The Torah this week sets forth the promise that the Israelites will enter the Promised Land, “and you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the Lord your God”.
Our sages tell us that “it is forbidden to enjoy the fruits of this world without pronouncing a blessing, and whosoever derives such enjoyment without uttering a blessing has committed a trespass”. They are reminding us that appreciation and gratitude are crucial, not only to Jewish life, but to life in general.
We who are so richly blessed in so many ways, how often do we fail to express any appreciation for the blessings of our lives.
Surely God does not need our blessings. We, however, do need to utter those blessings, whether aloud or silently. For they represent expressions of gratitude from our hearts and thanksgiving on our lips for so much that we tend to take for granted.
I like the observation that “we can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures”.
I wish you Shabbat Shalom and hope to see you tonight.
Rabbi David Greenberg