Thursday, January 10, 2008

How to Break "That Ta'ava"

Moshe Rabbeinu knew that the only way to guard one's self from "this ta'ava" [of sexual immorality in act, word, or thought] is when the person is first clear and clean of the ta'ava (desire) for food.

(Mei Hashiloach from Rav Mordechai Yosef of Izbitz on Parshas Bo)

-Dixie Yid

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Chaim B. said...

Come on, you have to give us more than this : ) R' Tzadok has the same idea in Yisrael Kedoshim (he obviously got it from his Rebbe) and it explains why the word "achila" is a kinuy for relations, but how do you understand the whole concept? I have always wondered if it is a Freudian-like idea where the desire for food is identified with other desires (Freud identifies oral fixations that relate to eating with improper sexual development). I am not convinced I have the right approach - how do you understand it?

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Okay okay.

I know you're a big Izbitz man, so you might have already seen this piece inside.

But as I understand it, the Mei Hashiloach is coming to answer the kasha, "Why did Moshe give the mitzva of matzah before the mitzva of 'kadesh li kol bechor,' 'sanctify to me every firstborn.'?"

He says that to "sanctify the firstborn" means to be clean and clear of any impure ta'avos. It means this because the first drop [which leads to the birth of the firstborn] is considered the place where ta'avos rule the most. Therefore, Hashem wants Moshe to command the Jewish people to sanctify this first drop, meaning even the strongest place for "that ta'ava."

But Moshe knows that the Jewish poeple cannot do this unless they first remove the ta'avah involved in eating. Why?

He says that it has to do with the idea that you cannot be mashpia, give forth, a first drop full of ta'avah, if you were not already mekabel, receiving through the act of eating, ta'avah. Ta'ava can only come out of your if you have brought it into yourself physically through the act of eating for the sake of ta'avah.

He says that this is why the neck (through which food enters the body) cooresponds to the organ of the Bris Kodesh.

Not exactly Freudian, but to the best of my understanding, that's what he says.

You might ask, "Why can't you have a ta'avah for immorality without a ta'avah for eating?" Now, for many of us, I think this would be a purely theoretical question, and it is uncertain whether any of us can say whether such a thing is indeed possible. However, assuming it is a realistic question, the answer is beyond me!

-Dixie Yid

Chaim B. said...

R' Tzadok expands it much more - IIRC it is right at the beginning of Yisrael Kedoshim. The seforim also bring that the bris halashon corresponds to the other bris - fits perfectly with the Freudian oral fixation type idea. There must be some deeper hesber to the relationship.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

For two among many sources about this relationship, see the first piece in Toldos Yaakov Yosef on Parshas Noach and see Torah 19 in Likutei Moharan I.