Pictures Tell: The Passover Haggadah Grace After Meals

Created in partnership with Josh Feinberg and Sara Wolkenfeld

Grace after Meal, Casablanca, Morocco, 2004 © Zion Ozeri

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַזָּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בְּטוּבוֹ בְּחֵן בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים, הוּא נוֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָּשָׂר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדוֹ. וּבְטוּבוֹ הַגָּדוֹל תָּמִיד לֹא חָסַר לָנוּ, וְאַל יֶחְסַר לָנוּ מָזוֹן לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. בַּעֲבוּר שְׁמוֹ הַגָּדוֹל, כִּי הוּא אֵל זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס לַכֹּל וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל, וּמֵכִין מָזוֹן לְכָל בְּרִיּוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who nourishes the entire world in His goodness, in grace, in kindness and in mercy; He gives bread to all flesh since His kindness endures forever. And in His great goodness, we have never lacked, and we will not lack nourishment forever and always, because of His great name. For He is a God that feeds and provides for all and does good to all and prepares nourishment for all of his creatures that he created. Blessed are You, Lord, who sustains all.

For Discussion:

  • What catches your eye in this photograph? What elements feature most prominently? How has the photographer highlighted these?

  • What do you notice about the boy? How would you describe the expression on the boy’s face? What does it convey?

  • Does the photograph influence your reading of the text for Grace After Meals? How?

For Further Reflection:

  • It is natural to feel full and satisfied after eating a meal. The Torah says that the next step, after feeling full and “satisfied,” is to bless the Source of that food. What do you think it means to be "satisfied"? Does it have to do with the quantity of food? Are there different ways to be satisfied? And why must you wait until you're satisfied to give thanks?

  • The Talmud uses the Biblical idea above as a springboard for the idea that one should also make a blessing before eating: If we know we should offer a blessing after eating, when we are content and satisfied, then obviously we should recite a blessing in that moment of hunger when we are happy to see our food but haven't eaten it yet! You can read the full discussion here. Which moment of mindfulness feels most important in your own spiritual life? Why? And why do we need both?

Tell Your Own Story:

Take a picture with this question in mind: When do you most appreciate food? What kinds of meals feel most spiritually nourishing in your life? After you take your photo, give it a caption. You can find some helpful photography tips here.