Moon Over Maui

A Jewish Mystical Journey through the Year

The Taste of Healing

Written By: Jueli Garfinkle - Feb• 14•12

If there were ever a time to be more aware of how and when and why you eat, do it for this final week of Shevat. Specifically, focus on the taste of your food, which, according to the Sefer Yetzirah, brings even deeper-levels of healing into the world—into ourselves—during this moon cycle.

Sarah Yehudit Schneider, a Kabbalist living in the Old City of Jerusalem, says that if everyone in the world ate with deliberate consciousness, the planetary shift would be so profound that the world would be healed of all suffering. Imagine!

Intention is to holiness like enzymes are to nutrition. If you eat a meal, but do not have the correct enzymes, the nutrients of the food just go right through you, without value. Similarly, if you perform a neutral act (such as eating) without proper intention, there is no value to it in its relation to healing the world.

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Even with the best of intentions, though, we forget what we are doing. And before we know it, entire meals are prepared, eaten, and finished. To shift toward greater consciousness:

  1. Slow down.
  2. Do your best to be intentional.
  3. Say a blessing before and after you eat any food. 
  4. Remember from where your food comes.

Another wonderful story about Reb Zusya (who’s death day was at the beginning of this moon cycle, Shevat 2, 1800)

“The holy way of the holy Rebbe Reb Zusya was that after the Morning Prayers he would not tell his servant to bring him something to eat; he would just say aloud, ‘Master of the World, Zusya is very hungry, please see that his meal is brought to him!” And when the servant heard this he knew to bring the food. … [One morning] the servants decided that they would not bring [Reb Zusya] anything to eat until he asked them explicitly. But that morning, on his way to the [ritual baths] before prayers on a rainy day, the rabbi had had an encounter with a crude visitor from out of town. This person, not knowing the rabbi (who was always dressed poorly), and thinking him to be just an old beggar, had, for a joke, pushed him off the sidewalk and into the mud. When he found out later that this was the holy rabbi, he immediately went to beg forgiveness—and took with him some liquor and cake as a token for the rabbi to taste after his prayers. Of course, he entered just when the rabbi called out, as always, for God to give him his food” (Jewish Spiritual Practices, p. 233).

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We are provided for. The level of our comfort and ease—especially when it comes to the availability of food and nourishment—is profound. This moon cycle, which ends next Wednesday at sundown, is an awe-inspiring opportunity to awaken ourselves to the blessings pouring from the heavens. And to practice, both the receiving of nutrition from the Divine, and our opportunity to return and raise those sparks of light even higher through our own participation and intention.

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One Comment

  1. Lee Lavi says:

    What a delicious post.
    Baruch Hashem in which in His goodness we live.

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