I had the opportunity to visit Camp Ramah Nyack, a Jewish day camp. What impressed me about camp was not only the Ruach (spirit) with which campers approached Israeli dancing and Jewish singing but also the gusto with which they recited Birkat HaMazon, the grace after meals. In Parashat Ekev, Bnai Yisrael are told that God will bless them with the fruits of the Land of Israel.
In order to remind Bnai Yisrael of their dependence on God, even in the midst of agricultural prosperity in this new land, the Parasha states: “And you shall eat and you shall be satisfied and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land God has given you” (Devarim 8:10). This verse serves as the biblical basis for Birkat HaMazon.
- Why do you think the Torah emphasizes thanking God for our food?
- Is it rewarding for you to give thanks after eating? Why or why not?