In our Torah portion this week,
Eikev, we find several passages that are used in
Birkhat HaMazon, the blessing that tradition encourages us to recite after we eat. One of the lines that I find to be the most meaningful is Deuteronomy 8:3, when we read that "man cannot be sustained by bread alone." If that is the case, then what is it that sustains us?
Many Chasidic masters think that the verse serves to differentiate between physical sustenance, and spiritual sustenance. At times we get so wrapped up in putting food on the table, that we forget to enjoy the company around the table. Yes we need physical sustenance, but we also need the sustenance of family, of friends, of community. We need food for our souls.
Which is why it is my hope and prayer this Shabbat and beyond, that we not only take the time to enjoy the physical gifts in our lives, but we also take time to nourish our spirits. Whether in
shul at services, at home with our families, or taking a hike in nature on our own, there are many ways that we find nourishment. May we all find ways to sustain ourselves, to satiate our physical and spiritual hungers, bringing us closer to each other, Jewish community, and to God.