8/14/2014

Shabbat Eykev

Candles Friday 15th at 7:34
Havadalah 16th at 8:30pm

This week we read this phrase from the Torah. “And you shall eat and be satisfied and you should bless, thank, your God for the good land He has given you.” It sounds obvious enough and from this we derive the principle in Judaism of the beraha, the blessing, the obligation to appreciate and to give thanks.

“Sure“ you might say “that’s obvious and I do it all the time.” But do we? I suggest we do not. I cannot tell you how many times I see people sit down to eat in kosher restaurants, at festive occasions or simply having a snack. They tuck into their food without a second thought and certainly without blessing God beforehand or afterwards. Without thinking where the food came from or about our good fortune. How many people do not have enough food or water for sustenance.

People often say that the laws of Kashrut are complicated, burdensome and unnecessary. But the fact is we need these laws and customs to remind us every day, every time we eat, to think before we eat and to appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to eat and drink as much as we like and often more than is necessary.

People often say they can be good or spiritual without having to keep the laws and rules. But the sad human fact is that without the obligation most of us either forget or can’t be bothered. We take it all for granted.