What would you answer if someone sincerely
asked you: “What is the need of all the myriads of Jewish laws and customs,
after all aren’t they just traditional rituals of our forefathers without much
significance for us now in the 20th century?” Let us use the
following paradigm to try to explain how so called “rituals” like (Kiddush) the
blessing of wine on the Shabbath and holidays, the washing of the hands and
saying the blessing over the (challot) bread have essential meaning and purpose
for all of us at all times.
Just as our bodies, minds and
emotions need vitamins, minerals and other necessary nutrients from the food we
eat for nourishment, so also to maintain the “health” of our souls we need to
be nourished from the spiritual “nutrients” that are encased within that very
same food we consume. How can we therefore explain the concept of spiritual
nutrients and their absorption?
Just as the food needs to be healthy
and we need to have good digestion in order to benefit from the food we eat, so
also the spiritual essence of the food needs to be healthy – which means to us
kosher – and we need to have good “digestion” at the spiritual level in order
to “absorb and assimilate – ie. – benefit – from what we consume.
Therefore the question is: What is it
that we need to do in order to allow the spiritual components in the food to
become available for us? Just like in order to be able to enter and benefit
from the use of your home, if it has a combination lock, you need to first
press all the right buttons in the right order, so also in order to open up the
“pathway” of spiritual “absorption” we need to follow the precise spiritual “combination
codes” in order to access the “soul nutrients” within the food we eat. This means
that every detail of our laws and customs are not just rituals but are essential
steps that “unlock” thereby making available the spiritual value imbedded with
the food we eat.
even though we are the ones who say the blessings, it is actually us who are the
recipients of those very same boundless blessings that are channeled back to us
when we live our lives according to our holy Torah.
All articles appearing on this blog are copyrighted by Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin Falk. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to share/download/copy this information as long as it is accompanied by the copyright. Separately authored/copyrighted materia