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The Liberties Of A People Never Were, Nor Ever Will Be, Secure,When The Transactions Of Their Rulers May Be Concealed From Them.

לא על הלחם "Not by Bread": The Jewish Approach To Carbs
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I found this while searching out calendar issue and found it very interesting:

The Torah gives us true guidance in preserving our bodies and souls. The holy books teach of the evils of carbohydrates. Keep your soul safe! Avoid bread, grains, and the simple carbohydrates, the sugars, from whatever source they may come. Dr. Atkins was right: Obesity punishes the sinful!

Eat No Bread!

Learn to do as the Aibishter commanded the Ish Elokim, the Man of G-d, לא תאכל לחם, "thou shalt eat no bread" (I Melakhim 13:17). Yerovam, the wicked king, pressed the Man of G-d to eat bread, and even told his wife to take on a journey ten loaves of bread and (icchhh!) a cake and (think not the thought!) a jar of honey ולקחת בידך עשרה לחם ונקדים ובקבק דבש (ibid. 14:3), and so was punished for his crime: הנני מביא רעה אל בית ירבעם והכרתי לירבעם משתין בקיר "behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Yerovam, and cut it off entirely" (ibid., v. 10). Pity that Man of G-d, who withstood the foul king's entreaties, but succumbed to the trickery of a false prophet and ate bread and so suffered his fate: יען כי מרית פי ה', ולא שמרת את המצוה אשר צוך ה' אלהיך, ותאכל לחם במקום אשר דבר אליך אל תאכל לחם, לא תבוא נבלתך אל קבר אבתיך. ויהי אחרי אכלו לחם וילך, וימצאהו אריה בדרך וימיתהו. ותהי נבלתו משלכת בדרך, "Forasmuch as thou hast rebelled against the word of the L-rd, and hast not kept the commandment which the L-rd thy G-d commanded thee, and hast eaten bread when He had said to thee: 'Eat no bread!', thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulcher of thy fathers . . . . And a lion met him by the way, and slew him; and his carcass was cast in the way" (ibid., 13:21-24).

Thus saith the L-rd: ולחם וקלי וכרמל לא תאכלו, עד עצם היום הזה. חקת עולם לדרתיכם בכל משבתיכם  "Ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched wheat, nor caramels (sugar-globs yechhh!). It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings" (Vayikra 23:14).

At the heart of the Adam's curse, the curse which follows us through the generations, was: תאכל לחם "Thou shalt eat bread" (Breishit 3:19). As it is written: לא על הלחם יחיה האדם "Not by bread may a man live" (Devarim 8:3).

Bread: Evil!

Bread is bloodshed, and the very word bread, לחם, comes from the same root as מלחמה, "war."  (Likewise, פיצּה "pizza," with dagesh for doubled צ corresponding to the double-z, is of the same root as פצצה "explosive, bomb.") Bread is a deadly weapon, as Shelomo Ha-Melekh tells us שנאך--האכלהו לחם, כי גחלים אתה חתה על ראשו "Give your enemy bread to eat--thus you heap coals of fire upon his head" (Mishlei 25:21). Yes, this is the עגת רצפים, "the cake of burning coals" (I Melakhim 19:6), which the carb eater thrusts into his body. Truly it is called "bread of affliction" (Devarim 16:3)! (Hover your pointer on the asterisks if you speak French **.) "When they eat bread," says Shlomo Ha-Melekh, "it is the bread of wickedness" כי לחמו, לחם רשע (Mishlei 4:17). (** .)

Joyfully do we eschew bread for the full week of Pesach, as it is said: כי כל אכל חמץ, ונכרתה הנפש ההוא מישראל "He who eats bread, his soul shall surely be cut off from his people" (Shmot 12:15). Yes, a ban on carbs brings a festival of happy freedom, freedom from carbs! Contrast the sad sad time during the Three Weeks before Tisha Be'av, filled with tears and mourning for the blessed low-carb high-protein meat that we set aside. So may we turn curse into blessing, as it is written לא יאמר לך עוד עזובה, כי נשבע ה' בימינו ובזרוע עזו, אם אתן את דגנך עוד מאכל, "You shall not be called 'Forsaken', but rather 'My delight is in her,' for no more shall I give you grain to eat" (Yeshaya 62:4-8).

For seven full weeks do we mourn, between Pesach and Shavuot. Why? What is so sad about this festal period? Some not-quite-comprehensible story about Rabbi's Akiva's students? No: The name answers the question: עומר Omer, the "sheaf of grain" which is humanity's truest curse. (From the root of התעמר "to abuse")The Omer is the time between the curse of barley in Pesach and the curse of wheat in Shavuot, and during this time we hang our head in mourning for the tragedy. And then comes the thirty-third day, when the Log is shoved into the Omer to burn it as it so thoroughly deserves.

