Esoteric Food Balancing. Meditative allusions toward grouping foods as a practical approach to the Aitz Chaim map of kabbalah-oriented traits and their emanations (middos and sefiros) in observant Torah tradition.
Food types as parallel to the seven emotional (the ‘lower’) sefiros:
Chesed / Kindness. Grouping: Greens.
Greens are generally considered the healthiest of all foods. Lettuces and other edible green leafy vegetables (and more generally other vegetables) represent all chlorophyll- producing (green) plants, which are the most abundant type of growth in the creation. Similarly, a ‘kav’ or line of a mystical nature is said to surround the world and this is understood to be green.1 As the creation is based primarily on great kindness, greenery as the most abundant creation reflects this trait most openly.
Greens are quality foods that requires greater appreciation and effort when one considers their appetite. Greens’ latent rich qualities beyond mere superficial tastes inspire the basis of the chemistry needed for their more sophisticated digestion process. Greens are fibrous and often chewy, yet greens and other vegetables are generally healthily alkalizing, having storehouses of many essential vitamins and minerals, and provide good bulk for elimination
Greens actually symbolize one of a health-oriented person’s main focuses–not only from a general health perspective, but also from Torah itself–though this is more veiled. The idea is as follows:
The moon complained about being made small. In compensation, G-d gave her the stars and the nearby planets to be her companions in the night season.
A quintessential Torah commentary2 suggests that the influence of the seven arch-typical planets and their traditional hour-by-hour order of influence is in sympathy to the moon, and this in fulfillment of Hashem (G-d) having appointed the stars to rule with her as stated; “And God made the two great luminaries: the great luminary to rule the day and the lesser luminary to rule the night, and the stars.”3The moon’s small size is insignificant in comparison of the greater light of the sun. However, relative to the other bodies in the sky, the moon’s light is more significant for us, and the stars’ existing mostly in the moon’s distant proximity encourages this more meaningful lunar perspective.
This is better understood by the detailed order of the influence of the planets presented elsewhere by Chazal (our rabbis and teachers).4 Beginning with Tuesday evening, the initial orbits of the planets and stars ordained by the Creation began to actually take place. The order of conscious influence is this: Saturn, then Jupiter, followed by Mars, by the Sun, by Venus, then by Mercury, and finally by the moon. The moon rules last, as then she is finally appreciated, relative mostly, to the perspective of the light and influence radiated by the other planets (the stars more distant from the traditional planets offer a remote and abstract influence).
Greens parallel the moon in that greens are often under-appreciated—often pushed aside instead for sugary or richer, fattier foods. Only with maturity–or unfortunately, sometimes only through suffering is it realized that an alkalizing diet with many more healthy greens could be more beneficial. Many people never come to truly realize an appreciation of leafy green and other vegetables and their parallel to chesed (kindness); and therefore, also especially with the moon.5
Gevurah / Strictness. Grouping: Grains.
Bread of wheat, spelt, barley, rye or oat is considered the staff (the stability) of (industrious) life. It is written; “With the sweat of your countenance shall you eat bread…”.6 Relatedly, breads of these grains require us to bless the Almighty from the depth of a Torah injunction: “You shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the L-rd your G-d”.7 Reciting this, the most formal ‘Blessings After Meals’ also helps one refocus from the self-oriented perspective that can affect one after a bread meal. Bread of these five grain varieties, rabbinically speaking, are the definition of our bread; but there is a more proverbial level of understanding that all food sustains, and in significant enough quantity also require our simple benedictions and blessings over this contentment. King Solomon similarly reminds us to recognize the parallel; “to understand an allegory and figure, the words of the wise and their riddles”.8
We know that grain is food that bestows greater ‘yeshus’ (self-oriented thinking); as the verse tells us; “…and bread which stays man’s heart”9 Grain thus begets a more grounded consciousness and sense around us, but also a perspective somewhat less ‘feelings-oriented’. This view is supported by Talmudic teachings; the odor of soiled infants is not considered unclean until they eat of wheat.10 It is revealed in halachic tradition, that if one partakes of a bread meal in the morning (after prayers, before becoming involved in the material work of the day) he will be redeemed of eighty-three difficult illnesses.11 A reason related to this is that a bread meal should help us with its positive chemistry to somehow balance life’s many different obligations through clear thinking that’s always needed for the day’s discipline. 12
Tiferes / Balance. Grouping: Legumes.
