על פירות האילן אומר בורא פרי העץ
Over fruits of a tree, one says [the blessing], “…Who creates the fruit of the tree.” (1)
Once, saying a brachah — a blessing, a “Thank You” — before eating an orange, I suddenly realized that G-d had known which orange, of all the oranges in the world, would come to me, and from which tree. Of all the oranges that were growing at that time anywhere in the world, G-d had arranged for this one to come to me at this time. Rather than thanking G-d for creating oranges in general, I thanked G-d for having given me this particular orange, which I was eating in this particular place at this particular time.
When I later told this to Rabbi Kasriel Kastel, then the director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization, he added, “And G-d knew it before the beginning of Creation.”
The orange that had come to me had not come randomly at all.
Science, too, discovers again and again: there’s nothing random in the Universe:
“…the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation…His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” (2)
Nothing is random — even the most seemingly mundane events of our daily life.
But we go beyond science — beyond Newton and Einstein, as it were — when we recognize that “natural law” is an ongoing, intentional Divine activity. G-d isn’t separate in any way, at any time, from what has been created and is being recreated moment-to-moment.
Knowing this, what else could we feel except awe and gratitude (at the very least)?
It’s one reason why we say brachot — blessings — at all.
What thoughts increase your feelings of gratitude? (3)
What thoughts increase your awe?