The Mishna Berura (halachot birchat hamazon, siman 187) mentions a variant wording of the birkat hamazon that is said by women. Precisely what is this wording and when was it used and when was it abandoned?

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    If you are talking about the practice mentioned in the Rama (187:3), it just seems like the women would omit the phrases in question (perhaps including v'al chukecha...?). – Fred Feb 26 '15 at 15:26
  • @fred Your surmise is reasonable. I am looking for more specifics. – Yehuda W Feb 26 '15 at 15:59
  • @YehudaW It's more than reasonable that the different "variant" merely involves skipping the phrases in question - it is clear that that's what it means because that's what the Rama says. The only real question is whether "תורה" is limited to "ועל תורתך שלמדתנו" or whether it also includes "ועל חקיך שהודעתנו" (as perhaps the latter phrase is primarily intended to refer to the obligation to perform the commandments rather than the obligation to study Torah). – Fred Feb 26 '15 at 16:07
  • @fred OK. More than reasonable. But is there a specific source with the specific wording? The question also asks, when was it used and when was it abandoned? – Yehuda W Feb 26 '15 at 16:43

This is pretty common in old* Siddurim. You can see omitting just ועל בריתך שחתמת בבשרינו on Hebrewbooks here here here here and here and on Hebrewmanuscripts.org manuscript #747. You can see omitting that phrase plus ועל תורתך שלימדתנו on Hebrewbooks here and on Hebrewmanuscripts.org manuscript #1762. This siddur is not clear how much exactly to omit.

*Those presented here were published between 1579 and 1815

  • +1 Good stuff, but I would really like to know when women stopped being makpid to leave out the words that make no sense. Theoretically, at the times of the Ramma they still understood Lashon HaKodesh, and later when they didn't, they didn't realize they shouldn't be saying it, but that's just a theory. – user6591 Apr 29 '15 at 20:31
  • @user6591 It's not like one day they decided to stop. Change happens slowly over 500 years. – Double AA Apr 29 '15 at 20:33
  • 100% but at some point even the printers didn't care. There were many eastern European ladies who didn't bentch for themselves but were yotze with their fathers/husbands. Could be that helped the mistake come about. Funny thing is many of those ladies had the minhag to say kidush and and hamotzi along with or after their man. – user6591 Apr 29 '15 at 20:40
  • @user6591 Is it so clearly a mistake? The words are plural not singular and they are part of the people that has this commandment (as noted by the Mishna Berurah). – Loewian Apr 30 '15 at 4:39
  • @loewian The words don't say ועל מצוות מילה שציותנו. Then your argument might hold. – Double AA Apr 30 '15 at 4:42

The Italian nusach Bnei Roma omits ועל בריתך שחסמת בבשרנו for women.

  • MB is ashkenaz, so there must be more to it than that. In any case, is there a Bnei Roma siddur on line? – Yehuda W Apr 29 '15 at 18:21

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