If one has not said ha-Motsi before eating bread( of the amount for which Birkat ha-Mazon is required), is one still required to say Birkat ha-Mazon after eating?


Yes, the brachas don't always go hand-in-hand.

For instance, let's assume (but check with your rabbi) that one piece of pizza is a "snack", and two makes a meal. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch rules (about pseudo-bread items, let's assume pizza is such an item) that if you decide you only want one piece of pizza, you make a mezonot then eat it. If you then change your mind and want only one more, you don't make a hamotzee for just one piece of pizza, so you make a new mezonot. But then you've eaten two pieces, so you say birkat hamazon.

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    AFAIK this is correct but an exact source reference would be nice. – Double AA Oct 7 '12 at 19:52
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    Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 168:6. Halacha Berurah 168:15 mentions that (assuming the things we've assumed about pizza) if you were to change your mind and then eat two slices of pizza, in addition to the one you already ate, you'd have to wash and say hamotzi before eating the additional slices of pizza. – Chanoch Oct 10 '12 at 2:42
  • Note that my previous comment, I used pizza as an example because it was the example already given in the answer, but the Halacha Berurah actually paskins that pizza is like bread, and you make hamotzi on it no matter how small an amount you're eating. – Chanoch Oct 10 '12 at 2:43
  • @Chanoch, as I said -- "let's assume, but check with your rabbi." Rabbi Welcher (who heads the Vaad of Queens) also holds that any pizza is hamotzee. – Shalom Oct 10 '12 at 14:14
  • Does this mean that they sometimes go hand in hand? In other words, are there instances that would require me to have said ha-Motzi in order to say Birkat ha-Mazon? – Tamir Evan Mar 20 '14 at 14:15

To answer this in a different derech from Shalom's excellent answer:

Birkat Hamazon is an independent obligation from Hamotzi. If you forgot to say a beracha before eating bread, you'd still be required to say Birkat Hamazon when you finished.

Note that there's no minimum shiur required for saying Hamotzi. You need to say Hamotzi on even the smallest crumb of bread. There are minimum shiurim for both washing (one k'beitzah) and Birkat Hamazon (one k'zayit).

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    AFAIK this is correct but an exact source reference would be nice. – Double AA Oct 10 '12 at 2:49
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    Also note that most require washing on a k'zayit as well but without a bracha. – Double AA Oct 10 '12 at 2:49

I would add that Birkat Ha'Mazon is the only blessing that is דאורייתא (directly from the Torah) as opposed to the rest (incl. ha-Motsi) that are דרבנן (added by our sages).

With this difference it is obvious that we would do the דאורייתא even if we didn't do the דרבנן.

  • ברכת התורה is דאורייתא as well – JNF Oct 9 '12 at 14:52
  • I believe the discussion was about the blessings for food and such (ברכות הנהנין). – Gidil Oct 9 '12 at 15:55
  • @JNF Not all agree to that. – Double AA Oct 9 '12 at 23:36
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    Gidil, I don't follow your logic because sometimes we have Deoraita things which the Rabbis tell us not to do in certain circumstances. Perhaps this is one of them. – Double AA Oct 9 '12 at 23:37
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    But have you shown there isn't one? Until you do, your answer is not conclusive. – Double AA Oct 10 '12 at 5:39

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