Parshat Ekev

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י וְאָכַלְתָּ, וְשָׂבָעְתָּ--וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, עַל-הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן-לָךְ

And thou shalt eat and be satisfied, and bless the LORD thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.

Reciting the Birkat Hamazon, blessing after the meal, is a mitzvah written in the Torah and found in this week’s parshah.
We are mandated to recite this blessing after a meal which includes bread – since, according to Jewish law, eating bread officially constitutes a meal.

Numerous commentators have discussed the fact that we are required to say a blessing after a meal and not only before. Most have come to the conclusion that the Birkat Hamazon teaches us to be thankful. While it is easy to feel grateful when we are hungry and have a full plate in front of us, it is not so obvious once we feel replete.

Thus Rabbi Joseph Telushkin teaches that we should not take everything – life, sustainance, food – for granted and this is why we need to thank God several times a day, to remember that ultimately everything comes from Him.

Since our interractions with our fellow men are just as significant in God’s eyes as our relationship with Him, we should also be thankful to the people we meet every day and shouldn’t forget to acknowledge what they do for us and to express our gratitude whenever necessary. Maybe this is something we could try and focus upon while we recite the Birkat Hamazon this week.

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12 thoughts on “Parshat Ekev

  1. I tie this together with what Shimshonit wrote last week about please and thank you – we should say please and thank you to our human hosts. Perhaps the before and after brachot are our way of saying please and thank you to God.

  2. This is a great post, thanks ilanadavita. I often fail in this area of thanking God, which is not good. God has blessed me with a second chance at getting it right and I am very grateful for that chance. Yes, this post really speaks to me.

    Leora, great tie in to Shimshonit’s post.

  3. Thank you – and I am so impressed you are posting whilst on holiday! I won’t be, I’m afraid!

    I love this post – it really ties in with my extra efforts I am making to be thankful and treat people well – which can sometimes be a challenge….. Thanking G-d – much, much easier!

  4. Thank you for this very important reminder that hakarat hatov (literally, “recognizing the good” – i.e. gratitude) should play a role in every aspect of our lives.

    Great post!

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