Eating While Fasting
All Shabbats and holidays are marked by feasting. Indeed, eating a festive and pleasurable meal is a mitzvah in celebrating the day.
So why is the holiest day of the year, which is called Shabbat Shabbaton, marked by fasting and affliction, instead of feasting in heavenly delight? If we celebrate Shabbat with special meals, how much more so should we do that on the Shabbat of all Shabbats?
This question is even more pronounced this year, when Yom Kippur coincides with Shabbat: Why does the affliction of Yom Kippur supersede the pleasure of Shabbat?
A heart wrenching story of a cynical Jew giving his life to sanctify G-d’s name on Yom Kippur, and a novel interpretation in Noam Megadim from Rabbi Eliezer Halevi Horowitz, a student of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk – answers this question and teaches us a life-changing lesson in serving G-d: what is true pleasure and what is true affliction.
By appreciating the essence of Yom Kippur and the essence of a Jew, we discover that we can digest something deeper when we are not digesting food.
Sometimes a fast is greater than a feast. And we first need to fast in order to truly appreciate a feast.