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Blessings and Thanksgiving

Blessing is one way we sanctify our food. It introduces intentionality to a basic function and makes us mindful of the source of our sustenance.

Mishpacha participants on blessings

Keeping kosher

How is your kitchen organized? An exercise in thinking about kashrut and meaning.

Mishpacha participants on kashrut

There is an appropriate blessing for everything that goes into our mouths, whether it is a glass of water, or a five course meal. The act of consciously verbalizing these blessings reminds us to feel gratitude rather than entitlement, and to be humble before the life we may take to sustain ourselves. Two millennia ago, the rabbis divided food into several categories, and drew up blessings for each. They recognized that whether we bought our food, or grew it ourselves, it was a gift. Accordingly, the act of eating without first acknowledging the source of the food, was seen as tantamount to theft.

[an error occurred while processing this directive][an error occurred while processing this directive]Consider the blessing for bread:

Blessed are You Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe who brings forth bread from the earth.

In Hebrew:

Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha-Olam Ha-Motzi Lekhem Min Ha-aretz.

First Person
I wish I could make meals more thankful. I realize that the food from God. I wouldn't take food at another person's home without saying please and thank-you, but it always seems that when I am in a hurry and also hungry it's hard to remember.

--Wendy F.[Approval Pending]

Share your thoughts. Join our private havurah communities.

On one level, we know it is our farmers who draw bread from the earth. But on a more fundamental level, even farmers depend on much that is out of their control. Torrential rain, drought, insects, and many other factors can ruin a crop. Even for those who don't believe in a traditional concept of God, it is clear that something beyond the farmer is at work. When we make a blessing, we reach beyond what we know to show our appreciation for what we have.


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