Shir Ha-Ma'alot #16

Fourth Blessing of the Bircat Ha-Mazon – Part 2

And one could ask further: what is the connection between the heroes of Beitar and the blessing after eating? We already mentioned in the name of Maran Ha-Rav Kook that "it is appropriate for a member of [the Nation of] Israel to realize the value of his personal food, because with it he places one stone in the building of the more communal and more exalted world" of the Nation of Israel, and with this, of the entire world, and through it he will realize "that he is sitting at the table before Hashem." This is in contrast to the wretched state of the Nation of Israel in Exile where one is capable of being seized by despair and fear lest he labor for naught. Our Sages' establishment of "Who is Good and Who Does Good" for the slain of Beitar therefore serves as a sign for all generations not to despair. Since the slain preserved their form, and "we are like those who are devoid of the power of life...but preserved within us is an amazing power of life," i.e. we are certain that we will arrive at our goal, "if it is very distant, it will surely come at its time" (Olat Re’eiyah vol. 1, pp. 365-367).