“Who by Food?” and Some Sundaes

sorry, the the dish is smeared with chocolate because the dishwasher was full

Ill tell you what I’m not sorry for….eating this!

I guess the year has flown by, because my dad reminded me a few days ago that it is “Rosh Hashana” this coming week. For those non-jews out there, it is one of the holiest holidays for us Jews. It is not only our “new year”, it is the first day of our ten days of awe. Ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (probably the most important Jewish holiday) in which we are supposed to truly focus on ourselves and repent for our sins or whatever. Yes, you can tell I’m very religious. And that sarcasm is my first language. I’m probably a bad Jew because I haven’t been to temple since grade school, but I went to Jewish school from Pre-K to Senior year of high school so I’m not clueless about the significance of these holidays. My family is not very religious and the schools I went to were all ultra liberal and not orthodox by any means. Anyhow, this is not a post about my Jewish history.

I was driving back from a yoga class, listening to my standard NPR, and was shocked by the guest. It was my old high school teacher who is a Rabbi for a “young and trendy” congregation in LA. She was talking about the upcoming “days of awe” and the Leonard Cohen song, “Who by Fire” played.

Chills went up my spine.

Not just because of the bluesy sound and gravelly voice in the song, but because of the lyrics. You see, “Who by Fire” is an interpretation of a prayer said on these Jewish high holidays. It’s actually rather morbid.

The traditional prayer translates:

On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed,
And on Yom Kippur it is sealed.
How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,
Who shall live and who shall die,
Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not,
Who shall perish by water and who by fire,
Who by sword and who by wild beast,

and in Cohen’s version:

And who by fire, who by water,
who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
who in your merry merry month of may,
who by very slow decay,
and who shall I say is calling?

both Cohen’s song and the prayer go on and get even more morbid and depressing…..but you get the idea.

This really got me thinking.

I find both of these prayers (and yes, I think Cohen’s version may be considered a prayer) both hopeful and intimidating. But what I really like is how Cohen addresses a question many people, not just Jews, have when he says, “And who shall I say is calling?”. We know we are here. We can’t say with the same certainty that God is. After the Holocaust, a lot of Jews lost faith. I know this well because most of my family died or suffered through it. My dad’s parents lost faith in God. They still celebrated the holidays and whatnot, but its hard to believe in such a force when you endure such torment. And you know what, the same goes for recovery.

I’m not saying recovery is “god”, but its like the idea of god. We can’t see it, it doesn’t have a size or shape, its not even a coherent idea. So why should people struggle to achieve it?  In God we trust? Do we trust recovery? Do we have faith in it?  Its hard to believe there is life where I dont care about my activity level, where calories are meaningless, and where taking up space is appreciated. Do I believe it exists?

I’ve had issues since I was fourteen. Thats about a decade. And I know women that suffered for over 50 years! Is recovery in possible? I guess Mr. Cohen and I have similar questions of faith.

But you know what. Although I’m not a religious jew, I do think there is a higher power within all of us. Is it god? I’m not one to argue, I hate getting into religious debates. But I have faith in that higher power and you know what, I think I have faith in recovery. I can’t tell you what it looks like, but I trust it. I’m learning to trust my body. And this year, I think I will repent to myself. I will say I’m sorry to myself for all the unkind things I’ve done to it. For all the days of malnourishment, for over exerting, for not sleeping enough, for drinking too much caffeine.  I’m sorry for not honoring it. For not treating it with kindness and respect. I deserve it.

So even for you non-jews out there, what are you sorry for? I know, we shouldn’t apologize for most things, but there are things that need fixing and there are aspect of our life worth reflecting on so that next year will be a happier one. Do you have faith?

Anyhow……totally unrelated…..today is just a simple sundae idea made with

vanilla flavored yogurt

salted peanuts

cooked spaghetti squash

coconut flakes (optional, but I used em!)

thats it!

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17 thoughts on ““Who by Food?” and Some Sundaes

  1. I am sorry to my body for treating it badly in the past. And I am sorry that I have not allowed myself to live fully the past few years. But I never regret anything. I do believe that there is a higher power (what it is…no clue) and that things do happen for a reason. Life is just too amazing to not believe there is something bigger than us. I like the idea of trusting in recovery even though it is not concrete. There is no concrete end. I can live through my days and be happy with eating dessert and truly nourishing my body, but the thought of calories and guilt still exist. The difference is that I know exactly what and why my mind is coping with these awful thoughts. That doesn’t mean it stops 100%. Will it ever? Not sure of that either.

