Holy Eating
The Spiritual Secret to Eternal Weight Loss

Holy Eating Quotes

"You shall be holy, because I the Lord your God am holy…” (Kedoshim: Leviticus 19:2)

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“I have placed life and death before you, blessing and curse; and you shall choose life, so that you will live, you and your offspring–to love Hashem your God, to listen to His voice and to cleave to Him…” (Nitzavim: Deuteronomy 30:19)

“When I will bring it [the people of Israel] to the land that I have sworn to its ancestors—that flows with milk and honey—it will eat and be satisfied, and it will become obese [italics added]; it will turn to other god(s and serve them, it will provoke Me, and break My covenant.”  (Vavyeilech: Deuteronomy 31:20)

“Then Yeshurun [Israel] became fat and kicked—

Whenever you became fat, you became obese and

            Overwhelmed by fat—

And he [Israel] forsook God who had made him,

And regarded as worthless the Rock of his salvation.” (Haazinu: Deuteronomy 32:15)


"When I left my teacher to enter marriage, I said to him, 'Teacher! Bless me!'  He answered, 'Sanctify yourself in the holiness of these two things, in eating and in intercourse. For all other mitzvahs [commandments or holy practices] do not make an impression on the body, but food sustains the body and intercourse begets the body.'" (Rabbi Horowitz, The Shelah)

"Jacob simmered a stew, and Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted.  Esau said to Jacob, ‘Pour into me, now, some of that very red stuff for I am exhausted.'”(He therefore called his name Edom.” (Toldos: Genesis 25:29)

Eliezer said, “Let me sip.” (Rabbi Elie Munk)

“But the rabble whom they had taken up into their midst had worked themselves into a lust and then the sons of Israel, too, began to weep again and said:  ‘Would that someone gave us meat to eat! We still remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt at no cost; the cucumbers and the melons, the leeks and the onions and the garlic, and now our soul is dried out [italics added], without anything; we have nothing except this manna before our eyes.’” (Beha’Aloscha: Numbers 11:4-6)

“Both hungry and thirsty, their soul languished within them… for He has satiated a thirsting soul, and filled a hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:5-7)

“So God will give you meat and you will eat.  Not for one day shall you eat, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days. For a full month until it comes out of your nostrils and will make you nauseated, because you have rejected God who is in your midst, and you have wept before Him, saying, ‘Why did we leave Egypt.’”[i]  (Beha’Aloscha: Numbers 11:18-20)

“The meat was still between their teeth, nor yet chewed, when the wrath of God flared against the people, and God struck a very mighty blow [severe plague] against the people.  He named that place Graves of Lust, because there they buried the people who had been craving.” (Beha’Aloscha: Numbers 11:33-34)

“The more substantial and fatty the food one introduces into the body, the more the body should seek to transform the surplus of nourishment into energy and work.  The better nourished his body, the more active should the person be; the greater should be his output of activity and performance.  In that case he will have control over his opulence; he will remain healthy in both mind and body; and his moral worth, too, will increase because of his greater moral and spiritual performance.  But if he does not act in this manner, the surplus will be deposited in his body; he will become corpulent, obese and, instead of remaining in control over his substance, he—his true spiritual active self—will be overwhelmed by the fat, and that will be his downfall.  Such has been the history of the people of Israel.  It failed to utilize its abundance and surplus for increased spiritual and moral performance, for a more complete discharge of its task…Instead it allowed itself to become overwhelmed by wealth and prosperity, and it allowed its better spiritual, moral self to be drowned in them.” (Samson Raphael Hirsch, Chumash, p. 904-805).

