“And you shall eat and you shall be satisfied and you shall bless” (Devarim 8,10)
It is a positive commandment to bless Hashem, may He be blessed, after a person eats and is satisfied from bread or from one of the seven species, as it says “and you shall eat and you shall be satisfied and you shall bless the L-rd your G-d for the good land…” etc.
Amongst the roots of this commandment: it is important to introduce (this topic by saying) that all the honor and splendor, all the good, all the wisdom, all the ability and all the blessing belong to Hashem, and the words of a person and all his actions – whether for the good or for the bad – will neither add nor detract (from Him), therefore you must understand that whenever we say in a blessing “Blessed are You Hashem” the point is not as it seems, to add a blessing to the One who has no need for any kind of additions, G-d forbid, for He is the master of everything and He originates all blessing and creates it from nothing and showers down an abundancy of blessing when His good will is present. But the point of a blessing that we say before Him is a reminder to rouse our souls, through the words of our mouths, (to remember that) He is the Blesser and encompasses all that is good. Through this positive awakening in our souls and the concentration of our thoughts we serve thanks to Him, for all that is good is included in Him, and He reigns over (the force of blessing) to send it over everything He wishes, we then merit through this good deed to continue to receive His blessing upon us. After this statement and acknowledgement before Him, we request from Him all that we need; knowledge or forgiveness for our sins, or health, riches or anything else. Also after requesting from Him, we return and thank Him, by saying that everything comes from Him to us and that is the opening and closing statement of all blessings, lest we be thought of as a servant who takes a prize from his master and goes away without permission, as though stealing.
It would seem according to this reasoning that the word “Baruch” – is an adjective, that is to say, an acknowledgement about Him that He encompasses all blessing. With the phrase “Yisbarach” which we continually mention, where the intention is that we are pleading to Him that it should be His good will that He should turn the hearts of His creations to be present before Him, that they should attribute everything to Him and they should glory in Him, and that is the meaning of “Yisbarach”, to say, “May it be Your will that all mankind should relate the blessing to You, and acknowledge that the blessing in everything disseminates from You, and with this all-encompassing acknowledgement, His blessing will rest on the world and His will be complete, for He wants to do good.
Of the laws of this commandment, as Chazal say, that even though the Torah does not obligate us to recite a blessing unless we are satisfied from the food, Chazal have obligated us to recite a blessing also after anything that a person derives pleasure from, whether it is from the seven species which Eretz Yisrael is praised with or whether it is from any other things.
Ezra and his Beth Din determined the terminology of all the blessings (and even though Chazal say that Moshe established the blessing of “Hazan”, and Yehoshua, the blessing of the land, they were speaking thus about the main content of the blessing whereas the actual wording of the blessings was established by Ezra and his Beth Din.) and it is not suitable to add or detract from their wording, and one who makes changes in them is making a mistake, in any case, one who changes or who forgets some of the wording of the blessing, as long as he mentioned its main meaning and he recited its closing statement correctly, need not recite it again.
This commandment is a Biblical obligation and applies in every place and at every time to men; as regards women there is a query whether their obligation is Biblical or Rabbinical.