Home » JLife

Something More Than Food

Submitted by

Some people say that the difference between a human and an animal is the power of speech, others say it is consciousness, and, of course, others say that there are no differences. The Torah’s answer to this question is that only humans were made out of a combination of heaven and earth. In the creation of the first human being, God took earth, formed it, and then breathed a living spirit into it. This was Adam, the first human being.

Because of humankind’s unique combination of the physical and the spiritual, people have an obligation, and often an innate need, to elevate the world around them and thus strengthen their spiritual selves.

One way of elevating the mundane is to follow the advice of Rabbi Shimon: “If three people ate together at a table without speaking words of Torah, it is as if they had eaten of sacrifices offered to the dead…But if three are at a table and spoke words of Torah; it is as though they had eaten from the table of God” (Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers 3:3).

The need for food is the most basic physical drive for all creatures. But, there are several ways in which Jews elevate the eating process (kosher food, blessings before and after). Socializing over food is also a means of fulfilling a basic physical need. So when people add an element of “food for the soul,” they feed their spiritual selves as well.

“Speaking words of Torah” may seem a lofty aspiration or a daunting suggestion. Words of Torah, however, can be a conversation about an interesting Biblical story or a discussion of Jewish law (or even sharing something that appeared in Jewish Treats!).

Copyright © 2013 NJOP. All rights reserved.

Email this post Email this post
Bookmark and Share

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

2 + 6 =

Jmag Search
Search now! »
Please enter a zip code.


  • What costume do you find most attractive on a potential date?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...