Thursday, June 14, 2012

Choosing not


A leftover passover thought:

On passover we demonstrate our freedom by giving up bread. Freedom, in this sense, is the ability to choose not to do something. I generally think of freedom as either freedom to or freedom from: freedom to do something I want to do or freedom from oppression or tyranny. This is a twist, I freely choose not to do something I want to do.

Things that we desire have a certain power and hold over us. When we keep ourselves from them, we demonstrate our power over them and free ourselves from them.

Bread has been a mainstay of our diet for thousands of years. Keeping it at arms length for a week keeps it in perspective. Perhaps next pesach, I'll have to look for other foods in my diet that I crave and see if I can take a break from them for a week.

Food is nourishment. It has a direct correlation to yetzer harah and yetzer hatov, the inclination to self-nourishment and the inclination to self-destruction. Taking a break from the foods we crave can help us learn which foods nourish us and which destroy us. By choosing not to eat something, we take back it's power over us and find our freedom.

Photo courtesy of Petitplat