Bread is sin. On Rosh Hashana, we symbolize throwing away our sin by throwing away our bread. (How different from the protein-rich Kapparot, which also take away sin -- but they are eaten rather than discarded; cleansing sin, rather than symbolizing it.) The Mahzor of Yom Kippur contains a confusing array of near-synonyms for "forgive": מחל, כפר, סלח, רחם, and so on But is it any surprise that one of these words, מחל, has the specialized meaning of "forgive for the eating of bread", or לחם, of which מחל is an anagram. (In fact, some have hypothesized  that, similarly,כפר originally meant "forgiveness for eating crackers" and רחם meant "forgiveness for eating chocolate spread," but  the מחל etymology is the best substantiated.)

On Pesach, bread represents the sin of arrogance--the arrogance of thinking that you can eat carbs and live! (Likewise, the sheaves symbolize Yosef's arrogance in his dream, [Breishit 37:7].) Annually, we discard and burn most of the carbs in our house, on the command of the Holy One Blessed Be He, in the process of ביעור, as it is said וביערת הרע בקרבך "and thou shalt destroy the evil within you" (Devarim 13:6, 19:14, etc.). We leave only the thin carb-cakes in concession to our weak and sinful souls. For Matza, too, is evil! Yes, just like לחם "bread", the word מצה Matza means "fighting" and "strife" (Yeshaya 58:4, Mishlei 13:10, 17:19). Likewise, אלומה "sheaf" is from the root of אלים "violent." Makes you wonder if any word for carbohydrates does not also refer to killing. (ריבה riba "jam", which contains over 60% sugar, also means "fighting" and "strife." Coincidence? I think not.)

Shaul, the well-meaning but troubled king, struggled mightily against the evil spirit which seized him: When faced with bread, he desperately fought off temptation by sitting on it וישב המלך על הלחם (I Shmuel  20:24).  Full of jealosy, Shaul saw David's righteousness-- ויאמר המלך לא בא בן ישי גם תמול גם היום אל הלחם "and the king said, 'the son of Yishai has not come yesterday or the day before to [eat] bread'" (ibid., v. 27), yea, the same David who swore "May the Lord punish me more and more, if I taste bread before sundown"  וישבע דוד לאמר, כה יעשה לי אלהים וכה יסיף, כי אם לפני בוא השמש אטעם לחם (II Shmuel 3:35) -- and in an instant Shaul knew that his dynasty would soon fall to a better man. Yonatan, Shaul's son, followed the way of his righteous friend David, ויקם יהונתן מעם השלחן ולא אכל לחם "Yonatan rose from the table and did not eat bread" (ibid., v. 24), but he too was destined to fall to carbohydrates and not to take the throne, as we shall describe in detail later.

Yes, David was a righteous man, a good man who showed mercy to the house of Shaul, whom he might have considered enemy, and granted special protection to Mephiboshet. But even David that Sweet Singer of Israel could sin; yes, he too, had his moments of weakness. So it was that at the time of barley harvest, when the carbohydrates bloom and the best of men go mad, he violated his oath sent Mephiboshet and six others of Shaul's house to die in the bloody barley field of death (2 Samuel 21). Barley's here -- it's killing time!

But to return to Shaul and the battle against his inner demons: At his bitter end, he too fell to the sin of bread, which is so tightly bound up with the sin of necromancy, of which it is said מכשפה לא תחיה "Thou shalt not suffer a necromancer to live" (Shmot 22:17). The Witch of Endor pressed Shaul to eat bread, ועתה שמע נא ואשמה לפניך פת לחם ואכול (I Shmuel 28:22). Shaul  was a good man: "He had eaten no bread all day and all night" כי לא אכל לחם כל היום וכל הלילה  (ibid., v. 20). And so now, as before, he tried his best to resist evil temptation וימאן ויאמר לא אכל "He refused, and said 'I will not eat'" (ibid., v. 23), but the Witch and Shaul's servant pressed him ויפרצו בו עבדיו וגם האשה (ibid., v. 23), and in the end he could not stand against her evil ways. She fed him Matza, those wheaty slabs of carb: ותקח קמח ותפהו מצות ויאכלו (ibid., v. 24). That was the death of him, for he fell at the Gilboa on the next day. And what of the servant, who colluded with the Witch in feeding him carbs? He sought to kill Shaul with carbs, then bragged of killing him at the edge of the sword (II Shmuel 1:10). Is there any difference?

