Brachot 35 - Why say a blessing?
Before eating the fruits of the tree, one must say "Blessed is the One Who creates the fruit of the tree." Why? - In describing the fourth year of a tree, the Torah said " Holy for praises to God ." We thus see that one must say two praises to God, before food and after. But this phrase is used to teach the basic law of the fourth year!? True, so we can learn only one blessing from this phrase, said after eating, and derive the other one through logic: if he blesses when he is satisfied, surely he must bless when he is hungry!
But maybe the reason for saying blessings on grapes and wine is because they are brought on the Altar? And even if you say that the main factor is that they satisfy, what about meat, eggs, and fish, which are not even planted, like the vine?! Rather, the blessing is dictated by logic: a person should view the world around him as sacred, so that he is not permitted to derive benefit from it before he says a blessing.
Should one only study Torah, or should one also work for sustenance? In the school of Rabbi Ishmael they taught that since the Torah says both " This book of Torah shall never depart from your mouth " and " you will gather in your grain ," then one should do both. However, Rabbi Shimon asked, "If he sows and harvests and processes the grain, when does he study?" - rather, one should dedicate himself completely to Torah. Many followed Rabbi Ishmael and succeeded, tried to follow Rabbi Shimon, and did not succeed.
Art: Cornelis De Heem - Still life with wine and grapes