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Bread in Jewish Law
By Beryl ZimmermanSome times not all of the interesting things are in the newspapers. Some times there are some very interesting things in the Code of Jewish Law. For instance, there is a strange law, that when you go to eat bread and you have a choice of eating a large piece of bread, such as a loaf of bread that some one cut off one piece and left a gigantic loaf (less that small slice) or you can eat a small whole roll, which would you think is better to start your dinner. That is assuming that they are both tasty. (Obviously, if one is fresher or tastier then the choice would be a fore gone conclusion.)
Well the Code of Jewish Law says that it's better to eat the small whole roll rather than the gigantic loaf less a small slice.
Really, who really cares anyway on which one you start? Between you and me, it makes much more sense to start in on a large loaf albiet less a slice, then on a roll, especially if you are hungry. There's much more to eat.
If you want to say it has to do with making a blessing on the bread, it still makes more sense to make a blessing on the larger loaf (less that one slice) since if you are going to thank the Almighty for his goodness and kindness, it seems that thanking him for a lot of bread shows your graditude more than on a small roll. After all if you are going to thank Him for something, thank him for the big and not for the small. Right?
Well, that's not really how it works according to the Code of Jewish Law. It seems that there is a preference over the whole roll over the large lacking loaf. Why is that?
It seems that we seem to be possessed with the feeling that big is good and big is important. Many people expend their lives trying to amass fortunes and really only succeed in amassing messes of their life. Being rich is no transgression, but so many seem to have made it their chief mission in life. Why? Because if you have a lot of bread (dough=$), then you can enjoy life more.
But is that really true? Look around the newspapers and magazines, how the rich families fight with each other. How their money corrupts their lives. Think of the wealthy people that you know, how many are happy because of their money? Very few! It's not the money that makes a person happy, it's the person's own life that makes him happy. How he or she relates to his or her spouse and children, how he or she relates to the people in their living environment and how they relate back to you. True - money is a great convenience, but it's not the conveniences in life that make you happy, it's the relationships that you have with others that make you happy. If you have good relationships with your spouse and children, with you neighbors and co-workers, with your friends and aquaintences, then you will have a happy life even if you lack a convenience or two. However, if you have all of the conveniences of the day, but can't seem to get along with your spouce or your children, or with your co-workers or friends or neighbors, then is it possible to be happy? NO! It is obvious.
A person who is always looking for the next thing, -a new CD player, a new video, going to a fancy restraunt or new clothing - that this will make him happy, is only fooling himself. No outside device can give a person a lasting happiness. Sure it's nice to have a new Porche, but with out good friends, a Porche is a pretty lonely companion.
A person who is well liked and has many people who think well of him, is happier by far though he has less money then a weathier person who has had to lie and cheat to gain his wealth. A person who is respected and liked because of his inate virtures doesn't worry or fear, because his friendship are not based on monetary considerations. He is a whole person.
However, a person who's dishonesty gave him wealth knows that he could lose his wealth and all that it buys. He becomes a slave to the wealth. He is a man that is lacking quite a bit in life. He is like a large loaf of bread that is lacking. Although he is big, still his smaller but whole counterpart enjoys a full life. Yes, maybe it's scaled down, but it's whole and that's where it's at.
Don't be fooled. Just like the small but whole roll is preferable to start your meal with, so is the wholesome honest person preferable to the large lacking loaf of bread.
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