Part 4

The Temple and Birkas HaMazon

In the third blessing, we reference Jerusalem and the Beis HaMikdash (the Holy Temple). We need to understand what the connection of these two are to eating and to reciting Birkas HaMazon, and why these deserve a blessing on their own, and could not be included in the previous blessing, which referenced the land, the Torah, and bris milah, among other things. Why couldn’t we have added Jerusalem and the Temple to that list, and thereby saved an entire blessing, which now seems superfluous.

We will now begin a five-to-six-part series on Birkas HaMazon. We will be presenting a masterpiece written by Rabbi Shlomo Goldfinger, who has also authored very insightful s’farim on tefilah.

Expressing Our Relationships with Hashem Through Birkas HaMazon

Part 2

Miracles Hidden and Open

We may acquire a better understanding of the first blessing based on the words of the Ramban at the end of Parshas Bo. There he writes that, from the experience of the clearly obvious miracles that the Jewish people experienced in the Exodus and in their sojourn in the wilderness, we may discern the nature of hidden miracles, as well: namely, that everything is in fact miraculous, and represents the hand of Hashem guiding the world. For the most part, the miracles that occur in our experience are couched in the natural order, to the extent that one can come to rationalize and justify these occurrences as “the way of the world.” However, Hashem chose for a period of time to perform certain clearly miraculous acts, to facilitate our ability to see through the cover, to perceive various other phenomena as equally miraculous, even though their inner miraculous nature has been camouflaged.

It is very helpful to spend a few seconds before each tefilah thinking about the precious gift of being able to speak directly to Hashem (“Atah”): that He is listening to what we are about to say and think, and to remind ourselves of what Tefilah is really about.