Beshalach: Fruit for Thought



From the way Jews complain about food in this week’s Torah portion you would think that nothing is more important in life.

“If only we had died… in Egypt! There at least we could sit by pots of meat and eat our fill of bread! But you had to bring us out to this desert, to kill the entire community by starvation.”

After 210 years of a genocide and oppression, the Jews had finally been freed from the harsh Egyptian rule. They witnessed G-d’s amazing wonders and miracles. And yet, all that pales in comparison to their main, immediate and most pressing concern: FOOD!

Do Jews have a “famine” gene that developed in response to the hungers we faced in our early history?! Sure, we need to eat, but what deeper significance is there in something as mundane as food?

The very meaning of food is what we consider today, on Tu B’Shvat (the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat) when we celebrate the bounty of the Promised Land, by partaking of its seven species – the seven fruits and grains singled out by the Torah as exemplars of Israel’s fertility: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

But why these seven?

To understand the answer, this sermon dissects the make-up of a human being and why food is so important to begin with. How the instinct for self-preservation and self-perpetuation – the animal part that must eat to live, the part that craves food – co-exists with and is nurtured by its divine component.

The sermon goes on to analyze the psycho-spiritual symbolism of the seven species we consume on Tu B’Shvat and the lessons we learn from the New Year of Trees, by discovering the “tree” and the “species” within ourselves.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Beshalach: Fruit for Thought”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Meaningful Life Center