Posts tagged " food "

Get a Good Mood from Food Dude

April 26th, 2016 Posted by Thought Tools 1 comment

Food is fuel, isn’t it? A meal for a human is the equivalent of adding wood to our fireplace. After all, our body temperature must be maintained at about 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Just as a home furnace converts firewood, coal, oil, or natural gas into heat, so do our bodies convert food into heat. Naturally we feel cold when we are famished.

But if food is just fuel, why do we crave steak and fries today; eggplant parmesan tomorrow, and spinach quiche the next day? Why don’t we want celery and peanut butter every day? After all, we don’t fuel our fireplaces with wood today and coal tomorrow.   Clearly something else is going on. Food is far more than merely fuel. (more…)

Music, Morality and Mayhem

November 2nd, 2010 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

During 1969 many young people gathered at rock music festivals at Woodstock in upstate New York and at Altamont in Northern California.  Both events were as much about sex and violence as about music and despite the veneer of innocuous love, both had a dark undercurrent.  Rapes, brutal beatings, numerous injuries and countless concussions were reported at the time.  Several people died at each event.  At Altamont, the Rolling Stones were singing their hit Sympathy for the Devil while eighteen year-old Meredith Hunter was being stabbed to death directly in front of the stage on which Mick Jagger was gyrating.

But this connection between revolutionary music and rejection of conventional Judeo-Christian sexual mores was not invented in 1969.  A hundred and twenty years earlier, Richard Wagner, famously known as Adolf Hitler’s favorite composer, was doing the same thing.  His music contemptuously called for the murder of morality. Though not intended, Wagner’s music opened the doors to terrifying barbarism.

Wagner, a socialist, lived a dissolute existence constantly betraying his wife Minna, often with the wives of men who befriended and supported him.  His music, which I find brilliant though evil, celebrates sexual immorality and violence.

We might wish that renouncing rules of sexual morality would lead to lives filled with love, but instead it usually leads to disappointment and distress. The Bible gives us a glimpse into another physical appetite whose abuse we might not instinctively recognize as similarly dangerous.

Our two most powerful bodily appetites are the craving for carnality and the frenzy for food. Failure to treat these areas in a sacred manner nearly always results in decreased ability to succeed along with eventual physical damage.

Look how differently Moses reacts to various sins of the Israelites.

After the people sinned idolatrously in making the Golden Calf, Moses prayed asking God to forgive them:

On the next day, Moses said to the people,‘You have committed a great sin and now I shall ascend to God, perhaps I will win atonement for your sin.’
(Exodus 32:30)

Amazingly, Moses makes no effort to seek forgiveness for Israel when they sinned with food and sexual depravity. 

The rabble among them cultivated a craving and the children of Israel
also wept again and said, ‘Who will feed us meat?’
(Numbers 11:4)

In verse 6 they continue to ungratefully complain—

But now….there is nothing, we have nothing to anticipate but manna.

Yet a few verses later, the verse doesn’t seem to have anything to do with food.

Moses heard the nation weeping about its families, each one at the entrance to his tent, and God became very angry and it was evil in the eyes of Moses.
(Numbers 11:10)

Ancient Jewish wisdom explains the mysterious phrase ‘weeping about its families.’  They were really weeping about the recently received Bible’s rules defining sex within marriage as the essential key to family life.  The nation resented God requiring confining of bodily appetites.

Whether in politics or in business, anyone whose appetites are out of control is heading toward destruction. That is why I emphasize that one of the great gifts of Bible culture is the set of religious rules restraining sexuality that Judaism and Christianity strive to keep alive. Similarly, a healthy attitude towards food uplifts and ennobles.

Modern music is usually composed of two parts, the lyrics and the music itself. Each of these can inspire or deprave.  Destructive music cannot be casually dismissed. It is often an early symptom of impending problems for those you love or must work with.
 

 What we allow our ears to absorb and what we permit our mouths to say, whether they are our own words or those of musical artists, affects our ability to prosper both socially and financially. In one of my audio CDs I provide practical tips and techniques for getting the most from your mouth. This period as we head towards gatherings with our families and friends, is a wonderful time to become more aware of the astonishing power of the spoken – or sung – word.  

 

Food Memories

September 19th, 2006 Posted by Susan's Musings 1 comment

Cookbooks are spread out all over the table signaling the approach of Rosh HaShana (the beginning of the Jewish year 5767) and heralding the many holidays which trail in Rosh HaShana’s wake. Even though on one of those holidays we abstain from food and drink for 25 hours, the month following the first day of the new year is chock full of feasting. Throw in some children wending their way home for the holidays along with guests for each festive meal and the cooking adds up. Despite that, the cookbooks are actually more for window dressing than for practicality.

That is because each holiday has its own traditional foods and I have no intention of breaking rank this year. Some of those foods, like apples dipped in honey to welcome in a sweet year, will be found universally at Jewish tables. Others, like Pears Helene, have become our own family’s traditions, to the point that a Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) without that dessert would feel lacking. So, while I might add one new side dish or replace the honey cake that my husband tells me he loves but never eats more than one slice from, with a new pastry, for the most part all I do is look at my menus going back to the first year I was married, and make exactly the same things one more time.

I’ve already baked my mandlen otherwise known as soup nuts. (Warning – these bear absolutely no resemblance to items sold under the same name in the local supermarket) I needed to make these soup accompaniments early in order to be able to mail them out to the children who won’t be home for Rosh HaShana. Sending them gives the long distance children a taste of home and a tangible sign that I’m thinking of them and missing them. But there’s way more in the package. Not only are the mandlen concrete evidence of my love, they are also meant to serve as reminders. The recipe I use was handed down to me by my mother and grandmother and when my mother-in-law shared a few of her favorite recipes with me, it was in that treasure trove as well. So the mandlen are meant to remind my children of their origins. They are meant to force the recipients to answer the question of whether these women, and the women from whom they got the recipes so on and so forth, would be proud to claim them as descendants. Whether their actions reflect well on those who came before them, or whether they diminish them.

Another name for Rosh HaShana is The Day of Remembrance. It is a day for Jews to remember from where we come and to hope that our actions reflect well on Him. It is a day for asking God to remember us with mercy rather than with harsh judgment. It is a good day and the beginning of a good month in which to eat foods that link us to our past, because staying true to that past is one of the surest ways to propel ourselves into a good future.

X