If you had any doubt that carbs are tied to necromancy, hear the words of the prophet Yehezkel: "Woe," he says, "to those who conjure to raise the dead, who desecrate my people" ("desecrate" ותחללנה, from the same root as חלה, halla-bread) "with barley and pieces of bread" בשעלי שערים ובפתותי לחם  (Yehezkel 13:18-19)! (By the way, the word פתותי means both "pieces of bread" and "seduce with trickery," if you haven't noticed yet.)

In the time of Nehemya, when the Jewish people were mired in intermarriage and straying from the spiritual path, some pathetic carb addicts sank so low in sin that they cried out in anguish, because they had descended to the point of seeking out grain and eating it ותהי צעקת העם  גדולה. ויש אשר אמרים נקחה דגן ונאכלה (Nehemya 5:1-2). The pious leader set them aright with his personal example, as he and other righteous Jews abstained from bread, in stark contrast to the bread-eating practices of his wicked predecessors אני ואחי לחם הפחה לא אכלתי  (ibid v. 14).

Yea, the Sons of the Righteous seek not bread, as it is written לא ראיתי צדיק וזרעו מבקש לחם (Tehillim 37:25). Washing hands is traditionally a symbol of purification from sin (Tehillim 26:6). We wash our hands with Mayim Aharonim after eating bread -- not meat, not green beans.

Pity the fool, or as we say in Hebrew, pity the פתי peti, who says "I will eat my piece of bread," פתי piti! As it is written מי פתי לחמו בלחמי "whoever is a fool, let them eat bread" (Mishlei 9:6). Indeed, as Shlomo Hamelech said, wise people abstain from bread לא לחכמים לחם (Kohelet 9:11). Did you ever notice that חלם Chelm, the legendary town of fools, is an anagram of לחם, "bread"? Wisdom speaks thus to the פתי, the fool: פתי! מים גנובים ימתקו "O fool, stolen waters are sweet"--yes, theft and sugar go hand in hand. Hidden bread is pleasant ולחם סתרים ינעם--if you think you can secretly break your diet and get away with it! And this pasuk goes on: ולא ידע כי רפאים שם בעמקי שאול "The fool doesn't know that dead spirits are in the depths of Sheol"--among those who have eaten carbs and paid the ultimate price of obesity and death, waiting for other diet-violators to join them (ibid., 9:16-18)! Bread is treachery, as Ovadiah tells us (ibid., v. 7; Click here for more details.) So too, Shlomo Hamelekh pithily summarizes: לחם שקר "Bread is a lie"; it is ערב לאיש "seemingly pleasant to people", but it ends up being as gravel in one's mouth ואחר ימלא פיהו חצץ, though of course gravel doesn't have quite so many calories as bread (Mishlei 20:17).

David Hamelekh has a different angle on this, likening bread to ashes rather than to gravel, and bemoaning the tears that come of drinking sugar-laden soda pop  כי אפר כלחם אכלתיו ושקוי בבכי (Tehilim 102:10).  Yea, האכלתם לחם דמעה "you fed them bread, which is weeping" (ibid 80:6). Quoth he היתה לי דמעתי לחם "my bread is my tears" (ibid., 42:4). How like are these tears to those of one who, tragically, הלוך ילך ובכה נשא משך הזרע (Tehillim 126:10) walks along crying because they must he must sow a wheat crop.

In fact, Shlomo Hamelekh says, you should throw your bread away, right into the sea שלח לחמך על פני המים (Kohelet 11:1). Don't give into temptation, as it is written: אל תתאו למטעמותיו, והוא לחם כזבים "be not desirous of (carb-laden) dainties--they are deceitful bread" (Mishlei 23:3)! That's why we bless G-d for "getting rid of bread from the Holy Land," המוציא לחם מן הארץ.

No, do not eat bread! When Yosef interpreted the Butler's and the Baker's dreams (Breishit 30), was there any doubt which dream meant life and which meant death! If one man dreams of red wine and the other of baskets of bread, must you think twice of which is fated to live and which to die?!

(When you think of Yosef in prison, shed a tear for that other prisoner, the righteous prophet Mikhaiah, the one true prophet among four hundred frauds, whom the wicked king Ahav punished by giving him לחם לחץ lehem lahatz, "bread under pressure" (I Melakhim 22:27). A cruel doom! Not for nothing does Scripture call Ahav the most wicked king that the Kingdom of Yisrael had ever known ויעש אחאב הרע מכל אשר לפניו (ibid. 16:30)!)

