Parashat Eikev 5775–Shabbat Torah Study–The Mitzvah of Gratitude? Rabbi Joey Krakoff Teaches Us This Shabbat!

This week’s Parasha contains the textual source for the obligation to say a blessing AFTER the meal—the Birkat HaMazon. Deuteronomy 8:10.

It is an important part of our faith to show appreciation.

It is certainly easier to express appreciation when we are face to face with our host. It takes mindfulness and awareness to remember that all that we have came from the labor of others, let alone being a gift from the Creator.

If we think about what it takes to make a slice of bread, from seed, to plant, to harvest, to processing, to marketing, to distribution, to sale, to purchase, to preparation, to being served. And to think of being able to afford the purchases, have someone care enough to prepare the foods and have a home in which to enjoy your meal. How about thinking about the blessing of a healthy body to experience the senses of smell and taste and to be able to chew and digest the food and convert it to energy? Where did the seed come from anyway?

We have so much to appreciate, but yet we have to be reminded, even COMMANDED, to say thank you!

Apparently we do. We are all so busy, that we frequently take the gift of food and our bodies for granted. It is even more egregious when we think of the food that might go to waste for any number of reasons. Do we give any thought to the fact that there is enough food on the planet so that no one should suffer from malnutrition or even go to bed hungry, yet hunger is a fact?

It is part of our faith to not only be grateful, to express appreciation, but to feed others as well…to be partners with God. Why not make a donation this week to Yad Ezra that helps feed our hungry here or perhaps another worthy organization in Israel like Yad Eliezer?

It is a curious thing in our faith that when we do things because we are commanded to do them, our actions are deemed more praiseworthy than if we act merely out of the goodness of our hearts. Why might that be?

This Shabbat we are privileged to learn with Rabbi Joey Krakoff. He will be teaching on this challenging concept of the commandments and the question of whether people feel themselves to be commanded in this day and age. We will answer the question: are the mitzvot suggestions or are they steadfast rules to be observed?

9:45 a.m. Come as you are. Stay as long as you like.

Shabbat Shalom,

Paul

I dedicate this week’s e-drash to the memory of my father, Bennie A. Magy, Bentziyon ben Avraham v’Elke z”l whose Yahrzeit is today, the 22nd of Av. It is hard to believe that it has been 26 years since his passing. His good qualities continue to inspire me.

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