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September 1, 2022
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Before we’re taught by Deuteronomy 8:10 that we must bless
God for the food by which our appetites are satisfied,
we ought to bless Him for the land, implying that it is no less
responsible for all the food both providentially provide,
thanks to their partnership, which we appreciate is a great process
that’s no more supernatural than the Torah, and we’re told is not
in heaven but on earth. It’s a text we must interpret as did Moses,
its great prophetic guardian, who unraveled the un-Gordian knot
that binds it to the earth, although its source is high above it,
a combination like the one providing us with food,
for which we bless not only God to show how much we love it,

but earth, His partner, serving Him at a far lower altitude.

Deut. 8:7-10 states:

ז כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, מְבִיאֲךָ אֶל-אֶרֶץ טוֹבָה: אֶרֶץ, נַחֲלֵי מָיִם–עֲיָנֹת וּתְהֹמֹת, יֹצְאִים בַּבִּקְעָה וּבָהָר. 7 For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, springing forth in valleys and hills;
ח אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן; אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ. 8 a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey;
ט אֶרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר לֹא בְמִסְכֵּנֻת תֹּאכַל-בָּהּ לֶחֶם–לֹא-תֶחְסַר כֹּל, בָּהּ; אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲבָנֶיהָ בַרְזֶל, וּמֵהֲרָרֶיהָ תַּחְצֹב נְחֹשֶׁת. 9 a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
י וְאָכַלְתָּ, וְשָׂבָעְתָּ–וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, עַל-הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן-לָךְ. 10 And thou shalt eat and be satisfied, and bless the LORD thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.

Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored “Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel.” He can be reached at gershonhepner@gmail.com.

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