Israel Stories

Friday, September 02, 2005

Food for the Soul

A wise man once said give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, give him religion and he’ll starve praying for fish.

I have just joined a gym, thought it was time I started to reawaken those muscles that have lain dormant since my very formative years. You know what they say healthy body, healthy mind, well I’m in training so my mind can be as quick as my 3 and 5 year old daughters.

My target is not so much a new weight as seeing if I can fit into my wedding suit and seeing if can run upstairs in my house without needing a lie down. Along with my new exercise regime is a diet consisting of everything my wife thinks is good for me. Everything I think is good for me is now hidden in the car.

Shabbat has always been a problem, too many temptations and no gym. I feel obligated to eat as much food as my wife cooks, trouble is I get into trouble whatever I do. If I eat too much I get reminded of my exercise and diet regime, if I don’t eat so much I get the old ‘what’s wrong with my food?”.

So moderation is the name of the game. I moderately diet, I moderately exercise and I more than moderately eat.

Our religion is built around food. Nowhere in our vast literature, for example, does it mention any festive customs related to exercise. Its all eat, eat, eat. We don’t have to do ten sit ups in memory of the ten plagues, run on the treadmill for 40 minutes in memory of the 40 years wondering in the desert and I haven’t found a reference to spinning related to the laws of Succot.

My favorite reference, which I quote quite often to my wife is regarding Kashrut. There is no reason given for eating kosher food. It may have subsequently been proven to be healthier but the fact remains it’s a Chok, a law with a hidden reason. But I heard from a reliable source that keeping kosher is not so much a physical exercise but a spiritual exercise. Keeping kosher is good for the soul and our spirituality. So I reckon the more kosher food you eat the more spiritual you’ll become. Needless to say my doctor wife is not impressed with that hypothesis.

About a month ago we attended a large Kiddush. It was a double simcha, a new baby and a bar mitzvah. There were hundreds of people their including a lot of the areas dignitaries and some famous Rabbonim. One Rabbi actually is a member of my gym, so I went over to talk to him and introduce my wife, Tanya..

After a few minutes of chatting we turned to a nearby table to refill our plates, yes it was that type of Kiddush. Before he filled a plate of cholent for himself he took my plate. Slightly embarrassed I turned to Tanya who was giving me disapproving looks. He must have noticed and turned to Tanya, “I have it on very good authority that on Shabbat you don’t put on weight, eating on Shabbat is good for the soul.”

Who am I to refuse the words of a Rabbi.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home