Al Hamichya instead of Benching and Other Mistakes

I Said the Wrong Brachah Acharonah (After Blessing); Should I Bench Again? 

The brachah acharonah of borei nefashos does not exempt one from the obligation of saying the brachah acharonah of me’ein shalosh (al hamichya, al ha’eitz, or al hagafen). If a person said borei nefashos by mistake, they nevertheless have to say the brachah me’ein shalosh. The reverse is also true: me’ein shalosh does not exempt one from the obligation of saying borei nefashos; and if one was supposed to say borei nefashos, but said al haeitz, al hamichyah, or al hagefen instead, they still have to say borei nefashos. (There is an exception to this rule when saying al haeitz on fruit which deserve borei nefashos.) 

If a person said al hamichyah instead of bentching (saying the full Grace After Meals), there is a machlokes (difference of opinion) among poskim regarding what should be done. The consensus is that one is not yotzei (has not met his obligation) if they said al hamichyah. One of the reasons is because they omitted two central themes in the second brachah of benching, which are bris (circumcision)—brischa shechasamta (Your covenant which You have sealed in our flesh) and Torah—Torasecha shelimadetanu (Your Torah that You have taught us). The second brachah expresses our appreciation for receiving Eretz Yisrael which we have earned through observing the mitzvos of bris milah and Torah. As mentioned, the accepted practice is to bench again, since the general mitzvah of bentching is min haTorah, and when it comes to a de’Oraysa (Biblical commandment) we are stringent. According to many opinions, women should not bench again.

If a person bentched instead of saying me’ein shalosh after having partaken of dates, wine, or mezonos, they have fulfilled their obligation bedieved (after the fact). The reason is because these three foods satiate, and the first brachah in benching, Hazan es haolam (The One Who sustains the world) is considered bedieved an appropriate brachah.  However, if one ate other food that required the brachah me’ein shalosh to be said, they are not yotzei with bentching, and have to say the brachah me’ein shalosh.  #438

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.