36. You Bring Forth Bread from the Ground

One of the berachos (blessings) that we make on a regular basis is hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz, Hashem, I acknowledge that You are the One Who brings forth bread from the ground.

Now, if you think about that berachah, you should ask an obvious question: G-d does not bring forth bread from the ground. A farmer plants a seed and then he harvests it. He then ships that wheat over to the silo, it’s then sent to the mill, it’s then ground into flour, that flour is then sold to the bakery, the bakery then puts it in trucks, the trucks deliver it to the supermarket. If anything I should say hamotzi lechem min hasupermarket. But that’s not the nusach (wording) of the berachah. And the question is what did chazal (our sages) mean?

And I believe the answer is a fundamental lesson in emunah (belief). Understanding that Hashem created the world is very important, but understanding that Hashem still runs the world is far more important. Meaning to say that as Hashem makes the rain fall in its time and as Hashem decrees that there should be blight or pestilence or not, Hashem decrees that there should be market economies, Hashem decrees that there should be various things put into operation so that humanity should continue. Meaning to say that there are industries, that there are factories, that there is law and order is Hashem running the world. But the entire world is run by Hashem. And I have to recognize that from the mill to the trucker to the supermarket to everything that happens, Hashem is involved in all of it.

And when I pick up that slice of bread and I say hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz, I acknowledge the fact that Hashem, You are the Creator of the world, You made this wondrous thing called a seed that could bring forth wheat. But I also recognize the second stage, that You’re involved in the running of the world. Everything that happens, all of the economies, all of the industries, all of the inventions, all of the facts that there is in fact a method and a way for human beings to earn their living and bring it forth. When I eat that slice of bread I acknowledge Hashem as its Creator and that Hashem runs the world to bring this bread to me.