Jul 23, 2015

The Pleasure Principle

In an article on parshas Pinchas that I read, an explanation was given about the Baal Peor idol and how it was worshipped.  It said that every constructive physical act is pleasurable.  Physical acts have a purpose, such as eating to sustain life.  In order to ensure that man does these important things, they come along with pleasure.

Pleasure just for its own sake is a corruption.  If we do something just for pleasure alone, it is devoid of anything good or holy.

In reading this, I was reminded of the frum world's obsession with food as seen in kosher food magazines, numerous cookbooks, articles about surgery for obesity, etc. It is claimed that the preoccupation with food is a good thing: here but I'm not convinced.  The shockingly crass ads I've posted about have not convinced me that the eating is l'sheim shomayim or just plain neutral.

I'm not claiming to eat every mouthful for the sake of heaven, and yet, pride in being a foodie, the eagerness to have yet another culinary experience, the weird combinations of ingredients for the sake of something new, is just too much.

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