as Grace after Meals.

But on Shabbos, Grace after Meals is not valid without including “Retzai”; there is no mention of "Retzai" there, so why did he not approve?

  • 2
    Do you know for certain that the Vilna Gaon felt that Retzai was needed?
    – avi
    Jan 14, 2012 at 20:07
  • No, good point. But the halocho for us is that we have to repeat bensching if we leave it out (except the third meal). I assumed the Gr"a would agree. Jan 14, 2012 at 21:27
  • 2
    I heard this in the name of the Brisker Rav. Can anyone find an actual source for this chumra?
    – Double AA
    Jan 15, 2012 at 0:36
  • 2
    The bigger question is it doesn't have "shem and malchut" (God's name and a reference to His Kingship) which are the definitional minimum for a blessing. See Shulchan Aruch OC 214
    – Double AA
    Jan 15, 2012 at 0:40
  • 2
    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/13476.
    – msh210
    Jan 20, 2012 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Per Kovetz Bais Aharon V'Yisroel in an article written by Rabbi Aizik Ausband he writes that according to those that Mitzvos do not need Kavana, when you are singing Tzur MiShelo you are in essence Bentching - therefore it is best not to say it. He also mentions that The Gra also wrote not to say it and it is not printed in his Siddur.

In the next paragraph it seems that Tzur MiShelo was sung at Shalosh Seudos (the 3rd meal) and since at times people are not really hungry then, Birchas HaMazon is only MiDrabanan.


Regarding the 3rd meal on Shabbat (Seudat Sheleshit or Shalosh Sheudos), since there are opinions that one doesn’t need to eat bread at that meal – one would not repeat the bentching if he forgot the addition. And, in regard to Yom Tov, this is certainly true – since everyone holds one doesn’t need to eat a third bread meal on Yom Tov.

  • 1
    Shouldn't this be a comment to Double AA's comment? Jan 15, 2012 at 3:04
  • 1
    I think this answers the question. Jan 15, 2012 at 3:06
  • 2
    He asks that Tzur Mishelo lacks Retzei, thereby invalidating benching. Where does Kavana come in? Jan 15, 2012 at 3:08
  • 2
    I don't see how this answers the question about Retzei.
    – avi
    Jan 15, 2012 at 7:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .