INSIGHT: From Heavenly Mann to Earthly Bread

An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

Speaking of Birkas HaMazon, let’s see how our forefather Avraham Avinu, the very first Jew, taught his guests to thank HaShem after a meal, and he sure did it in a very creative way (leave it up to him!).

Now it’s time for a Shazak Flashback:

Let’s “listen in” on a typical conversation at Avraham and Sarah’s “Food & Lodging”:

After eating a scrumptious meal, the guests asked, “How much does it cost?”

“NOTHING. It’s on the house. Just repeat after me… we bless the Almighty, Master of the Universe, the One who created everything in this world – HaShem.”

“No way! We only bless our holy idols,” they replied.

“Okay, if that’s how you feel…,” Avraham would answer. “The steak is 24 gold pieces; wine – 12 gold pieces a cup, making it a total of 48 gold pieces. Oh, I forgot, the delicious tongue with our homemade mustard spread. That’s on sale today for only 20 gold pieces, so the grand total is… 56 gold pieces!”

“WHAT? Outrageous! So much money for a meal?! We can’t afford this!” the guests protested.

“Well, where would you find such delicious cuts of meat in the desert? And the finest of wine? Of course, the prices are higher here than it would be in the city!”

Naturally, the guests would suddenly have a quick change of mind. They indeed blessed HaShem, got a free meal and learned even more about “HaShem” from their wonderful hosts, Avraham and Sarah!

So being grateful to HaShem sure is great. Get it? Grateful… great…

Shazak insight

From Heavenly Mann to Earthly Bread

Our Sages of the Talmud tell us that Moshe already instituted this “thanksgiving” prayer 40 years earlier when the people were fed the miraculous Mann. That means Bnei Yisrael were saying Birkas HaMazon in the desert on a daily basis. If that’s so, they must have all been Birkas HaMazon experts. So, why did Moshe choose to tell them now about this Mitzvah?

Think about it – If you would witness this Lechem Min HaShamayim (food falling from heaven) day in, day out, wouldn’t you thank HaShem for this miracle? And don’t forget… this Mann tasted like any food you could imagine.

But now, things are about to change. No longer will Bnei Yisrael receive this “miracle food.” As they enter the Land, they will have to work hard to plant, prune, pick, and pack their produce. Making bread will be a long and difficult process. So, it’s very possible that they may “forget” that without HaShem there would be no bread!

Perhaps, for this reason, Moshe stressed how much we must thank HaShem even when it’s Lechem Min Ha’Aretz (“bread from the ground”).

SHAZAK
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Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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