because the blood is the nefesh

Every day at work my lunch arrives some time after 1pm. (13:00 here in Israel) Every day (God-willing) I pray minha at 1:30pm. (13:30) So, if lunch is a little late, I have to rush and scarf it down in order to have time to bench and get to minha on time (to say part of karbonot) so that I'm not starting my amidah when everyone is leaving (the relatively fast) minyan. Which means that I try to be done eating at 1:25pm so I can bench and run (saying karbonot while in motion) so that I can start Ashrei at 1:30pm exactly and in that way, hopefully finish ashrei right with the minyan.

Today's Tanya talks about how immediately after you eat your food is already being turned into blood to nourish your body. And how food (that is permissible to eat) gives you strength which you choose to use to serve HaShem or do something else. Obviously, serving God is preferable, and in so doing, you raise up the life-force that was in that food to holiness.

Until now I've been grumpy about the stress of having to eat quickly especially if my food is (unpredictably) late. Now, having learned this Tanya, (for the eighth time, but only just finding it meaningful and relevant) It's just plain cool to find out that my mincha lifestyle means that even the very first energy I'm getting from my food is being channeled directly into the service of HaShem.


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