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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Eikev (July 27, 2013)
by Saul Kaiserman

THIS WEEK’S TORAH PORTION includes the text that is the biblical source for Birkat HaMazon, the grace after meals. The commandment to bless after eating appears in Deuteronomy 8:10, where God instructs Moses to tell the people, “When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.” This phrase, later included as part of the second paragraph of Birkat HaMazon, here in context appears to be no more than a general injunction to appreciate God's generosity in times of prosperity. Nevertheless, the Talmud (Ber. 48b) cites this passage not only as the scriptural basis for the institution of Birkat HaMazon but also for its wording and for the sequence of its paragraphs.

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