Develop yourself to the best of your ability
G-d provided manna, heavenly food, to nourish the Israelites during their desert travels. According the the Midrash Tanchuma, the manna tasted like whatever food you were thinking of.
A student once asked the Chafetz Chaim what the manna would taste like if you weren’t thinking of anything. The sage promptly said: If you’re not thinking of anything, it has no taste! And in truth, anything we don’t do mindfully is not a real experience and lacks taste.
According to Rav Tzadok HaCohen of Lublin, in his Pri Tzadik, the primordial blunder of Adam and Eve in the Garden was not so much what they ate – but how they ate it. It was the mindless eating of the tree’s fruit. We are supposed to eat consciously, realizing that the food and its taste come to us as a gift from the Almighty. Adam and Eve alienation from G-d stemmed from their consumption simply for the physical pleasure. They ate in a way that disconnected them from the source of the food.
Our Shabbat meals are an especially appropriate opportunity to rectify this error and to focus our attention to eat mindfully.
By Rabbi Michael Skobac
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