Monday, May 26, 2008

Why the Preoccupation with Food/Eating?

I received an e-mail the other day from a woman who reported to me that she had attended a women's event in her Shul and that everyone had a great time. The Rebbetzin's speech was enjoyed by all. But she was a little upset about the fact that virtually all conversations (about 95%) for the entire evening revolved around two topics; Food/recipies and Weight Watchers/Points. Both topics are related to concerns about physical beauty and it's relationship to eating, or to actual eating. Now I know that men have their own mishigas'n, nonsense, which could be as bad or worse than what the ladies chat about when they get together. Whether it's sports or work, or whatever, we have our own issues. But right now I'm curious about this phenomenon by the Yiddisheh Veiber, our heiligeh Yiddisher Tochter, Jewish ladies.

How common is this phenomenon?

What's the reason for this preoccupation?

-Dixie Yid

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yitz said...

Rebbe Nachman says from the [overheard presumably] discussions of women you can tell the current status of the Shechinah.

Modern culture is a 'consumer' culture. Discussing what to eat and what not to eat, and how to control your desires seems like it has very deep undertones, even if on the surface it sounds shallow.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


That's a nice take on it. I'll have to think about what that would be teaching in this and other situations. Thanks!

-Dixie Yid

Anonymous said...

The food is probably going to be l'kovod shabbos or Yom Tov. And it's only normal that someone wants to look good.

Gandalin said...


With the fact that the Veiber have as a major responsibility maintaining the kashrus of what is eaten in their homes, it should not be surprising that they pay a lot of attention to food, one way or another. They are taught from earliest childhood that food is important, and these conversations, it seems to me, are just another aspect of that, and an appreciation that what we eat truly is important.