What I learned from a chocolate chip cookie!

Amazing what you can learn from a chocolate chip cookie!

by Tzvi Fishman

Believe it or not, chocolate chip cookies were one of the things that made me realize that a Jew’s true place is in Israel. When I started to learn about Judaism in Hollywood, someone told me that a Jew has to say a blessing before and after eating, in order to thank God for the sustenance He gives us. This is one of the 613 commandments of the Torah, which we find in the Torah portion of “Ekev” – “When thou hast eaten and are satisfied, then thou shall bless the Lord thy God for the good Land that he has given thee,” (Devarim, 8:10).

For instance, after eating a chocolate chip cookie, one says the following:

“Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, for all of the nourishment and the produce of the field, and for the lovely and spacious Land which You didst grant to our forefathers as a heritage to eat of its fruit and enjoy its good gifts….”

My friend explained to me that the Land which God had given to our forefathers was the Land of Israel.

That’s strange, I thought. I mean, since I was in America, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to thank God for California, or for the wheat fields of Kansas? But that’s not what the blessing said. A Jew was to thank God for Eretz Yisrael. The blessing said we were, “to eat of its fruits and enjoy its good gifts.” That was funny, I reflected.

The blessing after eating cookies continues:

“Have mercy, Lord our God, on Israel Your nation, on Jerusalem Your city, on Zion the abode of Your majesty, on Your altar and on Your Temple.”

Hmm, I thought. That’s interesting too. Why didn’t it say, “Have mercy on America Your nation, on Los Angeles Your city, on Hollywood the abode of Your majesty, on MGM Studios and on Grauman’s Chinese Theater?”

The blessing after eating cookies continues:

“Rebuild the holy city of Jerusalem speedily in our days. Bring us there and gladden us with the restoration of our Land; may we eat of its fruit and enjoy its good gifts; may we bless you for it in holiness and purity.”

Wow! That was really a mindblower. I mean, be honest. Look what the blessing says. After eating some chocolate chip cookies in LA, or a slice of pizza in Toronto, a tortilla in Mexico City, or one of those big salty pretzels off a push cart in New York, we ask God to rebuild Jerusalem and to bring us to the Land of Israel! We ask God to make us happy “with the restoration of our Land.”

Wow, I thought. America isn’t my land. My Land is the LAND OF ISRAEL.

And if the message wasn’t clear, the end of the blessing repeated it again, “Blessed are You, O Lord, for the Land of Israel and for the food.”

All that I learned from a chocolate chip cookie!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Related Posts

What will the rebuilt Temple be like?

In the writings of the Kabbalists, we find a remarkable description of how the universe will look in the future, a world vastly changed from our current reality. All aspects of the universe will be elevated. Even the animals in that future era will be different; they will advance to the level of people nowadays (Sha’ar Hamitzvot of the Ari z”l).


The day will come when all nations will recognize the truth of our rights to the Temple Mount. All will know and recognize that the prophetic vision regarding this holy place — that “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations” — will only come to pass when this great and holy Temple will be established there, in the hands of its original, eternal owners, the people of Israel, God’s people from time immemorial. They and no other.


We are marching forward slowly towards the complete redemption. The purpose of that redemption is not to escape from Egypt or from the forty-ninth level of impurity, but to illuminate the whole world with the light of pure faith and to purge the Jewish People of all the alien traits whose stamp was left upon them during the dark exile.


“The Holy One Blessed be He gave three good gifts to Israel, and He gave them only through suffering.  They are: Torah, Eretz Yisrael, and the World to Come” (Berachot 5a).  By refusing to dwell in God’s chosen Land one does not just neglect one mitzvah in the Torah; he rejects a gift from God.