Beans or legumes are often mentioned in the Talmud in their relation to grains. They provide sustenance, but in a less fully spiritual sustaining way than grain–different from greens as well. The nurturance obtained from bean foods mostly fits the category of the trait of tiferes, which is greatly considered a trait of balance. Yaakov Aveinu (our father Jacob), the third of our patriarchs, is openly the most known to symbolize the capability to balance or harmonize and also, somewhat more incidentally though, to do so with legumes which have qualities of relative satiety. The Chumash (the Torah) tells us he was able to offer his own portion of lentil (bean) soup to his older brother Eisav and was even able to purchase the greatly spiritual birthright of the firstborn from him with this. In a similar way, the prophet Daniel was able to function with a legume diet in Nebuchadnezzar’s court and he and the others with him, Chananyah, Mishael and Azariah, also showed themselves great balancers of the merely subtly satisfying energies of legumes even when this food was offered to them in an extreme setting and amounts as the main course of their diet.
Netzach / Eternity. Grouping: Sweets; spices.
Esoterically, the ‘middah’ (the character trait) of ‘netzach’ (the trait of the pureness of truthful, responsible reflection) is a parallel grade below the trait of kindness (chesed)—which is represented most primarily by greens as discussed earlier. Generally, sweet foods and condiments encapsulate the perceptions of perfection. These ‘spice foods’ are a ‘child’ reflection of greens and their great beneficial qualities.
Although sweets (and condiments) innately lack the greater strengthening nutrition of greens, nonetheless, from the pleasure of ingestion, condiments and sweets can parallel the experience of ingesting foods such as greens that may have greater innate mineral and vitamin oriented benefits. This is because sweets and spices force or allow a person to be satisfied with less potent nutrition, and this helps us get in touch with the more latent energies of gratitude which become stimulating for the person’s dormant chemistries.
A type of spontaneous nutrition can even exist from the least beneficial and most enticing foods such as ‘secular sweets’. Enticement foods though, are better understood in their element here–further below from where the trait of pure ‘chesed’ represents more innately nutritious foods. Sometimes, when relating with life’s shadowy motivations–by just acknowledging slightly, the feeling and striving for nourishment as a positive concept in and of itself, one can be obtain even greater fulfillment for the time being than with more profound nutritious options.
Hod / Splendor. Grouping: Fish/Fowl.
We find that mostly because of his ministering (cohen) spirit, Aharon the Cohen represents most, the more ‘self-oriented’ trait (sefirah) of ‘hod’ (splendor or glory), though he was the elder brother, while our teacher Moses (Moshe Rabbainu), symbolizes the generally more right-side-oriented trait ‘netzach’, (the equivalent sefirah or trait as just discussed represented by enticing foods of sweets and spices in the lower worlds). So too is it regarded further in thought as well. The lower left-oriented trait known as ‘hod’ also represents a symbolic nutritional orientation with the foods we consider as available to us of fishes and fowl. This type of nutritional source sustains us with ready-assimilable dense proteins and fats and allows us to easily feel the blanket of nutritional security. Animal-based food products are based on a perspective that since the creature is no longer alive, its spirit lives on in us, hopefully through our good deeds.
Both fish and fowl are considered by Chazal (our sages) to have emerged from the mud of the sea—these creatures are distant from more heartfelt understanding and more nurturing integration in this world than ‘land-animals’ (in science, these creatures are commonly known as cold-blooded, in part because they bear their young as egg entities rather than as live offspring which would require the mother to have generally warmer body temperature). The correlation is that though nutritious (potent with nourishing proteins and fats), both fish and fowl and their products lack innate chemistry of individuality and spontaneity–both when in their life-force, and subsequent by the make-up of the chemistries they release when consumed and digested by man. This is symbolic of having their source in the expanse of the primeval world of mud of the seas. This is somewhat in contrast to ‘netzach’, the primary trait attributed to Moshe Rabbainu–our teacher Moshe had a greater occupation with transmitting the Torah from Its essence. His association with that sefirah or trait reflects of his greatness more directly to the human qualities innate to an individual. Though received by us as an entire community through Moshe as well, when we received the Torah through Moshe, It was received by us mostly on a level for the satisfaction of individual introspection.
Relating though to Aharon–the great spirit of the cohen or minister, the trait ‘hod’ is most symbolic with the world of ministering—the ‘cahuna’. This is work done by and large on behalf of the community and therefore, there is more reason for caregivers of this calling to desire animal-source foods such fish and fowl for them to integrate with their group-thinking and communal-oriented obligations.