  2. that’s pretty interesting about that Jewish stuff!
    I always wondered what those holidays were all about, and i’d totally ask someone buttttt all of the people are catholic/christian/buddhist over here hehe
    also, why can’t jewish people eat meat around their holidays? 🙂

    • no meat? nah, I think catholics dont eat meat on holidays.Jews eat meat year round but they fast on Yom Kippur (I dont for obvious reasons) and some jews keep kosher, but since my recipes includes some shrimp, I obviously dont either. As I mentioned, I m not religious at all.

  3. I’m probably a bad Jew because I haven’t been to temple since grade school, = LOL. Scott used to skip hebrew school and get off at wrigley field train stop (chicago) rather than going to hebrew school, he’d watch baseball games. One day he caught a fly ball in the stands, made the news, and his dad saw him on tv! He did get his bar mitzvah but thankfullly his torah portion was small b/c his hebrew sucks. I know more than he does!

    Your last post re Facebook, omg it’s all so true. 100% from looking dull, to “losing touch” to getting data off there once it’s been posted…totally agree!

  4. I often wonder if i’ll ever NOT think so much about weight etc…I will always exercise but when I miss a day, not freaking out or getting off my scheduled plan and getting anxiety would be nice.

    I for sure believe in God. If it wasn’t for me telling him I wanted my mommy and daddy when I died 3 times I may still be with him.

  5. Interesting. I read a book a while ago that talked about codependency issues and other things with children of alcoholics, etc…it kinda offers advice on a “religious’ level but not. Like you, I’m not religious. I tend to have an abrupt, impatient, sarcastic view of things (good and bad really, working on it)…but I liked that they didn’t make it religious…they said to “surrender, trust, let go, and believe that right now u have all you need….and when you need more you will be given more”. It suggests a higher power…which is actually kind of nice to believe in maybe, if I think about it…I guess I don’t think about it alot. Ha.
    I put coconut flakes on EVERYTHING.

  6. I avoid discussions on religion like, well, like I avoid going to church, but I do honor the thought of there being something much greater than me out there. While I’m not religious, I do believe that you have to have faith in something other than your own thoughts, as many times those are skewed and cannot be trusted. Obviously.

    It gives you hope, and at the risk of sounding completely lame, I think recovery is along the same lines. Like happiness, love or whatever, it’s not something that can be defined or limited to one definition. You have to believe it’s there and it gives you something to work towards–health, happiness and peace 😉

  7. You must really love spaghetti squash!! I’ve never tried it 😦

    I have faith in God for sure! It’s hard to describe, but I think through recovery I’ve found myself renewed in faith. I never much thought about it before. I went to church very little and never was motivated to actually practice my religion. But since commiting to getting healthier, I’ve found myself wanting a closer relationship with God. I don’t know. Maybe it has do with just wanting to be reassured that life is worth it. That my life is worth living and being healthy enough to live it.

    ❤ Tori

  8. You know, you address a point that is valid in just about all us bloggers’ lives. We must trust in recovery. It is much like the prospect of “God” because we can’t see it or talk to it or anything of that sort, we simply feel it. And that is how much of life works. We can see our bodies, but we can’t see what they need inside. We have to trust in what we feel, for ourselves to be healthy.

    Wonderful post — really thought provoking.

    ♥Alexandra

  9. Ten days of awe, indeed… it’s probably awful that I view them as “ten days of dread”!

    I avoid “religious debates” at all costs… my motto is kind of “live and let live”! But, obviously, I do believe. Even if I sometimes have a hard time reconciling that to life on a practical level.

    (This is completely random — but that is actually my favorite Rosh Hashana / Yom Kippur prayer. Everyone thinks I’m crazy for that, but I just love it.)

    ❤ ❤

  10. I would say I’m sorry my mistreating my body with malnurishment..but if I can’t be sorry for going through something that made me who I am today.

    Beautiful post as always. I do believe in God and was baptized Catholic..but like you said about not being a “religious Jew”, I’m the same way. I believe stuff that Catholics “don’t believe in” but I think God loves everyone and accepts everyone as long as they repent. Otherwise we’d all be walking do-good zombies.

  11. So I’m Catholic, but not actively practicing, and I graduated from a Catholic High School! When all of that “mess” went down with the Priests and Alter Boys in Boston I was living there at the time and that was when I made a conscious decision that I’m pretty disgusted with the Church and I can worship on my own terms…the stories in the media were horrible and awful and I didn’t want to be a part of it.

    And it IS Catholics who don’t eat meat…during lent, before Easter. 😉

    I try not to have any regrets. I have a couple that can’t be changed or fixed and that sucks, but I lived with it and moved on. So with that being said, those couple of things would also be the things that I am sorry for.

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