Anecdotally, I've eaten with people before who have recited birkat hammazon to themselves quietly and who are either record-breaking speed speakers or who are using a shortened version. I suspect the latter, but cannot ask them (for reasons that are beyond the scope of this question) what it is that they said. I would just like to know how widespread is the custom of abbreviating the birkat hammazon and if it's permissible to do so under any circumstances.

This question asks for an online copy of the abbreviated text, and the PDF that Dov shared by way of an answer gives one particular version of it. I am assuming, from the author's prefacing his version by saying that he established it himself, that there is no standardised text in this regard.

  • The comments to that question contain a link to another shortened text. – Double AA Dec 7 '16 at 3:57
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    Shimon, it's worth considering if the people you are with we're simply skipping the Harachaman parts after the four blessings proper. Such a practice is certainly easier to justify in many circumstances (some do it even ab initio on Shabbat and holidays, or if intending to immediately return to another Mitzvah). – Double AA Dec 7 '16 at 6:05
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    IMO as well as from what I have seen, most actually are speed speakers, or rather speed garblers. Fast davening and benching, sadly, has become a bad habit. I can't imagine where people are rushing to after a Shabbat meal unless they have to get to mincha. In that case, they should eat a little less. – DanF Dec 7 '16 at 15:45
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22449/759 – Double AA Dec 7 '16 at 22:48
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/890/759 – Double AA Dec 12 '16 at 4:41

According to Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yalkut Yossef 1.198.10, one who doesn't know the Birkhat hamazon, can say a short blessing:

מי שאינו יודע לברך ברכת המזון כלל, אחד האיש ואחד האשה,יאמר לכל הפחות קיצור הברכה הראשונה בלשון ארמית בנוסח זה: ''בריך רחמנא אלהנא מלכא דעלמא, מריה דהאי פיתא, בריך רחמנא דזן לכולא''. ודוקא כשאומרים בלשון ארמית, אבל בלשון הקודש אין לקצר כלל מנוסח ברכת המזון הקבוע. אולם אם מברכים בלשון הקודש ברכה מעין שלש במקום ברכת המזון, בדיעבד יוצאים ידי חובה. ומכל מקום לכתחלה לא יברכו ברכה מעין שלש במקום ברכת המזון

So even though this is for someone who doesn't know how to say the full thing, it's possible that they are using it for that reason.

  • I suspect that most people who don't know the whole bentching also don't speak Aramaic, in which case they're probably not yotzei with this text. – Heshy Apr 19 '18 at 11:24
  • @Heshy also they are unlikely to know this text.. – Double AA Apr 19 '18 at 13:04
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    @Heshy As long as they know the translation, they should be fine. In any case, I know that this is the text we teach small children in Chabad chinuch... It's in the front of the Chabad siddur – ezra Apr 19 '18 at 13:40
  • I'm just quoting and giving a possible answer to the OP – aBochur Apr 19 '18 at 13:52
  • See Yalkut Yosef 188:2 he disapproves of using the shortened text even for women – MDjava May 22 '18 at 2:11

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