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I see mentions of a short version of Birkat Hamazon ("Birkat Hamazon Hakatzar"). R Yitzchak Abadi wrote one "based on the Rambam and other Rishonim", R Yosef Eliyahu Henkin is mentioned here as having one as well and there might be others.

I knew of an abbreviated Shmonei Esrei but not of an abbreviated Birkat Hamazon and would like to learn more:

  • Did a common nusach emerge?
  • What have been views of other poskim regarding these proposals?
  • Are there communities where it is mainstream to recite these abbreviated birkat hamazon lechathila?

PS. This reminds me of a story I heard, maybe in the name of R Kotler, saying: "I don't understand why people say they don't have time for breakfast: 5 minutes to eat, 15 minutes for birkat hamazon and that's it!"

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    possible dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/78051/759 – Double AA Jul 15 '18 at 5:28
  • You're not talking about the case, when you omit the Harachaman parts, right? – Kazi bácsi Jul 15 '18 at 7:07
  • While Rabbi Abadi is advocating this not as the new norm. Rav Henkin was not advocating this for adults, only for children. The Chasam Sofer [printed in his siddur] also has a short version based on the Magen Avraham 193/1, but he too suggests this only בשעת הדחק not something to be used all the time by everybody. – פרי זהב Jul 15 '18 at 14:20
  • @פריזהב I think R Abadi's point is people shouldn't be so worried to classify something as a shaat hadechak. Many people are so averse to doing anything possibly bedieved that they end up bentching very quickly with no kavana (at work, at restaurants, on public transportation, etc.) thinking they are being frum by not doing a bedieved thing. This is pure טפשות. A real חכם knows when he will be able to have Kavana and when he won't. – Double AA Jul 15 '18 at 14:43
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    @Kazibácsi regarding the second comment above, I am actually now asking a question regarding this practice (judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/94939/…) - maybe you have an answer? – mbloch Aug 25 '18 at 17:47
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@Alex kindly directed me to this audio shiur by R Aryeh Lebowitz who discusses this question. In summary, he says that

  • there have been a number of nuschaot (texts) proposed for a shorter birkat hamazon, originally for cases of urgency (shaat ha'dchak)
  • recently, poskim such as R Yitzchak Abadi have suggested using them in all cases (lchathila), since people have a hard time concentrating for the whole length of birkat hamazon, arguing it is better to have more concentration for a shorter text
  • he reminds us the gemara (Brakhot 48b) writes the blessings of Birkat Hamazon were instituted by no other than Moshe, Yehoshua and David and Solomon
  • the Tur, Beit Yosef and Shulhan Aruch give specific requirements for the minimum to be included; the Magen Avraham quotes an abbreviated text for birkat hamazon for urgent cases that satisfies all these requirements

Additional reasons why R Abadi suggested his text are that

  • some people were using shortcuts and not saying birkat hamazon for certain foods (e.g., on pizza, or pita/falafel), chosing instead to say incorrectly borei minei mezonot and the relevant bracha ahrona
  • everything one needs to say is in the shorter nusach so there is nothing to lose by saying it

R Lebowitz personally comes out against using such shortened texts. Interestingly, R Abadi himself doesn't use his own shorter nusach !

  • He doesn't discuss the in between option of only reciting the short version at work or something when for many bentching is done quickly and discreetly and with more fear or being caught than kavana. See too OC 192 – Double AA Jul 15 '18 at 13:02

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