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