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True Thanks

By: Rav Ari Shvat

We learn in the parsha about the mitzvah of benching after meals (Dvarim 8, 10), “V’achalta v’savata u'verachta et Hashem Elokecha al haAretz haTova asher natan lach”, “And you shall eat, and you shall be satisfied and you shall bless Hashem your God on the great Land that He has given you”. Chazal teach us (Brachot 48b) that one who forgot to mention in benching thanks for Eretz Yisrael, has not fulfilled his requirement and must go back and bench again. The Mishna Brura (187, 6) points out that thanking Hashem for the Eretz chemda tova urchava, for the beloved great and large Land of Israel, is the main point of the second bracha of benching.

In addition, R. David Nito (years ago), in his sefer the Second Kuzari (3, 96), learns from the pshat of this pasuk the obligation to sing Hallel and thank God when He gives us the Land of Israel (“bless Hashem your God on the great Land that He has given you”).

Accordingly, every time we bench, we must have in mind that thanks for the State of Israel, that ownership that Hashem has returned to Am Yisrael after 2,000 years.

But just as when one receives a gift, and just stashes it away and doesn’t use it, it shows a lack of appreciation, if we truly thank and appreciate the Land of Israel, as we say in benching, we should want to live here, and take advantage of the gift. If you think about it, why should Hashem grant us other gifts and answer our other tfilot, if we don’t even use or really appreciate the previous priceless gift?

How much more so, so soon after the week of Tish’a B’Av, when we mourned for losing Yerushalayim, we must also not forget to thank Hashem for returning Yerushalayim to us, by taking advantage of it, by living here! Accordingly, that appreciation will open the door to receive the rest of the gifts and the rest of the ge’ula as well!

Lehitra’ot Ba'Aretz!

Rav Ari Shvat




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