I sat waiting in the doctor’s office with my children. I watched them as they became totally engrossed in the toy trucks and games that were sprawled all over the waiting room. Suddenly, my son got up and started to walk towards the doctor’s offices. “Mommy, Mommy?” He had forgotten that I was right there, sitting behind him on the couch. “I’m right here, Avraham, I’m right here,” I reassured him. He flashed me a stunning smile, and we both laughed.

Sometimes, I feel like a robot Our Patriarch, Jacob, was forced to flee from his father’s home to avoid the wrath of his brother Esau. He was scared and alone. Jacob lay down to sleep and had a dream. There was a ladder with angels going up and angels going down. Suddenly, G‑d appeared in his dream and reassured him, “Jacob, I am here. I am with you wherever you go.”

My baby, she’s a nosher (snacker). At any time of the day, whether she’s hungry or whether she’s full, she will waddle over to me for a nosh. If I’m sitting, she pulls herself up on my lap and tugs at my shirt. If I’m standing, she tugs at my skirt. I know what she wants; she wants me to nurse her, she wants me to kiss her and comfort her. Sometimes, this snack only lasts a minute. It’s like her way of “checking in” to make sure that I’m still there and that I love her.

I have to tell you, I’m also a nosher—a prayer nosher and a blessing nosher—and I can’t tell you how much this keeps my sanity and enables me to get up the next morning to face a new day. I go through my routine, day after day, and sometimes I feel like a robot as I check off the activities on my list. “Make breakfast, feed kids, get everyone dressed, pack lunches, get everyone out the door, put baby down to nap, sit down to work, make lunch, iron shirts ... ” Like a pile of laundry, the list never ends. Then something happens to upset my perfect schedule, something outside of the neat list that I keep handy. A child gets a cold, I have a disagreement with a neighbor, a problem at work, a fight with a friend. I’m sitting in traffic, absolutely stuck, and I look up; it’s nosh time.

The snack isn’t about eating; it’s about knowing that I’m not alone “Um, excuse me, G‑d are you there? Can You help me out here?” I grab an apple and say a blessing on it before I take a bite. I nosh and I nosh, I check in and you know what? I feel better. I might be hungry, I might be full. The snack isn’t about eating; it’s about knowing that I’m not alone and that I’m being watched over.

Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely, G‑d is in this place and I did not know!”(Genesis 28:16) It was almost as though Jacob realized that he could connect to G‑d at any place and at any time, that G‑d is truly everywhere. Jews have a precious gift, the inherent ability to “nosh” at any time. Why do you think religious people say so many blessings? Why do you think Jews have so many commandments? Before eating and drinking, after eating and drinking, lighting Shabbat candles, lighting the menorah . . . the list goes on. Because it gives us a way to connect to G‑d to remember that He is here.