This is Yosef who epitomized the wise leader, who took away the grain and locked it up in warehouses (ibid., 41:48) so that the Egyptians wouldn't become like the disgusting obese cows in Pharaoh's dream (ibid., v. 1). In this way Yosef gradually acclimatized the Egyptians to seven years of healthful dieting. He did such a good job that before the Egyptians soon learned to treat bread-eating with disgust and revulsion (ibid., 43:32)

From the story of Yosef we learn that bread is as the same as adultery. Rashi's bases this comparison on the verse ויעזב כל אשר לו ביד יוסף ולא ידע אתו מאומה כי אם הלחם אשר...ויאמר אל אשת אדניו הן אדני לא ידע אתי מה בבית וכל אשר יש לו נתן בידי ולא חשך ממני מאומה כי אם אותך באשר את אשתו." "Potiphar left all that he had in Joseph's charge, and had no concern for anything but the bread that he ate.... Joseph said unto his master's wife: "My master knows not what is in the house and has put all that he has into my charge; neither has he kept back any thing from me but you, because you are his wife" (Bereshit 39:6-9).

Sexual harassment is associated with wheat, as the righteous Boaz knew perfectly well, and so he warned off the carb-crazed young men, הלוא צויתי את הנערים לבלתי נגעך (Ruth 2:9). He urged Ruth to stay well away from dangerous carborific wheat אל תלכי ללקט בשדה אחר "Don't gather wheat from another field," and וגם לא תעבוּרי מזה "and don't gather grain from this one either" (ibid., v. Cool (**

Hoshea's wife is labeled בת דבלים  "A Daughter of Two Date Cakes" (Hoshea 1:3**).  How's that for a snide underhanded epithet! Calling her אשת זנונים "woman of harlotry" (ibid. v. 2), would have been bad enough, but this underhanded synonym is just is adding insult to injury! At least זונה, though offensive tells it like it is: "one who feeds people [carbohydrates]" (Rashi and Targum Yonatan on Yehoshua 2:1). 

Bread and other carbs rot your teeth far more than meat and other proteins, as the Lord spoke at the hands of his prophet Amos: נקיון שנים "cleanness of teeth," which is followed in perfect poetic parallelism by וחסר לחם "and lack of bread" (Amos 4:6).

As the pathetic madness of carbo-eating seizes, you may even sink to bulimia, as Shlomo Hamelech tells us: אל תלחם את לחם רע עין ואל תתאו למטעמתיו. אכול ושתה יאמר לך ולבו בל עמך, פתך אכלת תקיאנה  "Don't eat that evil-eye bread, and don't lust over the sweets. When you eat and drink, but your heart is not in it, you'll end up eating your bread but then vomiting it up" (Mishlei 23:6-8). Quoth he: "Honey: Eat your fill and vomit it up" דבש--תשבענו והקאתו. (ibid. 25:16).

Carbs are Death!

All carbs are evil! Even when Am Yisrael received the blessing of wheat, it was the fat of the wheat, together with butter, animal fats, meat, and red wine חמאת בקר וחלב צאן עם חלב כרים ואילים  בני בשן ועתודים  עם חלב כליות חטה ודם ענב תשתה חמר (Devarim 32:14), not the carbs. For is not חטה Hitta, "wheat," like unto חטא Hatta, "sin", and so also like unto the wicked Hitti whom we are commanded to exterminate (ibid. 7:1)? Wheat is sin!   By the way, just as the word for "sin" comes from the word for "wheat," so too the word for "transgression," עבירה comes from the word for "grain," עבור.

And not just wheat! The Torah tells us that in contrast to Yaakov, the innocent man dwelling in tents, wicked Esav was a "barleyed man" שעיר sa'ir, the adjective from שערה se'ora "barley" (Breishit 27:11). No wonder he grabbed for the carborific red lentils (5% by weight) in Yaakov's pottage. He didn't know, as Yaakov did, that the lentils, though high in carbs, have a low "digestible carb" index. So, too, the sin-offering sacrificed on Yom Kippur, the scapegoat of iniquity to be dashed on the rock, was the שעיר, the barley-sign of sin (Vayikra 16:Cool. The שעירים, the barley-idols of sin (ibid., 17:7), stood for all that might lead Israel astray, and so we are commanded to keep well away from them.

The lentil-barley distinction comes through clearly in two apparently contradictory passages: In I Divrei Hayaim 11:13, the Israelites fight the Philistines in a barley-field, and in II Shemuel 23:11, in what is otherwise the same story, they fight in a lentil-field. The Midrash neatly settles the matter: So long as the Israelites clung to their high-carbohydrate barley, they were defeated and fled the Philistines והעם נס לני פלשתים. But when they changed to healthy low-carb-index lentils, ויעש ה' תשועה גדולה "The L-rd wrought a great victory."

