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Personal Requests On Shabbos

Rabbi David SperlingSivan 12, 5773
435
Question
I understand that because one should not ask on Shabbat for personal things, some have the minhag to stop benching after וּמִכָּל טוּב לְעוֹלָם אַל יְחַסְּרֵנוּ. This is really the minority opinion, yes? Thanks, Mitch
Answer
Shalom, The question of what is permitted and what is forbidden to request on Shabbat is an interesting one. In connection with the requests we say in grace after meals, after the end of the fourth blessing, the overwhelming consensus of opinion is to say these requests as we do on a weekday. (See the Darchay Moshe on the Tur, Orach Haim, 189,4 where he writes in the name of the Or Zaru'ah "One says the "harachaman" [requests] on Shabbat as one does on a weekday, and this is not considered as asking for one's [private] needs on Shabbat".) This is the normal practice. You are correct however in pointing out that there is a custom not to say the "harachamans" on Shabbat. This was the custom of the Vilna Ga'on (the Gr'a), and still today some of his followers have this practice. Many people mistakenly think that he never said these requests, and that he always finished grace after meals with the end of the fourth blessing. But in truth, on a weekday the Gr"a did in fact say them, and only refrained from saying them on Shabbat, because he felt one should not make these personal requests on the Shabbat. (from Rav Dibalinsky's comments to the Siddur of the Gr"a). But, as I wrote, the custom of the Gr'a is a (very) minority opinion on this question, and unless one has a real tradition otherwise, one should say the whole of the grace as we do on every day of the week, and add the special sections for Shabbat. Blessings.
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