Prayer for the Payer
[E-mail withheld] wrote:
Hi. I am an observant student living in a dorm. I have a question regarding my situation. In the section in bircat hamazon (grace after meals) when we ask for a blessing on the head of the household (or for ourselves, or for the place where we are eating), do I say it for myself or for my parents - since they are paying for my tuition (though it is not their table really)? I thank you in advance, and I think your Ask the Rabbi service is a great idea.
Dear [E-mail withheld],
The blessing for the "head of this house" included in the bircat hamazon can refer to the one who provides the meal, even though that person is not the "owner of the house" where the meal is taking place. Therefore, in the appropriate place during the bircat hamazon you can bless your parents as the "heads of the house" because they paid for the meal.
- Mishnah Berurah 193:27