Yesod / Foundation. Grouping: Dairy.
Yesod is called the child sefira of Tiferes–this is traditionally known. Just as legumes (discussed earlier as most represented by and in ‘tiferes’) are the quick sustaining food of the upper group of foods (because they impart their nutrition without much of the background energies of those sefiros beyond it), so too do milk and other dairy products provide complete protein and nutrition, but in relative fullness of itself—in comparison with the foods just beyond or above yesod–sweets (netzach) and fish or fowl (hod). With legumes (reflective of tiferes), there is less of an injunction to bless the Creator from fullness (satiety) as is commanded over a meal of significant grain. So too with dairy, it neither offers the ‘inside’ feeling of spontaneity of sweets, nor the experience of elevating an actual past-living animal soul as when eating fish or fowl. Dairy does however offer the more practically important experience (but more superficial by spiritual standards) of material nurturance. Dairy is food that invokes several rabbinic arguments. It is brought in tradition that one should not drink milk directly from the animal (the cow or the goat), yet this is something that might have been done by Adam the First. This challenge is mostly one of tznius (modesty) and is bound together with similar moral hurdles to temper secular temptation when it is is bound with higher ideals. So too, does this trait of yesod relate to this work in its connection with Yosef the tzaddik (the righteous one). Yosef is considered a tzaddik for having emerged virtually unscathed in grappling with challenges of this trait. For instance, he escaped the wife of the Egyptian butcher Potiphar. The trait of ‘yesod’ describes the constant mindset needed to offset stray feelings and thoughts. It reflects the ideal to establish morality and the process itself of overcoming lower human desires. This then also relates with dairy foods and why they exist under this particular trait yesod, also known as foundation (alternately: attainment, or founding-principle light). Dairy is nurturance granted to us as nutrition-chemistry somewhat pre-attained (pre-digested or assimilated)–food to help us through mostly already existing battles—from the wrestling of a mind already half-preoccupied—when we are already on the way to more comprehensive divine realization.
Malchus / Sovereignty. Grouping: Meat.
‘Malchus’ is the trait that balances and holds the other traits within itself–just as is represented by Yesod, but in an even more comprehensive way. If we allow ourselves to consider that yesod represents dairy foods, then malchus represents partaking of meat. (Traditionally; cow, sheep or goat are the kosher species of the community—although deer meat—venison, and meats of other kosher species are just as permissible. Non-kosher species or their by-products are not considered to ‘elevate’ or ‘transcend’ or digest thoroughly and therefore would not present the proper examples of meat as food conceptually.) Mammal meat of kosher species is implied here because the appetite at this level reflects a strong contrast with the ingestion of dairy products–which would likewise be of the same species—kosher milk-giving animals (mammals). It is brought in Jewish tradition that the ‘shor habor’–the wild ox will someday be the primary food at the seudah of Moshiach (the meal of the Messiah), and Moshiach is understood to be of the descendants of Dovid Hamelech–King David, who is also represented by this trait of ‘malchus’–kingship or sovereignty (a soul transcendent over all extraneous concern).
Regarding a meat meal, satiety tends to develop more due to a lack of immediate further interest in this source of nutrition, rather than from ‘the nutrition of pure cerebral or spiritual attainment’ (as from more noticeable ‘higher order’ foods such as greens). If the meal was without bread (as when bread was unavailable), then the calling to bless over meat satiety is essentially rabbinic (not from the depths of the Torah’s intuitive commandments).
The most inviting inducement toward the indulgence itself of eating meat—is that it is the Almighty who provides all of our needs all of the time and that, though the economics involved in eating meat of the herds or flocks is of a more exuberant expression of appetite than with other nutrition–we are not here only to worry about efficiencies. One may nonetheless lose interest in meat or be quickly satiated of it because of its economic inefficiency and expense as a food source. This is because the source of dairy is depleted with female meat; and for male butchered meat, the source of reproduction of the herd or flock is of course consumed along with the meal.
The intellectual middos:
Chochmah / Wisdom. Grouping: Water.
Water is compared to the Torah and Torah is called wisdom. Torah and water were both called first into Creation. Water is rejuvenating to the human spirit and our mortality. It helps us discern the materialistic realm from the more ethereal spirit that distracts the world from the purely Divine, and abstract presence around us. Healthy minerals within water attach themselves and combine to varying degrees with mineral chemistry that is already a part of us, and thereby inspire soulful thirst and appetite for our better consideration. This way we can develop further purpose within the subjective world that we dwell within.
