The Blessing of Eating Together
Psalm 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
詩篇 128:3 你妻子在你內室，好像多結果子的葡萄樹；你兒女圍繞你的桌子，如同橄欖樹苗。4 看哪，敬畏耶和華的人必要這樣蒙福！
Many families buy bigger houses and eat better food but spend less time eating together. Some modern homes have even eliminated the dining room, replacing it with a library, home office, den, or craft room. Whether in times of extreme busyness or relaxation, family members increasingly eat their meals in front of a TV or computer in their own rooms and on their own time schedule. No wonder our families are not as strong as they used to be. Interestingly, “a new analysis from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that students who do not regularly eat with their parents are significantly more likely to be truant at school.” (The Atlantic, “The Importance of Eating Together” July 18, 2014) Jewish families celebrate the Sabbath with a formal family meal together along with prayer and worship. The Sabbath dinner brings the family members together with one another and with God. A blessed man is not the one who can eat a sumptuous meal alone but is the one who can eat in harmony with his wife and children, because “better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.” (Proverbs 15:17)
許多家庭購買更大的房子，吃更好的食物，但在一起吃飯的時間卻更少了。一些現代的家庭設計甚至取消了飯廳，取而代之的是圖書館，家庭辦公室，書房或手工藝室。無論是在極端忙碌還是放鬆的時候，家庭成員都越來越多地在自己房間的電視和電腦前按自己的時間表吃飯。難怪我們的家庭不像以前那樣穩固。有趣的是，“經濟合作與發展組織（OECD）的一項新分析發現，不經常與父母一起吃飯的學生在學校逃學的可能性大大增加。” （The Atlantic，“一起吃飯的重要性”，2014年7月18日）猶太人的家庭在慶祝安息日的時候吃正式的晚餐，同時祈禱和崇拜。安息日晚餐使家庭成員彼此之間以及與上帝更緊密。一個有福的人不是一個人可以單獨吃一頓豐盛的飯，而是一個可以與他的妻子和孩子們同桌和諧吃飯的人，因為“有愛，吃素菜，強如相恨，吃肥牛。” （箴言15:17）