It’s somewhat shameful to admit, but I am far more careful with making blessings before eating food than after.

I would never bite into a sandwich without first washing my hands for bread and I’ve been conditioned to never put food in my mouth before making a brachah. However, after fressing, I sometimes forget. You know how it is: you jump up from the table to fetch something, get distracted and don’t remember your religious responsibilities until it’s too late. Embarrassing, but true.

From the perspective of Jewish Law the grace after meals is far more important than the blessings before eating. The Torah tells us, “and you will eat and be sated, and you shall bless the Lord, your G‑d (Ekev 8:10).” Biblical Law only really commands us to bless once we’ve eaten and been satisfied, and it was the rabbis who added the command to give thanks in advance.

On reflection, this makes sense. When we’re hungry we generally have no difficulty remembering G‑d; when we need things from Him, we always remember to ask. However, it’s vitally important to bless G‑d afterwards too.

When things are going well; when we’ve eaten already and are sated, are we just as mindful then of our responsibilities to our Creator? The true measure of maturity is when we thank G‑d after eating, demonstrating gratitude and appreciation for the gifts we have received.