Rashi and other commentators point out an interesting halachic problem posed by the story of Avraham Avinu and his guests.  They note that he appears to serve them forbidden foods: Avraham says to the guests that he will "take some bread" ואקחה פת לחם and says to Sarah ועשי עגות "make cakes" (Breshit 18:5) How can that be?! How could such a great man serve bread to his heavenly visitors? But the answer is simple. Avraham never actually served them the bread! He took curds and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, not the bread ויקח חמאה וחלב, ובן הבקר אשר עשה ויאכל (ibid. v. 6).
This is the same Avraham, who, egged on by his wife Sarah, committed what appears to be the worst of injustices to Hagar and his son Ishmael: ויקח לחם ויתן אל הגר "he took bread and gave it to her" (Breishit 21:14). Oh who can stand before jealosy! But Hashem himself told Avraham to do as Sarah said, and indeed all was well,  for Ishmael became a רבה קשת in the מדבר (ibid v.20) an archer who hunts a protein-rich meat diet in the carb-free desert.

The word שבר shever has two  meanings: "Catastrophe," and also "grain." When the prophet bemoans שבר בת עמי (Yirmiyahu 8:11), is he talking about catastrophe or about the (grain-caused) fatness of the Israelite women? Is there really a difference? Do you want to end up like the אישה גדולה, the BIG woman, who forced her personal vice on the prophet Elisha ותחזק בו לאכל לחם (II Melakhim 4:Cool. How do you think she got to be so big?

So, too, in the Midianite's dream לחם שערים "barley bread." What did this dream mean? שברו, "its explanation," no, "its grain," no, "its destruction" was חרב "the sword", and the desolation of war (Shoftim 7:13-15).

The word חטה, "wheat" has a dagesh in the ט, indicating an assimilated נ: the root is חנט. The verb from that root means "embalm" (Breishit 50:2-3). Wheat leads directly to death, and a rather goyishe way to deal with it, too.

שבר "grain," is in fact synonymous with the desecration of Shabbat and Yom Tov, as Nehemya (10:32) knew: ועמי הארץ המביאים כל שבר ביום השבת למכור; לא נקח מהם בשבת וביום קדש.

When Amos condemns the people, he mentions one sin after another--and then come the consequences: Israel's sins weigh them down, burden them like כאשר תעיק העגלה המלאה לה עמיר "the creaking of a wagon filled with ...."  Guess what comes next, what symbolizes the sin: Yes, that's right, עמיר "sheaves of grain!" (Amos 2:13).

And what of the other wagon, that which carried the Ark of G-d: ויבאו עד גרן  ויחר אף יהוה בעזה  ויכהו שם, "And it came to a granary, and the L-rd grew wroth with Uzzah, and struck him there dead" (II Shmuel 6:6-7) Yea, rightly did Uzzah deserve death for leading the wagon near that place of  wickedness.

Carbs are hunger: When you eat simple carbohydrates, your blood sugar soars but then quickly crashes, making you desperate to eat even more carbs, as it is written "bread for their hunger" לחם לרעבם (Nehemya 9:15). May we merit to see the coming of the Messiah, when the basest of all possible impulses will be replaced with its diametric opposite. As it is written "The days are coming when I, the L-rd, will send hunger into the land -- not for bread (chas veshalom) but for the word of the L-rd" הנה ימים באים והשלחתי רעב בארץ. לא רעב ללחם, כי אם לשמע את דברי ה  (Amos 8:11).

The Bar Mitzvah boy, as indication of his new-found responsibility for his iniquties, is symbolically stoned in expiation. But not with stones, no! The truest symbolism comes from the 100% sugar candies which bombard him on his day of culpability for sin. As it is written "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers, for each man shall be put to death for his own sin" (Dvarim 24:16).  In Hebrew, to say that a living creature is vicious and bloodthirsty, you call it a חית בר (where בר bar means "grain", Breishit 41:35 etc.). Like the old joke about Bar Mitzvahs says "A  little less Bar, a little more Mitzvah." Yes, your next Bar Mitzvah party should have less cakes, cookies, and more meat and other high-protein low-carb products. By the way, about that בר in Breishit 41:35 note that this very grain was the tool for  Egypt to become enslaved under Pharaoh. Let my people go!

