• v. "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." (JPS)

Example Sentences

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

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • 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


      • North America


      • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      bensh, bensch, bench, bentsch


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

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