“When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to God, your God,
for the good land which God has given you.” Deuteronomy 8:10
This verse from Torah is the source for the mitzvah, commandment, to thank the Holy One for our food, specifically the Birkat Hamazon, Grace After Meals. According to Chumash Etz Hayyim quoting Menahem Mendel of Kotzk: “(Grace After Meals) is the fundamental mitzvah because all people should be capable of feeling grateful that the earth has produced food for them to eat.”
When we perform some mitzvot we feel like we are being of service to others. But this mitzvah serves us. How much more satisfying our food would be if we ate with a consciousness of gratefulness! How long does it take to end your meal with a word of thanks to the Holy One? For your Mitzvah of the Week, take a moment after eating to express your appreciation for having “eaten your fill.” Here is a very abbreviated English version of the Birkat Hamazon, a good place to start:
Blessed is our God, Sovereign of the universe, who sustains the entire world with goodness, kindness and mercy. God gives food to all creatures, for God’s mercy is everlasting. Blessed is our God, who provides food for all. For all these blessings we thank our God with praise, as it is written: When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to your God for the good land which God has given you. Blessed is God for the land and its produce.
May you experience and express gratefulness this week, and may you have a Shabbat of peace.
Rabbi Debbie Israel