Editor's note: Starting Saturday, the Daily Pilot will regularly publish The God Squad column by Rabbi Marc Gellman, who offers practical answers to questions about religion, faith and spirituality. "In Theory" will continue to be published on occasional Saturdays. Be sure to catch the Pilot's new "On Faith" column, which appears on the Sunday Forum page.
Q: I'm a Jewish woman and wonder if you can suggest something meaningful I can do when sitting next to a Christian silently saying grace before a meal. A Catholic friend crosses himself after grace. So far, I just remain silent and bow my head a little. I'm accustomed to Christian friends joining hands and collectively saying grace, but I'd never saw anyone say grace individually until I moved from the North to the South. Perhaps this is a Southern tradition. — J., via firstname.lastname@example.org
A: I think you're doing the right thing, but you could do more. Bowing your head is a respectful act, but you, too, should ask God's blessing on your meal. The idea of saying grace before meals is a way of inserting a measure of spiritual gratitude into our lives; none of us should take our food for granted.