Before We Eat: A Thank You Prayer

Jacque­line Jules; Melis­sa Iwai, illus.
  • Review
By – September 9, 2011
The ten words of the bless­ing on bread, HaMotzi, con­vey pro­found mean­ing and grat­i­tude. With fifty-one words and adorable col­or illus­tra­tions, the youngest read­ers are intro­duced to these con­cepts. Although we are hun­gry, we thank God before we eat. We appre­ci­ate that good food, a home, a fam­i­ly, are gifts that God has giv­en me.” A beau­ti­ful dou­ble spread of a wheat field shows the source of grain for the bread, and a translit­er­a­tion will help with the Hebrew pro­nun­ci­a­tion. While the Hebrew bless­ing trans­lates to Who takes bread out of the earth,” a more acces­si­ble Thank you God, for the bless­ing of bread, and for the meal which we will now enjoy” accom­pa­nies the translit­er­a­tion. Sim­ple rhymes and clear pic­tures are appro­pri­ate for the board book for­mat. The verse can be eas­i­ly mem­o­rized and used at home as well as in school. This book is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for pre-read­ers up to age three, and one hopes for a com­pan­ion After We Eat about grace after meals (Birkat HaMa­zon).
Kathe Pinchuck, M.L.I.S., is the librar­i­an of Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Sholom in Tea­neck, New Jer­sey. She is cur­rent­ly the chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries.

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