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Grace After Meals

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Introduction

Grace after Meals a) Explain the importance for Jews of Grace after Meals. b) Explain how the blessings which you have studied might influence a Jews' attitude towards people who live in poverty. c) 'Saying "thank you" to God is the most important duty for a Jew.' Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. Explain the importance for Jews of Grace after Meals. It is important to say Grace after Meals because we are showing how grateful we are to God. We thank him for the nourishment he provides us, the land of Israel, freedom, the Torah, and many other miracles he has done for us. Although we work practically our whole lives earning money to provide us with food, the food is only available to buy because it has been sent by God Himself and so it is vital that we show our appreciation for this. ...read more.

Middle

Samson H. Hirsch says, "The verse doesn't say that a righteous person will never be hungry. It just says that a righteous person will never be forsaken." This is true - God has given us the food for everyone, he has provided the nourishment that will feed everyone, but now it is our responsibility to distribute it. The blessing will make Jews feel pity towards people living in poverty. It will influence Jews not to just disregard people living in poverty, but instead change their attitude so they see people in poverty need food therefore they should be trying to help by giving tzedakah. God makes it our duty to hand out the food to people in poverty, and so if God still cares about them, then so should we, so Jews will start to care for them more, helping with charities, etc. The Torah tells us to give food to anyone that says they need - that includes everyone. We are told we're not allowed to check whether they're lying or not, we must just give the food. ...read more.

Conclusion

Actually doing what you're thanking God for or appreciating it is much more valuable than thanking God. Jews have lots of duties to fulfil - saying "thank you" is certainly not priority. For example, God tells us to give charity - and so giving to charity, and helping people that are in need, is much more important than thanking God for telling us to give charity. Alternatively, people could say thanking God is the most important thing because He has given you the opportunity to live, and more importantly, live in his creation. He's given you the Torah and everything you will need (such as the food mentioned in the blessing). Many Jews will believe also, that if we do not give our appreciation to God, he will regard it as if we are arrogant and we aren't recognising how much He has actually done. In conclusion, I think that saying "thank you" to God is not the most important duty for a Jew, and that there are many other things God would prefer us to do before thanking him. ...read more.

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