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    Remember & bless God – Ekev

    family eating food lunch grubFrom this week’s portion we know that after eating we should bless God (Deut. 8:10).

    The rabbis apply logic to this command when they say that if we bless God after eating when we have already appeased our hunger pains, all the more so should we bless Him when we are hungry and have the food in front of us and are about to eat.

    Rabbi Baruch of Medzhiboz noted that many of the occasions to bless God have to do with eating and drinking. We bless God when we eat and drink; we also bless him by not eating and drinking on a fast day.

    Food and drink are basic actions that sustain a human being. For this we must obviously give thanks. When we obey the Divine command and refrain from food and drink, it reminds us how much we rely on His blessings.

    The ethic of eating and drinking doesn’t only apply when we ourselves eat but when we feed our animals. In fact we should feed our animals first before our own meals, because just as we rely on God so do the animals rely on us.

    This duty to our animals also arises from this week’s reading when the Torah tells us (Deut. 11:15), “I will provide grass in your field for your cattle and you shall eat” – i.e. first give the cattle their grass, then go on and eat your own meal.

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