Eating as Affirmation

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks observes, “The heart of all Jewish festivals can be summed up like this: They tried to kill us. We survived. Let’s eat.”

Eating as affirmation: Affirmation of God’s goodness, affirmation of life, affirmation of life’s goodness.

Small wonder, then, that festivals and eating are so much a part of religious celebrations and small wonder that heaven is portrayed as a banquet.

Invite your friends and family into your home, cook a meal, share your table.  There is no need to worry about your culinary skills.  More than one great religious festival in the Jewish tradition was eaten on the run without a lot of time for preparation.

What is important is the affirmation at the heart of it all.

About Frederick Schmidt

The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and consulting editor at Church Publishing in New York. He is the author of numerous published articles and reviews, as well as several books: A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), in Italian translation: Sofferenza, All ricerca di una riposta (Torino: Claudiana, 2004), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Revelation (Morehouse, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Luke (Morehouse, 2009), and The Dave Test (Abingdon, 2013). He and his wife, Natalie (who is also an academic and an Episcopal priest), live in Highland Park, Illinois, with their Gordon Setter, Hilda of Whitby. They have four children and four grandchildren: Henry, Addie, Heidi, and Sophie.


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