Sacred Time: Soul Food – Shevat 4

Sacred Time

Shevat 4

 Soul Food

 “The tzaddik eats to satisfy his soul.” (Mishlei 13:25)

 “If a person finds that his food has no flavor to him, it is because he is disconnected from G-d.” (Sefer Hamiddot)

The sense and behavior associated with the month of Shevat is taste and eating. There is an obvious connection between the mazal or astrological sign of the month and eating, because the dli–literally, the “water pail”–is a vessel whose essential nature is its ability to receive. As we’ve already seen, its spiritual expression is seen best when a person makes him or herself into a vessel for receiving and then sharing the waters of Torah. But there are other ways for the dli to receive, which also allow us to access G-dliness.

We’ve learned that the Hebrew letter associated with the month is the tzaddik, which is representative of–among other things–the tzaddik himself, i.e. the ideal righteous person who has fully realized his spiritual potential. One of the hallmarks of a tzaddik is his (or her) ability to sanctify the material experience and use it as a means of drawing closer to G-d. One of the most basic areas in which the tzaddik accomplishes this in the realm of eating. When we’re at our plate, we’re “up at the plate”–the experience of eating can either materialize us (literally, by adding to our physical substance, and spiritually, by binding us more tightly to our search for physical pleasure); or it can spiritualize us, by filling us with gratitude to G-d, awareness of our dependence on our Creator, and the deep delight that comes from seeing how G-d’s goodness is expressed through material abundance.

“The tzaddik eats to satisfy his soul”–he eats for sake of bring joy and connection to his soul, not his body. And, as Rebbe Nachman makes clear, spiritualized eating doesn’t mean that we don’t taste our food; quite the contrary, we will taste it more, deeper, more delightfully, illuminated by the light of connection to G-d.

Author: Yehudis Golshevsky

Yehudis in her own words: When I first began learning Rebbe Nachman’s teachings with my husband and other teachers, I felt as though I had come home to the personal and vital relationship with G-d that I’d always sought. Today, a large part of my inspiration comes from helping other Jewish women discover their own spiritual potential through the meaningful teachings of Breslov Chassidut. Yehudis Golshevsky has been teaching Torah classes to women and working in Torah publishing for nearly twenty years. She’s a graduate of Yavne Teacher’s Seminary in Cleveland and holds a degree in Judaic Studies from SUNY at Buffalo. Currently, Yehudis is a contributor to and “Pathways”, the Breslov Research Institute’s weekly publication. Since 2006, she’s been taking women’s groups to Uman and other sites in Ukraine for prayer and study. Yehudis lives with her family in Jerusalem.

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