Finding wonder in even the simplest and most common of things is the first step in appreciating the land.
This mantra follows from the principle that humans are temporary tenants on the earth, not owners of it. Radical amazement is a form of thinking that goes beyond knowledge–its a constant attitude. It is one thing to understand science, history, math etc., but it’s another thing to be awestruck with the existence of how the world functions.
By studying and asking questions, we exhibit the will to wonder. In the Jewish tradition, every moment and each act can become an opportunity to feel wisdom in all things. We use blessings to provide an opportunity for us to “ask permission” to use, benefit, and take pleasure from what we find in the world.
According to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, “We are trained in maintaining our sense of wonder by uttering a prayer before the enjoyment of food. Each time we are about to drink a glass of water, we remind ourselves of the eternal mystery of creation.”