When giving my Partners in Torah chavrusa an overview of Judaism, I explained that the role of the Jews is G-d awareness specialists. Our mission is to become more G-d aware through the performance of the mitzvos and to help the rest of the world increase their awareness through their mitzvos.
Before the destruction of the Second Temple, G-d’s presence was more palpable. But since the end of prophecy, G-d’s presence is no longer felt in the same way. One of the reasons the Men of the Great Assembly formulated the Brochos around that time, was to help us increase our G-d awareness as we live or daily lives.
Fast forward to 2006 and the situation has gotten worse. We are all the more distracted and many of us find it increasingly difficult to concentrate. Although we have a potential 100 G-d awareness moments a day, we often fumble them away by not taking the time and focus to say our Berachos properly.
Tomorrow night, March 4th, the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation is showing a video featuring Rabbi Jonathan Rietti and Rabbi Yechiel Spero titled “Attitude of Gratitude”, which will give us an opportunity to refresh our outlook on brochas. In the words of the CCHF:
When you say a brocha, you take a moment to unwrap each gift and turn to say thanks. Is’s not just a good character trait, it is the heart of being a Jew. Our very name Yehudi – comes from Hoda’a which means gratitude. A brocha is a fulfillment of our purpose as Jews.
So come on out Moetza’ei Shabbos to hear practical suggestions on how to pack those potent phrases with power and meaning. In Kew Garden Hills, the video is being show at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel (147-02 73rd Ave) at 8:30 PM. There is a $10 admission charge for adults and $8 for students. For the showings in your community check one of the Jewish News Weeklies.