Lo! All grains are evil. Think of how the Aibishter commanded Yehezkel Ha-Navi ואתה קח לך חטין ושערים ופול ועדשים ודחן וכסמים, ונתתה אותם בכלי אחד, ועשית אותם לך ללחם. ועגת שערים תאכלנה. והיא בגללי צאת האדם תעגנה,  "to make bread of wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and to bake it on human dung" (Yehezkel 4:9-11). Human dung? In the bread? You got it: This, then, is the true meaning of bread, all bread, whether of wheat, whole wheat, or of any grain! But Yehezkel, that righteous prophet, knew the correct attitude towards bread and pleaded that he had never eaten nor could eat such an unclean thing in his life הנה נפשי לא מטמאה לא אכלתי מנעורי ועד עתה (ibid., v. 14)! Be warned! The answer was thus: ככה יאכלו בני ישראל את לחמם טמא בגוים אשר אדיחם שם "Even thus, when the children of Yisra'el eat their bread, it is unclean, and I shall drive them out among the nations" (ibid., v. 13). As it is written: ואכלו לחם במשקל ובדאגה "and they shall eat bread with weight-gain and with worry" (ibid., 4:16). Remember that when you're trying to diet!

The association of bread, honey, and you-know-what is all too obvious. Ravshakeh, the commander of the Assyrian armies who laid waste to Judah, burned its cities and slaughtered its people threatened the  people of Judah that he would make them eat their own dung and drink their urine לאכל את צואתם ולשתות את מימי רגליהם (II Melakim 18:27), and  that he would exile them to "a land of grain and bread and of honey" ארץ דגן לחם ודבש  (ibid., v. 32). Quite a threat!

Corpses, excrement, and grain! What a combination! They go together, like, well, corpses, excrement, and grain! As Yirmiyahu puts it (9:21) נבלת האדם כדמן וכעמיר "a human corpse, like dung, and like grain."

מאפיה Mafia means both "criminal gang" and "bakery" in Hebrew. Is there a difference? (If you think so, visit this one.)  And even muffins, those puffed-up blobs of debauchery, are correctly identified in contemporary Israeli speech as מעאפן maaffin "crummy." (Interesting--in English, the crummy/crumby also holds reproach and carbohydrates within the homophone!

When Egypt was smitten with plagues, the frogs went straight to the most natural place for a curse--the kneading bowls for bread dough (Shmot 8:3; another note for French speakers here **)! Yes, you could have guessed that בצקת, the disease named after בצק, "dough," is a hideous swelling of the flesh--those doughy foods make you swell into obesity, call it a disease or no! It is no coincidence that מחלה "disease" is an anagram of "the bread."

And by the way, let's not forget the importance of a proper exercise plan, which can compensate to some small extent for carb-eating. Shlomo praises she who never eats bread without exercising--לחם עצלות לא תאכל "she does not eat bread in laziness" (Mishlei 31:27)! Not for her is the לחם רשע "bread of wickedness" (ibid. 4:17), those carbs which are consumed without exercise. Adam too, was told בזיעת אפך תאכל לחם "You may eat bread, so long as you sweat it off." Indeed, says Yehezkel the prophet: "Behold, this was the sin of Sodom: too much eating bread, and laziness" הנה זה היה עון סדם גאון שבעת לחם ושלות השקט (Yehezkel 16:49).

And when those first two brothers, Kayin and Hevel, offered up their respective offerings, wicked Kayin offered carbohydrates, grains from the field, but Hevel, that pure and righteous man, gave protein, meat, for his offerings (Breishit 4:2-5). And Hevel's sacrifice found divine favor, but Kayin's carbs reaped only scorn--Kayin, that carb-panderer, that first of all murderers! You've heard of cereal murderers, but since when have you ever heard of a cheese murderer? Do you think maybe there's a reason for that?

The Bible warns us of more evil than just bread. Haman--that wicked wicked carbohydrate-eared man--set out to kill the Jews in שושן הבירה Shushan ha-Bira. Not Shushan Ha-Yayin, "wine," nor even Shushan Ha-Diet Soda, but Shushan Ha-Bira : Bira meaning "beer"! Be warned! Only with a feast of wine, and a fast, abstaining from carbohydrates, did Ester save Am Yisrael from their doom!

And cake! Honi the wonder worker עג עוגה, baked a cake, and then fell into an insulin-shock coma for seventy years, waking with suicidal ideations. (Taanit 23A). Stay off the cake! (Hover for coment on Anglo-Saxon legal system: **).

Cake, too, עוגה, makes a true Jew's heart sink upon remembering עוג, that wicked king who set out to slay us as surely as wheat, oats, sugar (**), and honey do slay! Like the other king, Eglon of Moab, the only obese man in the Bible, described in such loathsome detail--his obesity coming from carbohydrates--those monarchs thought that they could oppress and destroy the Jewish people through carbs. Eglon died as he deserved, cooped up, like a Philistine, with white-bread-induced constipation (**) in the toilet, at the hands of the righteous judge Ehud (Shoftim 3:21). Nor did Ehud stop there--he then proceeded to slay others of that sinful nation of bloated oppressors ויכו את מואב בעת ההיא כעשרת אלפים איש--כל שמן Ehud and his men "slew at that time of Moab some ten thousand men, every one of them fat" (ibid., v. 29).

