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Who's Hungry?

By Ploni Almoni

obormottel Sunday, 27 November 2016

I heard the following Mashal/parable from a wise Tzaddik:

A man is walking down the street. He has been walking for an hour and is very hungry. As he walks, he passes a McDonald's and he can smell the food cooking inside. Oh, is he hungry! But he knows the Halachos of kosher eating, and he knows that he can't fill his hunger here. He will need to wait for a kosher opportunity, perhaps a kosher restaurant down a few blocks. In another scenario, it's Yom Kippur, and he knows he needs to wait not just until the right restaurant, but until another day, to fill his hunger in an appropriate and Kosher way.

In the same way, Hashem gave us an urge, and a hunger, for intimacy with the purpose of marriage & having children. When one walks down the street and sees something that brings feelings of desire or lust, he can say to himself, "Hmmm, I'm hungry. But I know the Halachos, and the right way to fill this hunger is through the holy institution of marriage. Today may be Yom Kippur, and this isn't the right time or place to fill my hunger."

This Tzaddik explained that viewing taavah and desire in this context is so much more beautiful, uplifting, healthy and helpful than viewing it as evil, bad, and Assur. As well, allowing oneself to say, "Gosh, I'm hungry..." acknowledges one's inner feelings and is a healthy step in then properly controlling them according to the Halacha.

Yes, we're hungry. Sometimes, very hungry. But Hashem in His wisdom gave us the Halachos of channeling that hunger and elevating it into something special, holy, and much more deeply meaningful.