Rabbi Yosi opened [his discourse to explain the verse] and said, "and Bo'az ate and drank and his heart was merry [lit. 'benefited']". (Ruth 3:7) What does it mean, "and his heart benefited"? It means that he said the blessing over his food. And it was explained, and this is its secret, for whoever says the blessing after the meal, this benefits his heart. Who is [truly] benefited? [G‑d] as alluded to in, "to You I said: 'my heart' [calling G‑d: 'heart']" (Psalms 27:8) and "the firm strength, my heart" (Psalms 73:26) [G‑d is Israel's "heart".]

And since the blessing after the meal is favored by G‑d, whoever blesses when satiated, benefits and causes joy to another Place [to the Shechinah], as shown by the meals of Shabbat [which are composed of completely materialistic food]. For that other Place enjoys that satiation and its joy. Here [in this verse, on a weekday, for Bo'az was at work in his fields] the Shechinah took pleasure [only] from that blessing of satiation [that Boaz the righteous said]

What is the reason of this sign [i.e. that the Shechinah enjoys the blessing after the meal]? A man's food [i.e. his livelihood] is troublesome to G‑d. When he eats and drinks and then says the [after-]blessing, the blessing rises [up to the Shechinah] and She enjoys those words said by the satisfied man that rose up. So there is enjoyment from that food [that had been blessed, by the man] below and [by the Shechinah] Above [for bounty descends to him on this account] and this is a secret among the Colleagues [i.e. the disciples of Rebbe Shimon].

The mystery is that on weekdays, that Place [the Shechinah] derives enjoyment only from the words rising from satiation [meaning from the after-blessing of "Grace After Meals"]. And all the words are crowned, satiate and satisfy [the Shechinah] with joy, and that Place takes pleasure in them. On Shabbat it is another secret [for the Shechinah] enjoys the actual food and that joy in the food consumed to fulfill the Shabbat precept. She is totally included from high [from the after-blessing] and from low [from the food itself and its consumption in the honor of the Sabbath]. This is the secret of "for all things come of You, and of Your own hand have we given You". (I Chronicles 29:14) Assuredly this is Her enjoyment [the Shechinah's] and that joy of food eaten to fulfill the Shabbat precept as explained.

Whoever blesses G‑d [in Birkat Hamazon] when he is full, should have focus his heart and set his mind to bless with gladness and must not be sad. But he has to bless with joy in this secret, and direct his will that now he gives to Another, gladly and with a benevolent eye. And as he blesses gladly and with a benevolent eye, so he is given to gladly and with a benevolent eye, and therefore one will not be in sadness at all, but in gladness and with words of the Torah. And one should put his heart and will to bless with this secret, as necessary.

Here is a secret [concerning Birkat Hamazon]: four Chariots, in charge of the four directions and troops [of heavenly angels] are nourished by that blessing over satiety. And the Shechinah enjoys, grows and adorns Herself with the words "Blessed are You". And he who blesses, should do it willingly, joyously and with a benevolent eye.

Therefore it is written: "he that has a generous eye shall be blessed." (Proverbs 22:9) Here we ought to understand the verse ending, for it [continues and] says, "for he gives of his bread to the poor" (Ibid. 22:9) ['poor' referring to the Shechinah]. For if you do not say thus, this verse, its beginning is not [connected to] its end [appearing to say that he with a generous eye shall be blessed without giving anything to the poor], and its end is not [connected to] its beginning [appearing to say that only he who gives to the poor shall be blessed]. But 'benevolent eye' [means], as we said, he assuredly blesses gladly with a benign eye, and not for no reason does he joyously bless, for from that blessing and joy, "he gives of his bread to the poor," namely, to the Place which needs sustenance from all sides, a Place that has nothing to itself [i.e. the Shechinah] a Place that takes benefit from all sides [what it receives from Zeir Anpin] and is included on all sides. These words are told solely to the wise men who know the high mysteries and the ways of the Torah.

Come and see, Boaz had a benevolent eye. He was never impudent. What is written? "and he went to lie down at the end of the heap". (Ruth 3:7) This is the secret of "your belly is like a heap of wheat". (Song of Songs 7:3) From this I learned that whoever says the blessing over food properly, with joy, willingly, when he ascends from this world, a Place is prepared for him amidst the high secrets, in the Holy Chambers. Worthy is the man who observes the precepts of his Master, and knows their secret meanings, for many high secrets and high lights and radiances are suspended from each and every precept. And people do not know nor care for the glory of their Master. Worthy is the portion of the righteous who are occupied in the Torah. Worthy are they in this world and the World to Come.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: The Holy Arizal was fond of saying that he got to his high Place of connection and reception because of the devotion and joy he had in saying blessings of physical enjoyment. Think about that: because he recognized his creator and meditated with joy on the holy sparks present in the pleasure he received from eating, drinking, and the like, he was able to transcend worlds and fix that which needed tikkun.

And he said that so could we! A first step is to stop before we eat or drink anything to say a blessing. The next step is to contemplate what we are about to do. Then when we say the words with extreme appreciation/thankfulness, we think about what we are saying, how G‑d's presence is in the food or drink we are to consume. How we are now partnering with Him in returning His sparks of divinity that is in our meal. That this gives us joy to no end. And perhaps close your eyes with that first bite or sip. When you are finished, repeat the process with the appropriate after blessing. Done every time we consume, this is the first step on the road to acquiring the Divine Presence.

What does the above mean to you, and why is it being revealed to you now?

[Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries]