Do you know what bentching is? It doesn’t mean that you have to lift weights when you pray. Bentching is a fancy name for the “Blessing After a Meal.” It is a mitzvah to say a blessing after you finish eating.
Eating is great – especially when you eat a big fat meal with bread, meat, vegetables, and dessert – and most people forget that eating is spiritual.
Really? Eating is spiritual?
Yes. Most people think that spirituality means fasting (anti-eating), praying, and meditating. And it is true. Fasting, praying, and meditating are spiritual.
But so is eating.
Eating a good meal – and really enjoying it – is one of the most spiritual things you can do. Spirituality is about getting closer to God. Enjoying God’s world – being aware of the blessing of His world – is one of the best ways to get close to Him. There are other ways, too. But can you think of anything better than eating a big, fat, juicy, amazing meal and enjoying it? I can’t.
But it isn’t easy. Sometimes the food is so good – or you are so hungry – that you only think about the eating and enjoying and forget about God and spirituality.
And that is the reason for bentching.
When you say a blessing after a meal, you take a moment to reflect and say, “Wow. I just had this amazing experience like eating. I just had cake. I just ate a hot dog. I love broccoli. And isn’t it great that I can live in a world where I can have pleasures like cake, hot dogs, and broccoli?”
Bentching forces you to remember that eating is spiritual too. Eating is as important as praying and fasting. For some people, it is probably more important.
So don’t forget to eat. Don’t forget to enjoy what you eat. Don’t forget that eating is a spiritual experience.
But if you do, don’t worry. The blessing after the meal will remind you.