Mazal Tov!

I take this opportunity in wishing the entire Sterling and Levitan families a joyous “Mazal Tov” on the occasion of Yishaya’s Bar Mitzvah in Shule this weekend. In addition to his parents and family, I know that many of us will also be gaining Nachat, as so many in our community have come to know Yishaya every week in Shule where he has been frequenting with his family from a very young age. Yishaya has truly become a valued young member of our Shule and I know, he will contribute so much to the Jewish people in the many years to come. Mazal Tov!

Unfortunately, it has happened to me more than once. Yes, I am ashamed to admit it. While I have been conditioned to always say a blessing before placing anything into my mouth, on the odd occasion, I may slip up and forget to say the after blessing. You know how it is, you sit down for a meal and then the phone goes or you remember that email that you haven’t responded to… and before you know it, you are occupied with other matters or out the door onto the next chore!

Yet the grace after meals, birkat hamazon, is actually more important than the blessings recited before eating. Over Shabbat we will read some of the most beautiful descriptions about the Land of Israel and the good that will come to the People of Israel if they listen to G-ds commands. After describing the delicious fruits that the land will bear and the prosperity that the people will enjoy, we are told: “You will eat, and you will be satisfied, and you will bless Hashem your G-d for the good land that He has given you” (Devarim 8:10). It’s from the precise order of these words that we learn the Biblical command to offer words of blessing and thanksgiving to G-d specifically after we have eaten our share and satisfied our cravings. It was the Rabbis who then came along and added an additional command –  to give a blessing in advance. 

If we reflect on this for a while, it actually makes perfect sense. Often when we are hungry, or lacking something, we have no difficulty in remembering G-d and calling out for help. Yet what happens when our figurative ‘stomaches are full’ and things are going really well? When we are earning a good living and everyone is healthy in our family, will we remember G-d then? This is perhaps one reason, why I believe the Torah is deliberate in it’s wording of eating, being satisfied and then blessing G-d. Because the true test of spiritual maturity is when we remember to thank G-d after we eat and, thereby demonstrating our gratitude and appreciation for the many gifts that we are so fortunate to receive. 

Let us never take for granted the times of joy, blessing and prosperity and may we only know of many smachot to come. 

City2Surf – Running in honour of Dalia Isman OBM

We had wonderful attendances at all four of our pre race training sessions and I take this opportunity to wish everyone entering the race on Sunday “Hatzlacha Raba” – best of luck!! Please remember to wear your pink socks and take part in whatever way you wish, i.e, walk, jog or run. We will be meeting after the race at Savion for lunch and social between 12pm and 1pm so please join us there! And please support our cause in memory of beloved Dalia Isman by donating to our fundraising page (the Mcgrath Foundation) at the following link

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman