Health, Nutrition & Torah: Beshalach

| January 27, 2010

Courtesy Alexander Smolianitski (http://flickr.com/photos/smolianitski/)

Courtesy Alexander Smolianitski (http://flickr.com/photos/smolianitski/)

The Text:
Exodus 16:31-35 The house of Israel named it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like wafers in honey.  Moses said, “This is what The Eternal has commanded:  Let one omen of it e kept throughout the ages, in order that they may see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out from the land of Egypt.”  And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, put one omer of manna in it, and place it before The Eternal, to be kept throughout the ages.”  As The Eternal had commanded Moses, Aaron placed it before the Pact, to be kept.  And the Israelites ate manna forty years until they came to a settled land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

The Context:
The Israelite people left fled Egypt and Pharaoh’s army and crossed the Sea of Reeds.  Beginning their journey to the Promised Land the people of Israel begin to complain about the challenges of the journey.  God seeks to clarify the relationship between Godself and the people of Israel.  Moses is being ‘blamed’ for the lack of food when in fact it is ultimately God who provides.  Thus, God instructs Moses to tell the people that they will get food.  God instructs Moses to inform the people about collecting the manna that will serve as their staple food.  An extra portion of manna is collected on the sixth day so that a portion for Shabbat will be available to the people.

What it Means for Advocates:
Remember the food pyramid? Did you know that it adjusts according to current nutrition science?  Keep a log of your food intake for one week. After this, look at the current food pyramid and look to see if what you are eating is within the recommended parameters. When you do your grocery shopping for the coming week, try to keep the new recommendations in mind as you do your shopping. Are you able to make any substitutions or additions to your diet? Do these changes cost more?

Now imagine you have two children (or, depending on your family size, two more children). How much do you think it will cost to feed them?  Use this tool to calculate that number and donate that amount to support MAZON grantees in your community.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post a comment below & keep the discussion going!

Leave a Reply