Rub a Dub Dub, Thanks for the Grub….

It’s a funny little line, but at bensching time growing up when we were amongst friends, we would jokingly say “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub, Yaaaaay God!” I am sure this falls way short of the grace after meals that we are supposed to say. It’s up there with making fun of the mezuman – “rubber tires never break” or “rub my thigh with a rake” – typically puerile stuff. My kids have tried it a time or two at the Shabbat table and gotten a lot of grief for it. It IS offensive AND inappropriate. Just because I said it in my not-so-misspent youth doesn’t make it right.

Lately I have been trying to improve myself, and instead of taking on something that I know I cannot keep to, I have decided to work on Brachot (blessings) and not using my mouth for foul language and Lashon Horah (evil speech, gossip).

My KoD is a wonderful inspiration on the Brachot front. I have never seen him bite into something or drink something without making the right bracha. It would never occur to him to forget. It is ingrained in him to thank God for everything he eats and drinks. I am an FFB (frum from birth) and have had brachot said around me forever. Yet, somehow, it does not occur to me a lot of the time. I wonder why this is. I will remind the boys to wash for bread, and bensch after. I will remind them to make all their brachot and when they come out of the bathroom I will nudge the little one to say that special bracha. But when it comes to me, I constantly forget. I am trying so hard to remember, and to be mindful. I find if I am mindful of everything I am doing, I am more likely to make a bracha. But sometimes in our helter skelter oh-so-busy lives, we shovel food in on the go, and do not stop to think.

How can I get myself to remember all the time? I asked the KoD how he does it. After all he is not an FFB and as an adult he had to train himself at some point. He told me that he doesn’t perceive it as a choice. You want to eat – you have to thank God first. It’s that simple. (Trust a man to be so logical!!) Sometimes I am not even sure which bracha I am supposed to say – but the kids seem to be knowledgeable on that front, and if not the KoD for sure knows.

So, do you have any tips and pointers for me?

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  1. mekubal says:

    Then answer the KOD gave is the same as the Ben Ish Hai, if you want to eat, you need to pay for the food, otherwise its theft. You pay the farmer with money. You pay HaShem with the Bracha. But I am a guy, so my mind is waffles not spaghetti.

  2. mrsmelissasg says:

    just poking in to hear the answers as this is something i have been working on as well!

  3. Ashleyroz says:

    On a side note… at least you didn’t grow up with my grandfather’s fabulous dinner prayer “Good bread, good meat, good God, Lets EAT!!”

    I win!

    Sorry, I have nothing of value to contribute but you reminded me of it.

  4. Mike S. says:

    1) It has been years since I learned the sugya (the relevant section of talmud) and I have forgotten whether it is the bracha before or after for which this applies but b’dieved (after the fact) “Rub a dub dub … ” actually fulfills the minimal requirement for one of the brachot . I think the first one (i.e the one before eating), but I am not sure.

    2) This is a hard mitzvah to do properly, because it is really about being constantly mindful of God. I find it helpful to sit for a minute or two after davening and focus on the need to remember God’s presence and bounty throughout the day or night. Perhaps others have different ways.

  5. G6 says:

    Can’t help you on the remembering front, but here’s help on knowing the right brocho….

    http://www.brochos.com/
    (the ultimate brochos database) ;)

  6. Otir says:

    Tips to remember, I believe, belong to behavior modification. You have to work on a strict program for at least twenty days (the time that it takes for a habit to get formed and the brain to treat it as natural).

    One of the ways to be mindful of something is to actually note it down. It will slow you down tremendously is your busy life and course of the day, but remember, you are doing this for only three weeks. It may be worth the mitzvah.

    Prepare a notebook or a spreadsheet and note down in advance your meals, leave room for all the snacking, and incidental eating and drinking that can occur in the meantime. Prepare a spot outside the bathroom with a card that would be a visual reminder, and a pencil. After you have said the bracha, just check.

    Stop the routine only after you have managed to not skip a day with good results.

    If it helps, I can commit to be a buddy to you, although I am not frum, I can commit myself to some additional brachot and support you. Let me know if it appeals to you or not at all.

  7. offthederech says:

    Rub a dub dub–that is hilarious!

    Thanks for the laugh.

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