By: Rabbi Mendy Wolf
There’s this funny thing about food. It seems that there is always something wrong with what we consume.
Numerous diets each advocate avoiding particular foods; what one considers beneficial is labeled “not allowed” by another. Often, a specific nutrient is necessary in moderate amounts, yet at the same time, harmful in greater quantities. Even health food seems to have its issues. We look for organic produce, yet if it isn’t sprayed with pesticides, it may just be infested! And of course, there’s what the children say about it: If it’s healthy, it can’t be tasty.
Can you imagine a food that is 100% wholesome and pure? Can you fathom the concept of a body absorbing everything it digests without having to discard any of it?
There was once such a food. They called it Mon (manna).
In this week’s Torah portion, Beha’alotcha, we read about the miraculous “Bread from Heaven” that the Jews received in the desert. The Mon looked like little crystals. It fell from the skies each night, and the following morning, each man could collect only his allotted share. The Mon could be prepared to taste like anything, and the people were completely satisfied. And in addition to all its other qualities, it had another miraculous property: As long as they were in the desert, the Jews did not need to eliminate; their systems absorbed the Mon completely.
The secret of the Mon’s purity lay in its name – “Bread from Heaven”. A product of this world is limited by it. Hence, as our world is a mixture of goodness and evil, everything it provides – including food – is tainted in some way. Nothing is completely beneficial. Nothing is absolutely perfect. But the Mon was not of this world. It came from G-d. And G-d is Ultimate Perfection; Ultimate Goodness; Ultimate Purity.
Having cravings for some Mon?
Unfortunately, it’s been discontinued. But there is something else you can get that has that same miraculous property. It is always available for you to collect, it nourishes the mind and soul, and it is 100% pure. All it can do is to bring more goodness to your life, because it comes from Heaven. It’s called Torah.
When one learns the Torah, he “ingests” G-d’s Wisdom. The Supernal Intellect is absorbed by one’s brain, infusing one with holiness, light and clarity. It sharpens the mind, refines the character, and elevates the soul. And the purity of Torah leaves no room for side effects like confusion or discomfort. Its infinity makes it immune to new theories that might argue against its value. One can never consume too much; on the contrary, if one displays undesirable symptoms, he would do well to ingest some more Torah.
So choose the diet that’s right for you. Eliminate white flour, sugar or saturated fats if you please. But make sure your food regimen includes a few large portions of Torah. Hearty appetite!
Rabbi Mendy Wolf is the educational director for the Institute of American & Talmudic Law, and the director for Project Life, an organization which promotes Jewish values throughout the business community in NYC. R’ Mendy is a sought after teacher and lecturer and resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and family. Contact Rabbi Mendy to book him to speak or with feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.