Bentchers, Haggadot and Everything in Between
The Spiritual Journey of Food
The early Kabbalists broke the world down into four major components, We refer to them as Domem, Tzomeiach, Chai and Medaber. And learning the secret of these fundamentals unlocks the power of your Bencher.
Domeim means inanimate. It refers to all still and mineral contents. Tzomeiach is all of the vegetation and forests etc. Chai includes all sentient life. Medaber is a reference to the one truly speaking being: humankind.
The Chassidic masters explained that this hierarchy is crucial because once level feeds into, and is thereby elevated by the one above it. Minerals feed the vegetation which in turn feeds the animals. Man is responsible to humanely slaughter, eat and elevate animal life.
How is this done? By transforming the energy contained in the food, and directing it towards holiness. In more esoteric terms, all creations contain potential holiness waiting to be unleashed, this vital life force passes through each stage until it reaches the peak: A Jew who will return that holiness back to its source. That source is the carrying out of God’s will in the world.
But there’s a catch…
Under Lock and Key
In order to fully maximize the latent potential in food, it must undergo prerequisite spiritual preparation. This is accomplished through blessing the food, known as making a Bracha. The Brachos made before and after food are a formal declaration of a divine intention behind the consumption. It is the anthem that revolutionizes a mundane activity, restaging it as another step in a universe achieving its perfection.
Your Bencher contains the Bentching with additions for every scenario and so much more.
On a Similar Note
So we’ve learned that the Bentcher is about tracing the spiritual journey of food, and how it leaves its lowest form, frees itself of its earthly bounds and becomes infused with holiness. This entire process is reminiscent of the Holiday of Pesach, or Passover, when the Jews themselves left from the lowest possible spiritual state and began a journey to their spiritual rectification at Sinai.
The Hagadah tells this story. And for good reason it’s the most printed and commented upon book in all of Jewish scholarship. When Pesach is commemorated, the family gathers together for the Seder, where the story is told. Haggadas are collected and passed on from generation to generation, with each family slowly crafting its own unique style based on the variety of influences gathered over time.
So Much to Choose!
There are so many kinds of Haggadot to choose from. Each sect of Judaism has a score of representatives. There are those that fully expound the technical and Halachic aspects of the Seder, while others look for practical messages that we can apply to our lives. Others focus on the storytelling aspect of this night and collect the various miraculous details that make the story truly epic.
It is important that the night be conducted through question and answer. In this way curiosity is piqued and the interest and attention of the children is held.
Check out our selection of beautiful Haggadot,Bentchers, now.