bench

Alternative Spellings

bensh, bensch, bentsh, bentsch

Definitions

  • JPS: "To recite a blessing. It usually refers to Birkat ha-Mazon, the Grace after Meals... The word can also refer to the reciting of any blessing; for example, the expression bentsch licht means to light Shabbat [or Chanukah] candles."

Example Sentences

  • "We'll have dessert and then bench."

Languages of Origin

Yiddish

Etymology

Yiddish בענטשן bentshn 'to bless; to say the benediction after a meal' (verbal stem is בענטש bentsh)

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

The Yiddish word stems from the Romance component, likely Italian benedice “he blesses.”

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