Binah / Understanding. Grouping: Fruit.
The ‘aitz ha’dos’ (the tree of understanding of good and evil), is considered to have been a tree of the ‘fruit’ type, and is attributed as the cause for bestowing understanding. The trait of ‘binah’ is considered a deeper vessel for more subtle knowledge—in contrast with the trait of ‘chochmah’ which is iconic of general wisdom. So also can we consider that sugars and energetic enzymes, vitamins and minerals that are present and bound up in different fruits can help us attain more subtle understanding of the wisdom present in the creation and how to be guided in the world through the help of these chemistries.
Da’as / Knowledge). Grouping: Air.
Air is the most ellusive type of ‘nutrition’; it nonetheless nourishes us with elemental minerals within its great, barely perceptible chemistry–and sometimes also from the sweet or salty fragrances the air carries with its vapors. Around the beach and in other pleasant locations, its lightness allows the instant benefit of the nutritive glow it bestows upon us when inhaling. Likewise, the knowledge of its benefit is almost as quick and immediate.
Nutritive from within its essence of the same beneficial chemistries also provided by many of our other usual foods, wisps of our air can be as satiating as life itself. Mists descending from the cloud formations—more immediate in their graceful imparting of energy to our beings even than gathered waters, air is the closest of all substances we can ingest of the most ethereal realms–only its material thinness defines it as a separate form of nurturance than other nutritive sources beyond it. On its either side in the ‘sefirah tree’—water and fruits (as just discussed, respectively represented by chochmah and binah) remind us perpetually of the distinguished ‘space’ of air, the noble source of our mortal existence.
The Esoteric-Food-Balancing Appetite Cycle…
Following the tradition in the Talmud of the hourly sequence of planetary influences, the parallel cycle representative of foods as discussed here begins with dairy foods (yesod), then meat foods (malchus), and would then jump to bread (major grain) foods (geverah). The parallel continues to sweets-and-spices foods (netzach), kosher fishes-and-fowl products (hod), and then concludes with greens (chesed).
Nutrients gained from water (chochmah), tree-fruits (binah), and conscious breathing of air (da’as) generally are considered to inspire our appetite and consideration constantly, but at certain special times their inspiring pull is particularly great. All of this is a summary of the thoughts above.
Tiring or filled first from the relatively ‘light’ satisfaction from proteins and other chemistry from dairy, and then from the heavy nutrition found with meat, the natural inclination is to then sublimate and look elsewhere for continued and unique sustenance–beyond the animal realm for the time being.
Coming from the rich experience of meat, one would first be drawn to grains that also contain vital fatty oils—just as meat and animal protein does) and also are on the left side of the sefiros–the side which offers the perception of richness and expanded sense of self. Grain also offers a focus for more introspective-inducing vegetarian source of foods.
The enticement would then be toward the various types of legumes, which offer more ‘fixed-oriented’ energy (beans are called ‘nitrogen-fixers’ and they can help us digest greater amounts of protein without as much fat or oils as grains have–to build muscle quickly.
Tiring of the lack of diversion from the high-protein orientation, one would then typically seek more sweet-type foods and condiments to help arouse the feeling of discernment and to settle a wandering sense of lost individuality or the lack of a sensitivity for personal expression.
Subsequent to this, sources of small animal nutrition from fish and fowl–mostly for their greater amounts of fat and protein would be somewhat more appealing to many.
Then, with a much fuller sense of internal harmony, openness for newness and rejuvenation would lead to a desire to ingest more leafy greens and vegetables.
Appetite generally follows this cycle, depending on one’s current lifestyle and goals, on the ability to nurture greater health and overall well-being, and depending on available resources. A general appetite is always considered to exist for the nutritive satisfaction of the intellectual groupings.
Insights on the Perceptions of Perfectionism…
The final directive or influence in a sequence of events is often felt to reflect its ‘malchus’ (the sovereignty trait). In the inclusive theme of the waxing and waning of the diverse planetary influences constantly taking place throughout the skies, it can also be thought that the final influence is the only one most worthy of consideration. However, it is written by Rabbi Chaim Vital, zt’l, the distinguished disciple of the Arizal (Rabbi Yitzchok Luria Ashkenazi, the very great kabbalist of Safed) that the planets don’t rule in their ‘higher’ order so as not to entice habituated evildoers of taking advantage of open manifestations of strict logic patterns. Rather, the implications of the moon’s greater perfection over and above the other planetary spheres of influence are ideas not to be directly implied and rather, it is usually best for the world if this is left understood as something inconclusive. The relevant parallel in this, is that greens (represented both by the moon and the trait of supreme kindness) should not be the only central focus for the spiritually and health-inclined.
