“Whenever possible, avoid eating in a hurry. Even at home, don’t gobble up your food. Eating is an act of holiness. It requires full presence of mind.”
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (Ukraine, 18th cent.)
Simple acts of cooking and eating can be special and intimate. Yet, they are often overlooked and hurried. In this issue, I reach into a variety of sources, from Hasidic teachings to Zen cooking instructions to personal experiences at a Thich Nhat Hahn monastery, to see how these essential daily activities can be turned into the opportunities for pleasure, contemplation, and even devotion.
Jewish food is as diverse as Jewish people. I, for instance, had never heard of, or tasted a challah until I turned 21. It simply wasn’t part of my family cuisine. Now, I like it, I enjoy it, but which challah? There is a crazy variety of challah-like bread used for Shabbat around the world, which is another story this month.
Concluding this food-themed issue is a scientific miracle of harvesting new dates from the seeds found in archaeological digs in the land of Israel.
Betey avon! / Bon appetit!