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על הניסים בימי הודיה לאומיים | Al Hanissim supplement for the Birkat Hamazon and Amidah on all Secular/National Days of Gratitude by Aharon Varady

3 comments to על הניסים בימי הודיה לאומיים | Al Hanissim supplement for the Birkat Hamazon and Amidah on all Secular/National Days of Gratitude by Aharon Varady

  • Over on the Open Siddur Project Facebook discussion group, Rabbi Simcha Burstyn offered this adaptation:

    דאגנו שנהיה לחגבים בעיני ענקים. אבל אם לך הָאָרֶץ וּמְלֹואָהּ תֵּבֵל וְיֹשְׁבֵי בָֽהּ, ואם זכות היא לנו להיוולד מהארץ עם האחריות לְעׇבְדָהּ וּלְשׇׁמְרָֽהּ, ואם קול דמי אחינו זועקת מארץ רווית ריב ומדון, אזי מה לנו לבכות חרישית דמעות של תודה על השפע והמקלט שמצאנו בה?! ברוך השופע על הארץ לקיימנו מטובו.‏

    Our fear was that we would be grasshoppers in the eyes of Giants. But if the earth is Yours and the fullness thereof, the world and all that dwell in it, and if we are lucky to be born from the earth with the responsibility to till it and tend it, and if the voice of our siblings cries out from soil that is soaked in enmity and violence, then what are we doing crying quiet tears of thanks for the bounty and sanctuary we find in it?! Blessed is the one who pours out goodness on the earth to sustain us.

  • E

    I like the expression of gratitude regarding the earth with its universal implications, but only as a symbol. Preservation of the earth is an important Jewish value, though the central project of Judaism has been the redemption of the world, and I think, that should be the continued central project. I do not think a universal human identity is desirable. Humans are born into relationship with other humans in very particular ways, that are human. This diversity is a beautiful thing. All good societies recognize the humanity in those outside the tribe. A human identity outside of a particular cultural context is an abstraction. .

  • The purpose of the Birkat Hamazon –and all of the blessings after foods– is to sanctify the experience of feeling satiated and therefore necessitates some mindful practice that might ward-off a great danger: the self-satisfying delusion that the bounty one has enjoyed was brought into being through one’s own effort, and wasn’t rather the result of a complex tapestry of interrelationships interwoven with the spirit of all life. We bless after we eat lest we forget this.

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