In their abstract order of influence though, the contrast of this seems to be true as shown by the ancient tradition. For example, Saturn rules over the first hour of daylight–and therefore the entire day as well, of Saturday. (The names of each of the days of the week reflect this ancient tradition in many languages. In explanation; an assessment of sequences of seven-hour series’ of planetary manifestations of influences throughout the week reveals that the same planet influences over the same hour of each day each week. The reason is that the hours in a week, one hundred sixty-eight, are divisible evenly by seven—the days in a week. As the initial understanding is that the planet Saturn ruled over or had the most influence of any of the planet-oriented influences during the first hour of nightfall of Tuesday of Creation, then it continues to have this status every Tuesday at the same hour–six o’clock in the evening, as this represents the time of nightfall. Shabbos (Saturday) morning, exactly three and a half days—eighty-four hours later, Saturn rules significantly again, corresponding with the hour of six o’clock daybreak on Saturday). Although the planet Saturn influences over strictness and similar traits–having been the first planet to bear influence on Tuesday night of Creation–which represents a time of decisiveness and strictness or compunction over it; therefore it is not that well suited to represent Saturday, as Shabbos is our time for comfort and rest–a much more ‘indecisive’ divine trait. (The planets were placed in their orbits on the fourth day of creation, the day that the sun and moon, and the celestial bodies were actually brought into existence). Rather Tzedek (Jupiter), is the primary planet that is attributed with gentleness and generally a more relaxed and calm planetary prominence. Thus, within the natural order allotted to the world traditionally, the planetary influences are not openly considered to usually reflect their most intimately ascribed traits or intent of meaning.
Similarly, and as relevant to our earlier nutritional point, although (leafy) green foods do belong with the endnote of the more perfect understanding of the Divine message for the pursuit toward the health of man—and greens are likewise well-represented by the moon to illustrate this higher calling of their nutritional imperative. However, more primarily, the moon doesn’t represent ‘malchus’–the need that its greatest calling be constantly underscored, but rather, the moon is represented mostly by chesed (kindness)–a general trait.
Nurturing Introspective vs Extroverted Appetite Cycles.
This is relevant to the abstract calculations of the influences of the planets by the weekly beginnings of daybreak and evening times. Consider these within the context of protein-centric and carbohydrate-centric themes toward needed or desired daytime energy patterns.
Daily Nighttime Order. Depth of the World Perspective.
Begin with strong protein to maintain groundedness.
|Sat. nite||Sun. nite||Mon. nite||Tues. nite||Wed. nite||Thurs. nite||Fri. nite|
|Jupiter||Venus||Saturn||the Sun||the Moon||Mars||Mercury|
Daily Daybreak Order. Inviting-World Perspective.
Begin with gently balancing carbohydrate-type foods to reach outward.
|the Sun||the Moon||Mars||Mercury||Jupiter||Venus||Saturn|
This essay of observations as presented will undoubtedly be more suggestive of intuitive truths to some more than to others. Just as one cannot easily argue with another’s feelings, one likewise cannot easily convince or dissuade others from acquired partialities toward their particular existing appetites or leanings, or partiality toward certain food dishes or even general nutritive preferences.
However, philosophically–or perhaps even stated completely with objectivity; sometimes we are able to approach consumption of food with a convincing perception of an enhanced sense of truth or selflessness. At least at that time, there should be present in consciousness an awareness of the varying scale of qualities inherent in the diverse foods and condiments of which we are choosing from, their probable effects on our bodies and upon our more subtle emotions and even more cerebral chemistries.
Although foods are typed or grouped more or less the same way by most major schools of thought within modern science in contemporary times, poetic or pietistic grouping on the other hand is a subjective and cultural pursuit–if not purely an individualistic one. Put another way; if the logic patterns of older, pseudo-scientific food classification is to actually be attractive, then although it is perhaps not completely consciously explainable today—the sensitivity for its being revealed is found within the caveat of the concept of ‘indulgence’.
