There are time when I pray, the only words I want to utter are those of Tehillim/Psalms 145. So I grab my book of Tehillim and recite each word with intent , the intent that they are my own words to the Creator.
Tehillim 145 is the culmination of all the Tehillim wrapped up into one. There are 150 Tehillim and in Tehillim 145 in the Hebrew there are 150 words.
As I have mentioned many times I spent seven years studying to join the Jewish people. When the Creator showed me that was not His will for my life but to remain a ben Noach (Noahide – son of Noah, walking with the Creator in His Seven Laws) it was natural for me to turn to Tehillim 145 for my own prayers. Tehillim 145 plays an important part in Jewish life as they pray it three times a day.
In this blog I wanted to share with you my personal blessing before eating that I took from verses 15 &17 of this Tehillah.
“Blessed are You, Adon-ai, our G-d , King of the universe, Who provides us with our food at its proper time – Blessed are You, Adon-ai, Whose ways are righteous and Whose deeds are benevolent.”
This blessing is done in the form of all Jewish blessings. If one wants to learn all the different blessings over the various foods and pray them from a siddur, one is permitted as long as you do not feel that you are obligated to do so. Prayer is not one of our commandments but it is a natural out flow of the soul to connect with the Creator with words.
Jewish blessing begin with “Baruch ata…/Blessed are You”
The Hebrew word ‘baruch’ comes from the word ‘brecha’ which means ‘source’.
When we say in Hebrew, ‘Baruch ata’ or in English ‘Blessed are You’ we are saying that the Creator is the source of all blessing, like a stream that continually flows.
Lets take another look at the blessing, looking deeper into what we are really saying.
“You, Adon-ai, are the source of all Creation, You are our Creator, Who is King over all Your creation, You provide food in its proper time for those who look upon You with hope – And You, Adon-ai, the source, all Your ways are righteous and all Your deeds are merciful.”
The reason I added verse 17 as part of my blessing before eating is a constant emuna/faith reminder for me; that no matter what happens between each time I say the blessing, the Creator, Who is the source of all, is in control and all His ways are righteous and His deeds are benevolent, whether I understand them or not.
Source & Owner
With that being said, I want to bring up something for everyone to ponder. This is a carry over from my ten plus years of Jewish studies and interaction from my Jewish teachers along the way.
Since our blessing makes the statement that the Creator is the source of all things that makes Him also the owner of all things.
One of the most detailed commandments that has a lot of depth to it given to Bnei Noach i.e. mankind is the prohibition of theft. Here are the words of Rabbi Moshe Weiner on the topic of theft in his book The Divine Code Second Edition.
“The prohibition of theft is unique in that it affects almost every aspect of a person’s life, since humans are social beings who must deal with each other continuously, in buying, selling exchanging, etc. The focus of this commandment is to accept and honor another person, his needs, and his possessions.” pg. 562
If we are to be this carful with another as humans, then how much more, the Creator, Who is the one Who owns it all and distributes His bounty to whomever He wishes?
This is what I learned from one of my teachers – The Creator did not give us nor the Jewish nation a commandment to bless or give thanks for our food before we eat. There is a Torah command for Israel to give an after eating blessing but not a before. So why did our Sages teach us to say a blessing before eating? Even though the Creator has given us food to eat, we do not want to be presumptuous and appear that we are stealing from the Creator.
For me personally, I try my best before I eat anything even if I am grabbing a cookie from the jar or a glass of water, I try to have in mind that what I am about to partake of did not originate from me and to say a blessing or a quick thank you for providing it for me.
By the way this spills over into all other areas in life – as Rabbi Lazer Brody once asked – “When was the last time you thanked the Creator for your socks?”
It is a great blessing to bless the Creator for all He does for us in every moment of our life.
“Every day I will bless You, and I will laud Your Name forever and ever.”
Terry W. Hayes
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