"If only we had died by the hand of God in the land of Egypt, as we sat by the pot of meat, when we ate bread to satiety, for you have taken us out to this Wilderness to kill this entire congregation by famine.” (Beshalach: Exodus 16:3)

"Behold—I shall rain down for you food from heaven; let the people go out and pick each day's portion on its day, so that I can test them, whether they will follow My teaching or not.”  (Beshalach: Exodus 16:4)

"Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel ascended.  They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was the likeness of sapphire brickwork, and it was like the essence of the heaven in purity.  Against the great men of the Children of Israel, He did not stretch out His hand—they gazed at God, and they ate and drank.” (Mishpatim: Exodus 24:10-11)

“A man should direct his mind and all his actions exclusively to knowing God.  Whether sitting, rising, or talking—all must be bent in this direction...Also, when he eats and drinks and has relations he should not do this only to gratify his physical needs, so that he is likely to eat and drink only what is sweet to the palate and have relations only for pleasure, but should have in mind that he eats and drinks for the sole purpose of maintaining his body and its organs in good health.  Hence he will not eat everything that the palate desires, like a dog or a donkey, but will use foods which do good to the body, whether bitter or sweet, avoiding those that are harmful to the body even though they are sweet to the palate.” (Maimonides: Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Deos 3:2)

“Our sages taught: One who eats in the street is comparable to a dog. There are those who say that he is disqualified from serving as a witness.” (Talmud, Kiddushin 40b)

A man should not eat except when he is hungry, nor drink except when he is thirsty.” (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Deos 4:1)

“For everything from which you derive benefit or enjoyment in this world, your intention should be not your own pleasure but to serve God, blessed be He, as it is written, 'Know Him in all your ways.'  Our Sages said, 'Let all your deeds be for the sake of heaven.'  Even things of personal choice, such as eating and drinking, walking, sitting and standing, conversation, and everything connected with the needs of your body—all should be for the service of God, or for something that leads to the service of God.  So even if you are hungry and thirsty, if you ate and drank for your own pleasure it is not praiseworthy; you should intend that you are eating and drinking to keep yourself alive for the service of God.” (Shulchan Aruch 231:1)


“The righteous eats to appease his soul, but the stomach of the wicked is never satisfied.”  (Proverbs 13:25)

"He should not eat until his stomach is full.  Rather he should stop before his appetite is fully satisfied, using one-fourth less food than would completely gratify him.” (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Deos 4:2)

“What is forbidden is forbidden and what is permitted is not necessary.” (Rabbi Schneur Zalman, the Alter Rebbe)

 The highest level of eating, eating as a service to God, can lead to mystical or ecstatic states, as with a revered Sage who experienced eating as though it were from the: “Upper table that is before God, and his food is coming to him from God’s hand…Such a person, although he is in this world, his mind is not here, but in the World to Come.” (Reshit Hochmah Sh'ar ha-Kedushah, as quoted in Buxbaum, p. 235)


“Bread should be eaten on the edge of a sword.” (Zohar)


“He afflicted you and let you hunger, then He fed you the manna that you did not know, nor did your forefathers know, in order to make you know that not by bread alone does man live, rather by everything that emanates from the mouth of God does man live.” (Eikev: Deuteronomy 8:3)


“When the Holy Temple was in existence, the Altar atoned for Israel;

today, a person's table atones for him.”    (Talmud, Berachot 55)


"This is the table that is before the Lord.” (Ezekiel 41:22)


“One who eats slowly, lives long.” (Talmud, Berachot 54b)


“In the world to come, there is neither eating nor drinking.” (Talmud, Berachot 17a)


“For He has satiated a thirsting soul, and filled a hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:9)


“Taste and see that the Lord is good; fortunate is the man who trusts in Him.  Fear the Lord, you His holy ones, for those who fear Him suffer no want.  Young lions may want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” (Psalm 34: 9-11)

“I desire to fulfill Your will, my God; and Your Torah is in my innards” (in my heart or even in my belly).” (Psalm 40: 9)


“You will eat and you will be satisfied, and bless the Lord, your God, for the good Land that He gave you.” (Eikev: Deuteronomy 8:10)


“Gather from it, for every man according to what he eats—an omer [3.6 liters] per person…The children of Israel did so and they gathered, whoever took more and whoever took less.  They measured in an omer and whoever took more had nothing extra and whoever took less was not lacking; everyone according to what he eats had they gathered.” (Beshalach: Exodus 16: 16-18)

“For the hunger is from Him.”  (Rabbi Zusya of Hanipol)