These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[Alumni Guest Post] Cooking Love

Posted on January 17, 2013 by The Director of Digital Media

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A thought about halakha by Jeremy Sorgen (Spring '11):

When one cooks for another, one cooks with love. Cooking becomes an act of devotion and the food tastes better because it is made with a key ingredient: care.

One must strive to do everything this way, that is, as a means of expressing love. Devotion and care shine through in the quality of one’s work.

That is the brilliance of Halakha, or Jewish law–and its diminishment as commanded duty or even a “good deed” (as it’s often translated into English). One does not carry the law because it is good or right or beautiful. The law is not an end but a means, a means to deeper worship, a means to cleave oneself to God through love. Greek thought–the Platonic Good, Eudaimonian Happiness–never went far enough. The Good Idea, the Happy Self–all is idolatry and false worship.

One must become perfect by loving others through devotional practices.