Advanced Search

Special Blessing for the Hosts


Question:

We were invited to a family we know via work for a Friday night Shabbat meal and want to know what would be an appropriate gift. Any advice?



AskTheRabbi.org answered:

The traditional gift is one of food (usually a dessert) or drink. It is not only an expression of your appreciation for their kindness, but is something practical that they can serve as part of the meal. This “sharing of giving”, even if mostly in a symbolic manner, often helps evoke special feelings of closeness between the parties involved.

However, there is another “gift” that guests can give that in my opinion is more valuable. And it may be even more highly valued by the hosts than the gift of food or drink.

This is the “blessing for the hosts”, a brief prayer that is found towards the end of the “Birkat Hamazon” blessing that is said after the meal. I would suggest that one or all of the guests say it aloud for the hosts to hear and then all present can answer “amen”. Aside from the various expressions of “thank you” that the guests express during the evening, this beautiful blessing is actually a prayer that God bless the hosts for their hospitality, and asks the Merciful One to show only kindness and good to the hosts and their family.

I can personally testify about the profound effect of this “small” act, based on a recent Shabbat my wife and I spent with a hosting family in the States. The family keeps kosher but does not normally observe Shabbat. However, they told us that is we came to visit them for Shabbat they would observe it as well as they could (at least that week). We went and had a lovely Friday night meals with them and then I said — in English — “the blessing of the hosts” out loud at the end of the meal. After we concluded, the hosts approached me and told that they were “blown away”. It was not surprising that we would offer our personal words of appreciation. But the fact that our appreciation was formalized into a beautifully thoughtful and meaningful blessing for them in this special “blessing the hosts” was extremely touching.


Similar Questions
Prayers and Blessings > Before and After Food
Giving Thanks
Mayim Achronim - Washing Before Bentching
Rice
A Kosher (Golf) Course Blessing
Blessing after Pizza
Quinoa
Zimmun
Blessings and Rabbi Photos
Eating, Blessing and Giving Charity
Prayers and Blessings > Personal
Praying and Sadness
Blessing After Danger
Blessing for Headache
Doctor's Prayer
Long Distance Relationship
Traveler's Prayer
Desire to Pray
Nag, Kvetch and Change
Praying to have Children
Oh No! The First Day of School…
The Healing Visit
All for the Best
Prayer to find Lost Object
Tazddik's Blessing
Dealing with Death
A Prayer for Safe Travel
Post-Peril Praise
Is Anyone Listening?
“Prayer Force One”
Who’s the Doctor?
Blessing after Danger
Chatan Reciting Sheva Brachot
A Good Time
Accepting My Prayer
HaGomel Prayer
A Prayer for the Kidnapped
Prayer for Lost Object
Birthday Blessings
Open for Business
Suffering Sick Person
Prayer for Health
Birthdays and Prayer
Prayer for Pet
Sparkling Wine
Should I Say the Hagomel Blessing?
Shabbat > Meals
Cholent
Salt
Why is Challa Braided?
Shalom Aleichem
Friday Night
Cholent on Shabbat
Refund for Shabbat and Yom Tov Expenses
Salt – The Spice of Life
Grape Juice for Kiddush
More than Meat and Potatoes
In Honor of Shabbat
Braided Bread
Cholent. More Than Meat & Potatoes
Blessing the Children
Covering Challah
Red, White and Not Blue
Blessing Children Friday Night
“Please Pass the Salt”
Challah
Shabbat Atmosphere - “Out of this World”
Have a question?
 
Gateways - Your Key to Jewish Continuity

AskTheRabbi.org is a service of the Gateways Organization © 2018
Technical problems? Please contact the AskTheRabbi Support team