Beyond Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Who doesn’t enjoy a decadent dessert? If we’re honest, we don’t get nearly as much pleasure from our learning or mitzvot. How can we change that?
Eating is fun. It’s one of the most pleasurable acts in life.
It’s a blessing from our Creator to enjoy the abundance to He gives His world for us to enjoy.
Like everything physical, the blessing is based on how you use it. We can only eat for so long, then our stomach gets full. If we eat too much, the body becomes sick. Even if you fill your stomach to the max, a day later it’s empty and you need another meal.
The effects are temporary.
Even the enjoyment has limits. The sensation of eating a slice of chocolate cake is incredible. Eating a second slice is fantastic. Come the third slice, you begin to feel heavy. Add a fourth slice, and what started out as a piece of paradise loses its taste.
The limits of the physical world are twofold:
- Doing the same thing too much transforms it from good to bad.
- Doing it improperly takes away its benefits.
Rabbi Lazer Brody said it straight: Most people in modern society ignore the fact that they’ve got a soul.
Spiritual eating is infinite. You can pray for an entire hour and get closer to Hashem. You can learn the same Mishnah 400 times and move mountains with your learning.
An act of kindness, like walking your kids to school every day, never wears you down. Your soul creates more and more angels to defend you in this world and the Next World.
The older the body gets, the more it wears down. The longer the soul is in this world, as long as you are doing mitzvot, the more vigor it adds as your life progresses.
Hashem can give a 93-year-old Sage the merit to stop an earthquake with his prayers.
Knowing this, that the benefits to the soul are greater than those to the body, why do we keep falling into the trap of focusing on what’s best for the body?
Without giving it any thought, the instinct is to feed our bodies.
We feed a lack like hunger, pain, or a headache right away. These sensations push their way to the forefront of our minds when they come. Even other things like physical pleasure force themselves to the front of the line.
Living in a world of physical temptation, tethered to devices dangling these “chocolate balls” right in front of us at all times, we get brainwashed into thinking everything we need is what we put into our hands.
It’s up to us to go beyond it.
Feeding the soul is greater than feeding the body. Every mitzvah we perform benefits us in this world and the Next World.
Our emotional wellbeing rests on our spiritual wellbeing. If Hashem is pleased with us, we are happy. We feel satisfied. Happiness is all around us and life is like the Garden of Eden.
If we fail to feed our soul, the hunger manifests itself in emotional disarray. We run the risk of soothing ourselves with overeating, television, frivolous entertainment, even worse.
This is the truth. Ultimately, we don’t need psychotherapy. We don’t need gadgets. We don’t need lots of money, tons of social media followers, or the latest fashions or celebs info on our Smartphones.
Now you know why they are so desperate to blind you to your own spirit!
Getting to this point in our lives requires spiritual eating, and lots of it!
It’s fun. Just like eating is fun. Only this type of eating you can do nonstop.
Give charity as often as you can. Pray every day. Strive to conquer the mitzvah of physical purity. Find something every day to thank Hashem for – health, family, livelihood, friends, even the cup of coffee your office gives you for free!
Set a minimum time for learning Torah every day. Smile at everyone you see.
Life is living in the Garden of Eden: There are thousands of different types of fruit to choose from and you can have all you want, whenever you want.
May you be written in the Book of Life for blessing, health, livelihood, happiness . . . and lots of spiritual sustenance.
B’tai Avon! בתיאבון
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David Ben Horin lives in Afula with his wife and children. Since moving to Israel in 2002, David has discovered Torah, writing hi-tech, hiking, coding ReactJS Apps, and hearing stories about the Land of Israel from anyone excited to tell them. Check him out on Highway 60 or email him your favorite Israel story at: firstname.lastname@example.org.