Indulgence, even from a secular impulse, is sometimes totally acceptable from the abstract spiritual realm, and needn’t imply immediate guilt from the more moralistic side–else the frustration from totally unfulfilled ‘baser callings’ would undo the very work of the need to believe in this system of subjective grouping. Perhaps it is for the reason of over-exuberance toward the side of piety that this philosophy in healing and nutrition faded away from populist favor back even in medieval times.
Somewhat deeper yet, learning to trust a more perception-based scheme of classification or understanding of foods may also allow certain of us to feel this an opportunity to see through a great window to the body and its spirit in a combined attempt from below to communicate, nurture, and heal us through the more obtuse but conscious aspects of our being.
In the map of kabbalah, many diverse allusions and profoundly strong connections exist between various common foods and condiments and the sefiros (emanations), and the sefiros’ associated middos (traits). The correlations implied can be contemplated and studied further from a sefiros rendition or map–certain places known as the Aitz Chaim.
Much more can easily be written on this topic, and of great details. The general need to be wary of the tendency to over-exuberance toward pietistic yearnings aside, the main caveat to classifying food in this way is the consideration of also constantly renewing the true sentiment for outer discipline vis a vis the body’s deeper needs–not just regarding the mental drive for healthy nutrition, but also of whether and how much to be guided for the time or moment by the inner desire for greater esoteric fulfillment from beyond. A greater meditative understanding of one’s immediate and general goals in life itself should help one balance–through the need and feeling for rest, for entertainment, for movement, and for taking on the challenge to obtain life’s other structured and unstructured needs at the time. How to best nurture these drives and forces when there is likelihood these will anyway only be partially fulfilled due to the available resources is also the challenge. The answer is both to accept the best of what is offered at any given time, and also to direct the deeper passions toward more beneficial fulfillment only if opportunity is really presenting greater options.
1. Chagigah 12a
2. Kesavim Hadashim L’rabbainu Chaim Vital z’l; Ahavas Shalom, Yerusalayim
3. Genesis 1:16
4. Berachos 59b
5. Sefer Yetzirah. Vilna edition. Aitz Chaim charts in this edition depict correspondences between the sefiros and the planets according to the Arizal. The fourth sefirah and associated middah of ‘chesed’ is symbolized there among the planets by the levanah (the moon).
The healthy qualities and importance of greens can also be found in the Talmud “Rabbi Yehudah said in the name of Rav: ‘(of) Antoninus and Rebbe—their table never lacked either radish, lettuce or cucumbers, neither in summer or winter! (Talmud. Berachos 57b)
It is suggested, but considered by halacha (Jewish Law) a non-instituted opinion, that leafy-green vegetables are worthy of their own unique formal benediction before indulging in them, blessing the Creator ‘who brings forth diverse kinds of green leafy foods’. The Hebrew terminology would have been: ‘borei minai deshaim’. It can be seen from this that salad-type (leafy) vegetables, abstractly at least, are know to be in a spiritual class by themselves, but the rabbis decided it wouldn’t be best nonetheless, to enact the most relevant blessing upon them. Rather all vegetables (fruit of the ground) should have, more or less equally, the same general benediction. The Hebrew benediction for all vegetable-based food is therefore: ‘..borei peri ha’adomah’; in English: Blessed Art Thou, L-rd Our G-d, King of the Universe, who brings forth fruit from the earth. (Berachos 35a).
6. Genesis 3:19
7. Deuteronomy 8:10
8. Proverbs 1:6
9. Psalms 104:15
10. Talmud. Succah 42b
11. Talmud Bava Metziah 107b. “Eighty-three illnesses are caused by gall bladder problems, and ‘morning-bread’ (pas shacharis) with salt and a jug of water prevents them all. The rabbis taught: Thirteen things were said of morning-bread. It saves a person from the heat, from chills, from draughts (dryness and intestinal gas) and from a bad spirit, it gives wisdom to the simple, the person triumphs in his legal case, it helps the person learn and teach the Torah, his words are considered, he retains what he learned, he does not overly perspire, he appreciates his wife, has he no interest in other women, and it kills the intestinal worms. Some also say it mitigates (the chemistry of) jealousies and induces the feelings for love”.
12. Similarly, the rabbis of old reveal that Saturday nights and Tuesday nights are both also significant good times to enjoy a bread meal. Respectively, these are both times when there is a more intense ‘creative spark’ in the environment (the world)—Saturday at nighttime, when the world was at the beginning of being created; and Tuesday at nightfall, (the beginning of the fourth day of the creation), when the universe began to ‘practically’ function—the sun, the moon and the planets actually attaining an orbit.