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Jewish Recipes --> Judaism --> The Soup Recipes

The Soup Recipes Soup for the Soul or Souped Up on Fast Food

Soup is powerful food. It has the power to warm both our bodies and our souls. It makes us feel loved, cared for, cherished. No wonder that its only mention in the entire Torah appears intertwined with themes of relationship and eternal values. We remember the lentil stew Yaakov prepares for his father who is mourning the death of Avraham. Enter Eisav, starving and exhausted after a daylong, rage-filled, crime spree. In this ravenous state, only his hunger matters.

Yaakov seizes this opportunity to gain the Birthright of the firstborn. He gives him, in exchange for the Birthright, a simmering bowlful, which Eisav pours down his throat in one swift gulp. The ultimate in fast food.

Volumes have been written about Eisav, his differences with his brother, his life in the fast lane and his rejection of the Birthright. What are the Birthright and the Yaakov-Eisav relationship really about? How are we to understand this episode’s relevance to our lives today?

On this day of his illustrious grandfather’s death, Eisav examines his life and assesses his priorities. Our Sages say his rampage is seeded in a rebellion against everything his grandfather stood for and hoped to pass on to his offspring.

Culture Clash

The obligations of the Birthright include long-term consequences for his actions. As an emissary of the King, he would have to exercise humility in his relationships. His responsibility would be to insure sanctity in his future generations. Control of his life would be completely relinquished to the Creator.

This is not an attractive proposal to one whose raison de etre is the acquisition of power and the pursuit of immediate physical gratification. By trading this Birthright for a bowl of soup, Eisav rejects its obligations and its eternal value, laying the framework for the clash of cultures we live in today. This episode must prompt us to examine our own life in fast lane.

We live in a world characterized by the glorification of self-indulgence; everything Eisav stands for. Even food has become a form of entertainment with a 24-hour television channel devoted to cooking shows, rock n' roll cafe’s, exclusive restaurants and celebrity chefs. Anything we crave, at any time, is available for a price--even kosher. But is it really kosher? And at what price?

Whether a fast food burger or a leisurely feast in an elegant bistro, the nutrition is barely passable. The cook has no care for the welfare of the one who eats. From chef to short order cook, it is a job, it is not about relationship. For the diner, it is a moment to quell a hungry stomach on the run or an hour or two of Epicurean delight. This is the culture of Eisav.

Torah: Soup for the Soul

Food can be about Eisav’s self-absorption or about Yaakov’s relationship and service.

Fast food and elegant restaurants do have their place when they are not a distraction from our "Yaakov" mission. This takes time to develop. We slowly add wholesome ingredients: we exercise humility, recognize the long-term consequences for our actions and accept the responsibility of our precious Birthright as emissary of the King.

Yaakov understood that the mission of the Jewish People depends on patience and process. The Eisav personality was simply unfit to carry this torch. With a bowl of soup, our forefather, Yaakov, rescued the Birthright for us.

Soup is a fitting medium of exchange between Eisav and Yaakov. Eisav saw it as he viewed everything in the world: purely as a means of satisfying his desire of the moment. To Yaakov, it was –as he viewed the world-all about responsibility and relationship. A soup to comfort his mourning father. And to bring comfort to our Heavenly Father. The Birthright in the proper hands, nourishes the entire world.

Slow down, as your thoughts and dreams simmer gently on a back burner, savor the taste of developing a deeper relationship with your Creator.

Used by permission of Kosher Channel
Develop and nurture a relationship with a tzaddik, find a Rav.
Every Jew needs a Rabbi, to guide us, to help us achieve our goals, and, like our father Yaakov, to give us blessing.

Sept 2005 - 2014 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods