By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
Before we eat it is a Mitzvah – a positive good act to make a blessing. As a matter of fact there is a little dialogue that goes on between G-d and the Angels regarding blessings.
There are three blessings that are given by G-d through the priests. The third one is, “May G-d lift (and shine) his countenance to you “. The Talmud tells us that the ministering angels protested this blessing, because the Bible declares that He, “has no favorites.”G‑d replies to this contradiction. “How can I help but favor them? I said in the Bible, “You will eat and be sated and (then) you are to thank G‑d for the good earth,” and they give thanks for every small morsel of food.”
What is the power in saying blessings for everything we enjoy or experience in this world?
G-d created a world where there is good and bad in everything. That’s what gives us the ability to choose, and earn reward. In food there is the spark of G-dliness and of good nutrition, and then there is the possibility for the food to end up in some negative way in our bodies.
The Baal Shem Tov explains that when we make a blessing over food, we connect the act we are about to engage in, with G-d. We are thanking Him, for the food and the ability to eat and enjoy. Through the blessing, we are connecting with the spark of good and G-dliness that is in the food. This connection makes it much more likely that the food will truly be only for a blessing and not G-d forbid anything else.
When we hear Thunder and see lightning and make a blessing over these very powerful occurrences, we draw to the surface of this experience, the positive reason G-d certainly implanted within these events.
Another thing. There are tons of blessings and good things in our lives that many of us, many times just don’t pay enough attention to them. We are so busy always looking at what we still don’t have, and what we would like, we overlook the good we are blessed with.
When a person trains himself the moment he wakes up, to put his two hands together and say, “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.” He starts off the day, on a beautiful most wonderful positive optimistic outlook.
Right from the first step of the day his outlook is for the blessing, the good and the opportunity in all that comes his way. As he gets out of bed and gets dressed, he begins to realize how lucky he is that he can do so many things that so many others may not be fortunate to do, and this inspires him to make even more blessings.
King David teaches, that a person should say no less than 100 blessings a day. This will help to protect him. At first glance it seems like this is a tit for tat kind of arrangement. G-d so to say says, “You do something for me and I will do something for you!” However this is not the case.
When a person trains himself to see the blessing in everything and he sincerely articulates his gratitude with the proper blessing and acknowledgement, it becomes a natural that he will experience so much more positive in his life if for no other reason that he has trained himself to be connected to the good and G-dliness in everything. G-dliness and goodliness becomes his lot.
When Hagar was in the desert with her son Ishmael and she prayed that G-d should save her son, The Bible says, “and G-d opened her eyes and she saw the well of water.” The answer to all our prayers is really already there. We need only to merit connecting with the good that is already all around us.
Blessing and thanking G-d, recognizing G-d in everything He grants us, is a sure way to receive, the greatest of good.
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