How The OMG Bencher Was Born

I’m as guilty as anyone of too often whipping through the Birkat haMazon—“the benching.” When I recite it alone I’m often anxious to get up from the table and back to my activities. The catchy tunes and the high spirit when we sing it together make this text almost too familiar. This is all a pity, for there is so much beauty and meaning in this very graceful Grace after meals. I felt it deserved better.

So I created this user-friendly birkon, or bencher, to slow us down a little bit and suggest that we reflect on this ancient prayer in a contemporary way.

My goal was to express each phrase of the Birkat HaMazon through bold graphics that would turn the act of benching from a rote activity into a meaningful encounter. We produced it in comic book format and added a somewhat hip translation to hopefully appeal to young and old.

We felt these could be perfect for Bar or Bat Mitzvahs and we included the Sheva Brachot so they could be used at weddings. They’ve been designed with a space at the front for a sticker to personalize them and seek a blessing on those honored.

We hope that because of their educational value they’ll be great for schools, camps, and synagogues. They’re already being used in schools around the country.

In the artist’s notes, I’ve tried to capture some of the thinking that went into it.

David Moss