הברכה הנאמרת קודם האכילה מבטאת את קבלת ההתחייבות שתוספת הכח שנזכה בה ע“י האכילה תנוצל לעבודת ה‘, ורק בזכות התחייבות זה נהיה ראויים לאכילה.
R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, Deut. 8:10
A Bracha said before partaking of any pleasure expresses the resolution that we will employ any renewed vital energy gained from this pleasure, to serve God’s purposes. Only if we make this resolution will we become worthy of enjoying that pleasure.
Rav Kook, Commentary on Tractate Berakhot
One must understand that all of the enjoyments in the world have not actualized their identities unless they are used for the type of enjoyment that leads to ethical happiness, which is the knowledge of God. Therefore, one who benefits from the world without making a blessing and uses these things solely for the purpose of physical enjoyment is changing the identity of these things. It is actually parallel to using that which is consecrated to God, because those are things which are poised to help a person achieve spiritual completion, and instead one is minimizing their value and using them for physical pleasure, by misappropriating them and changing their identity. The sin of me’ilah is fundamentally that of making a change...
Abraham Joshua Heschel, God In Search of Man, p.49
The sense for the “miracles which are daily with us,” the sense for the “continual marvels,” is the source of prayer. There is no worship, no music, no love, if we take for granted the blessings or defeats of living. No routine of the social, physical, or physiological order must dull our sense of surprise at the fact that there is a social, a physical, or a physiological order. We are trained in maintaining our sense of wonder by uttering a prayer before the enjoyment of food. Each time we are about to drink a glass of water, we remind ourselves of the eternal mystery of creation, “Blessed be Thou…by Whose word all things come into being.” A trivial act and a reference to the supreme miracle. Wishing to eat bread or fruit, to enjoy a pleasant fragrance or a cup of wine; on tasting fruit in season for the first time; on seeing a rainbow, or the ocean; or noticing trees when they blossom; on meeting a sage in Torah or in secular learning; on hearing good or bad tidings – we are taught to invoke His great name and our awareness of Him. Even on performing a physiological function we say “Blessed be Thou…who healest all flesh and doest wonders.”
This is one of the goals of the Jewish way of living: to experience commonplace deeds as spiritual adventures, to feel the hidden love and wisdom in all things.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement… get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.