Shir Ha-Ma'alot #17

Later Additions to the Bircat Ha-Mazon
May the Merciful One reign

These requests were added at a later period to the Bircat Ha-Mazon. They express different personal wishes, and they exist in different forms. After we recall that the Master of the Universe is Beneficent and performs beneficent acts for the Nation, we add that He is the Merciful Father to each one of his children in a personal manner. This is a wonder: the first three wishes of the Jew are in fact for the sanctification of His Blessed Name in the world: "May the Merciful One reign." "May the Merciful One be blessed." "May the Merciful One be praised." Only after comes the request for a livelihood, and then requests for the Messiah. Truly, for a Jew, these exalted Divine and Messianic wishes are in his soul like the bread which he consumes.