But Am Yisrael could do better than that, sustained at the hand of Hashem by miraculous proteinaceous quail in the desert! Even when the nation of newly freed ex-slaves (**) demanded, in their weakness, bread and sweet foods, they received instead מן Manna, whose "taste was like unto a wafer in honey" וטעמו כצפיחת בדבש (Shmot 16:31). Note! Not "it was a wafer in honey" but "its taste was like unto a wafer in honey." For the Aibishter sustains the weak, and supports those whose strength is flagging, and gives artificial sweeteners to those who lack the will to abstain. When the children of Israel sinned by violating the Shabbat, the Manna went away for just one day, and when they whined about the "light bread" (low-carb bread substitute) which G-d gave them they were bitten by flaming serpents (Bamidbar 21:5), but that is nothing as against a far worse punishment, the permanent end to the Manna, brought on by a far worse sin: ויאכלו מעבור הארץ מצות וקלוי בעצם היום הזה וישבת המן ממחרת באכלם מעבור הארץ ולא היה עוד לבני ישראל מן "and they ate matzos and roasted wheat from the grain of the land. On the morrow of that very day, the manna ceased in the land after they had eaten from the grain of the land, and there was no more manna for the children of Israel" (Yehoshua 5:11-12).

Scholars debate the sense of the word שבלת Shibbolet: Men of Gil'ad demanded that the men of Efraim speak this as a password at the ford of the Yarden (Shoftim 12:6). But which of its two meanings does שבלת have in this context, "stream" or "sheaf of wheat"? Have no doubt but that שבלת means "wheat," the wicked epitome of carbohydrates! For when the Efraimites spoke the word, the Giladites slew them dead on the spot. The password of death is Death!

Another mystery, Zecharya 5:6-11, is solved when one understand that carbohydrates at all times symbolize the deepest depths of evil: This parable includes the ephah איפה, the measure of flour in which sits the woman of whom the angel says זאת הרשעה "This is Wickedness". After Zecharya's angel seals the Wickedness-bearing flour-pot tight, two more angels bear it off to the land of Shinar, center of wickedness where the tower of Bavel was built and whence Nebuchadnezzar came to destroy G-d's holy house, and dump it there. Is there any doubt about the meaning of this strange story when one reflects on the meaning of the flour?

So beware, good Jews, and keep distant from carbohydrates of all kinds. Stick to the proteins. As it is written תאכלו את הארבה למינו "You shall eat the locusts of all types" (Vayikra 11:19). Not תאכלו את הארבה אם אתם רוצים "you shall eat the locust if you want" or תאכלו את הארבה אם יתחשק לכם "you shall eat the locust if you feel like it" but תאכלו את הארבה למינו "You shall eat the locust." Likewise, the Torah tells us to eat chickens, deer, and cattle. Not once does it say תאכלו דברי מאפה למיניהם "You shall eat all kinds of baked goods." Yes, eat proteins, with the fats and the red wine which brings us into the higher sanctity of Shabbat, while the חלה Halla (from the same root not only as חלל Halal, "corpse"), hides under its cloth in shame. Is it any surprise that we take a piece from the dough, symbolically calling it the Halla, and destroy it by fire?! Keep to this path and guard your soul!

"I Have Eaten Honey, I Deserve to Die"

Honey! Speak not of honey to those who strive for righteousness! Even a speck of honey in the incense of the Beit Mikdash brought sentence of death! As it is said כי כל שאר וכל דבש, לא תקטירו ממנו אשה ליהוה "for you shall not offer up any carbohydrates or honey as an offering by fire to the Lord" (Vayikra 2:11). And the Mishna reminds אם נתן בה דבש, פסלה "if one puts honey in the incense, one invalidates it." The Bible speaks of דבש devash and נפת nofet, two words for the evil, evil, simple carbohydrates, the sugars which threaten the life of every good Jew. Though typically translated "honey," these words can mean any kind of sugar, including date, fig, or even cane sugar (shudder). But whatever simple carbohydrate is meant by דבש, it leads to death, as when those sinners Datan and Aviram, followers of Korah, whined to Moshe for דבש (Bamidbar 16:13):  ותבקע האדמה אשר תחתיהם ותפתח הארץ את פיה ותבלע אתם "The ground did cleave asunder under them. And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up" (ibid., v. 31-32). (See a note on Osama Bin Laden and honey.)

