A Simple Equation
I confess, before I opened up Degel Machaneh Ephraim this morning I fell into the "gotta" not the "getta" category.
Although I understood the explanations and read commentaries on the meaning of Birkas Hamazon, I still viewed it as an obligation rather than a privilege.
This morning that all changed when I saw the Degel's explanation. He wrote that quite simply bread is parnossa.
I know that to many of you who are more learned than myself that this does not sound like such a earth-shattering revelation. Well, it was enough to shatter my cognitive dissonance.
Making this connection between my livelihood and the bread that I eat finally helped me understand that by bentching after I eat bread helps to ensure that the channel of blessing that enables me to support my family is unobstructed.
This insight also helped me understand the "rationale" behind the prohibition of throwing bread (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 42:9), the disposal of left-over bread crumbs (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 42:11), and why it is important to follow the minhag of only eating Pas Yisroel bread during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 130:2).
Thanks to the Degel's simple equation, I view bread and bentching in a whole new light.
Now, you can count me in the "getta" category.