The Kashrut of Thought | Part One

The Kashrut of ThoughtRichard-Abbott-uk

By Richard Abbott, UK

Smoking damages your olfactory senses, it lessens their sensitivity. Of course, given time, they can recover but if you never stop smoking you’ll forget what food can taste like, even what fresh air might smell like. When a smoker goes outside for some ‘fresh air’ they have chosen to pay a huge company who cares not one iota that they will get cancer, heart or lung diseases for an addictive, harmful and unpleasant smelling version of ‘fresh air’. Smokers don’t even realise that they smell, they’re no longer sensitive to it. I’m an ex smoker, I know the pleasure of smoking but I also know that I had forgotten the pleasure of being an non-smoker, its a far more subtle pleasure. Hard to notice in absentia.

My wife has been, not so subtly, removing sugar from my life. I now only have it in tea and only then if I can get my hands on some. I haven’t felt any ill affects in it’s absence, I’m less tense or techy, my skin has improved, I don’t crave it, it obviously wasn’t contributing anything positive to my life. So why waste money and health on the little white junk? I have noticed a difference though, in the flavour of other things, fruit is fruiter for example. I wonder if, just like sound, loud flavours deafen the tongue.

I propose this is the case with thought. In our, fast food, loud TV, sugary drink, soundbite culture; my friends and others are always asking me to sum it up “standing on one leg”. I’m getting quite adept at boiling down ideas from Judaism to their most acute pinpoint form so as not to loose and agnostic’s ears.
But here’s the thing, paring away all the detail is a loss. Boiling it down is a reduction. Standing on one leg is uncomfortable and demanding it of someone else is arrogant, pushy and childish.

Some things are worth taking time to understand. Some mitzvahs are more easily understood by doing them, in that way they reveal themselves. Sometimes you need to turn off the TV, eat some decent food, drink some water and sit down, be quiet and think about it.
Maybe you don’t want to, I don’t care. 
Maybe it’s not convenient, that’s not a bad thing.
Maybe you have plans, perhaps your plans are stupid, I don’t know.
But if you really want to understand HaShem, it’s going to mean putting some effort in and cutting away some of the useless things in your life that are getting in the way.

Imagine this essay was much longer, pretend you’re still reading. Sit quietly, listening to the sound of the world around you and think about G-D.

CLICK HERE : To Read Part Two

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