Rabbi Elimelech, the Rabbi of Lizhensk, was widely recognized as a righteous, holy Jew and an accomplished scholar.

Once a young Torah scholar visited Rabbi Elimelech.

“Rabbi Elimelech,” began the visitor, “we are both scholars, well-versed in Jewish law. Yet you have far surpassed me in your level of saintliness. What do you possess that I lack?”

Rabbi Elimelech pointed to the bowl of fruit displayed before them on the table. “When you want to eat an apple, do you make a blessing to G‑d?”

“I certainly do!” the visiting rabbi answered.

“Ah – that’s the difference! You see, when you want to eat an apple, you make a blessing. When I want to make a blessing, I eat an apple.”


When we bless a friend, we wish him success. Can we do the same towards G‑d? Does G‑d lack something that our prayers can satisfy?

This story illustrates that blessings allow us to become close to the Creator of the world. Not only do we thank G‑d for His kindness by making a blessing, we are also elevated to a higher level of spiritual awareness.

The visiting rabbi used the blessing to thank G‑d for His material blessings, which is commendable. But Rabbi Elimelech used the blessing to connect to G‑d. The apple was merely a medium for this.

When the opportunity arises to make a blessing, we too can use it to increase our spiritual awareness. The more blessings that we make, the more we increase our awareness.

That’s the point of making a blessing. It is as if we do something for G‑d; we bring Him here on earth instead of relegating Him to the heavens.