Friday, August 19, 2011


"And you ate and were satiated and you blessed Hashem your G-d."

Rav Shlomo of Karlin once remarked that the verse juxtaposes statiation of hunger with blessings because, the real truth is that one is ultimately truly satiated from the blessings recited after the meal than from the meal itself!

Rav Baruch of Mezibuz once declared: the verse says "Eat and be satisfied and then bless Hashem!" That is what the Torah commands. Some fools however, he explained, think that they can rise in holiness by only bettering their soul with elevated thoughts, and afflicting their bodies with constant fasts. Well I compare them to the drunken peasent who sits drinking himself into a stupor at the bar, while his horse is tied up starving in the cold outside!"

Once there was a chassid, a follower of Rebbe Elimelech, who worked
very hard to rise in chassidus (piety), Torah learning, and prayer. But the
Rebbe could tell that the man's appetite for food was still unconquered.
The Rebbe invited this chassid to come and eat breakfast with him. Of
course, the chassid was overjoyed at the privilege of eating together with
his Rebbe.

The chassid arrived to find that the table was set with only three items:
a loaf of rye bread, salt, and a knife.

They washed their hands and broke bread with the blessing hamotzi.
Before the Rebbe took another bite out of his slice, he began to mutter to
himself: "Melech, Melech, see how you eat! With what a detestable appetite
you eat! You chew the bread so that you could swallow the whole piece in
one shot. Your desire is greater than that of a beast…"

Then he retorted: "No, that's not really so. I am not eating out of greed,
but rather to satiate my hunger alone. If I don't eat, how will I learn Torah
or pray and serve my Creator? I am eating simply to restore my soul and
give it life." He then cut another slice and ate it.

Before he finished chewing and swallowing, the Rebbe muttered again:
"Melech, Melech, who do you think you're fooling! You say you are eating
only to be satiated and serve G-d. All your words are lies and falsehood!
How do you expect to save your soul with such false remarks? See for yourself
how your whole body and all its limbs are filled with animal desire. You
want to swallow the whole loaf at once! How dare you make up such lies
and say that you eat for the sake of Heaven," and other such remarks. Then
he retorted again, "No, no, I don't eat with desire. What can I do if I was
created as a physical being? I must give my body what it needs to survive;
otherwise it will not serve me. I cannot live without eating. I am not doing
it out of animal desire, but simply to give myself life." And he ate another

The guest was astonished and then brokenhearted when he heard the
Rebbe's inner debate. His heart melted at the Rebbe's rebuke of himself as
the chassid thought of his own inner desire for food. He could not move
from the remorse he felt and became still as a stone. The Rebbe saw the
chassid's anguish and saw that his medicine had been effective.

The Rebbe stopped eating and bentched, and the chassid finally fainted from his distress.
And from then on the chassid's level of piety increased until he ate
purely for the sake of Heaven for the rest of his days.
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page
some people stumble upon the truth, sadly most people pick themselves up and just keep on going
live the life you want, dont live the life that happens
ASK me about the monkey!