Shir Ha-Ma'alot #10

Third blessing of the Birkat Ha-Mazon

"David and Shlomo established the blessing of building Jerusalem" (Berachot 48b). What is the connection between a meal and building Jerusalem? Maran Ha-Rav Avraham Yitzhak Ha-Cohain Kook, explained that the act of eating cannot be reduced to the physical existence of the individual, and even to the building up of strength in order to build his Nation and his Land and to wage war for their sake; rather the higher goal needs to be the spiritual building of the Nation of Israel, which is defined by one word: Jerusalem! "David established the blessing of ‘Israel your Nation and of Jerusalem your City,’ and Shlomo established ‘On this great and holy House’" (ibid. pp. 364-365).