Herod the Wicked murdered his wife, brother, and sons and pickled them in jars of honey (Bava Batra 3a)! He sure didn't pack them in aspartame!

Shlomo HaMelech knew better, "It is not good to eat too much honey" אכל דבש הרבות לא טוב (Mishlei 25:27), he said. Honey, like all carbs, make you fat and violent: וינקהו דבש עם חטה וישמן ישרון ויבעט, שמנת עבית כשית "And he fed him honeywith wheat, and Yeshurun (the people of Israel) got fat and  kicked, you got thick and covered in fat" (Devarim 32:13-15)! Obesity is quite the worst thing anyone can do, as Nehemya (9:25-26) tells us:  וישמינו וימרו וימרדו בך ואת נביאיך הרגו "When they got fat, they were disobedient and rebelled against G-d, and killed His prophets." Thus saith the L-rd:  ואת השמנה אשמיד "I will destroy the fat lady" (Yehezkel 34:15).

Shimshon ate the דבש from the lion's treifeneh carcass (Shoftim 14:8-9), on his way to the land where he would marry a devious shiksa, then lose his eyesight and his life. If only he had followed the model of the holy angel of G-d who said "Even if you detain me, I will not eat your bread" אם תעצרני לא אכל בלחמך (ibid. 13:16). Shimshon, that brave but conflicted character, was not a bad man: In righteous wrath he burned the iniquitous wheat of the wicked Philistines (ibid. 15:5), those same Philistines who in despoiling Israel, looted first the granary והמה שסים את הגרנות (I Shmuel 23:1) -- not the gold, not the jewels, it was the grain they were after. Yet Shimshon, who started with honey, ended up grinding wheat--yes, wheat--for the loathéd enemies of Israel. He died in the temple of דגון Dagon, the evil Philistine god whose name is a common Phoenician variant of דגן Dagan, "grain." This is the temple in which the Philistines were smitten with hemorrhoids (I Shmuel 5), the natural outcome of a low-fiber refined-grain diet. (Wicked Lavan, לבן "white," was called that because of the extreme wickedness of refined-flour white bread.)

It is no coincidence that many of the foul foreign gods whose worship we are commanded to eschew are grain-gods. Not for nothing does the Mishnah use the term שדה בעל, a "Field of Baal" to describe a dry-farming field, typically used in Eretz Yisrael for growing grains. If you have ever wondered why we have special kashrut for bread as opposed to other foods, it's exactly because bread is a notorious tool of idolatry, offered up to false gods. Yes, bread and sweet things and other carbs are the stuff of idolatry ותעשי לך צלמי זכר  תכסים לחמי, סלת ושמן ודבש ונתתיהו לפניהם "Thou didst make idols and set bread, fine flour, and honey before them a sweet savour" (Yehezkel 16:19).  Yeshayahu as always speaks elegant poetry, mocking the idol-maker and the bread-maker in one: אפה לחם עשהו פסל ויסגד למו the man who "bakes bread then makes himself idol and bows to it" (Yeshaya 44:15) says  אפיתי על גחליו לחם ואכל לבול עץ אסגוד "I baked bread on the coals and ate it, then I bow down to a block of wood" (ibid., v. 19).

Beware temptation! Do not become like that woman who succumbed to the wicked sweet allure of simple carbs!  כי נפת תטפנה שפתיה ואחריתה מרה כלענה, רגליה ירדות מות; שאול צעדיה יתמכו, לא תדע "Her lips drip נפת nofet (sugar), but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps descend to the nether-world; she knows not what she does" (Mishlei 5:3-5). This is the woman who shall have pear-shaped hips!

Yonatan, son of Sha'ul knew this well. He was a good man, like his father, but all too prone to human weakness. When the children of Israel saw honeycombs, they virtuously stayed away ויבא העם אל היער  והנה הלך דבש ואין משיג ידו אל פיו  (I Shmuel 14:25). When Yonatan erred, dipping his staff in the יערת דבש (described by Rashi as "sugar cane", and by others as "honey-comb") and then putting it to his lips וישלח את קצה המטה אשר בידו, ויטבל אותה ביערת הדבש; וישב ידו אל פיו (ibid 14:27), there could be only one outcome for him, and he knew it: ויאמר טעם טעמתי מעט דבש הנני אמות "'I have eaten sugar, I deserve to die,' he cried" (ibid., v. 43 with Targum Onkelos) or, according to another translation "I have eaten sugar, and now I am about to die." Yonatan was a wise and pious man, and well did he know the wages of sin.

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