The festivities of New Year’s celebration are now over. Those who made resolutions for the New Year are, perhaps, wondering just how they will fulfill them. For those who have made the ever-popular resolution of eating healthier in the year to come, Jewish Treats offers some fascinating Talmudic tidbits on eating habits. While some of these may seem obvious and others obscure, it is interesting to note that the sages of the Talmud felt these points to be important enough to record.
Don’t Talk with Your Mouth Full: “One should not talk while eating, lest the windpipe [receive the food] before the gullet and endanger one's life” (Taanit 5b).
Eat Slowly: Of the three things that Rab Judah noted as prolonging a person’s days (life), one is “the drawing out of a meal” (Berachot 54b).
Eat Your Vegetables: Rabbi Huna said: No scholar should dwell in a town where vegetables are unobtainable” (Eiruvin 55b).
Eat Breakfast: One of the seven pieces of advice that Rabbi Akiva gave to his son Rabbi Joshua was “Arise early and eat: in summer on account of the sun [i.e., heat] and in winter on account of the cold” (Pesachim 112a).
Don’t Eat Rich Foods: “Do not eat geese and fowls lest your heart pursue you” (Peaschim 114a). While this verse could be understood as a warning against gluttony, one could also understand it as a warning that rich foods can effect the heart.
Don’t Be A Glutton: “It has been inferred that if a person consumes such a quantity (the approximate volume of 43 eggs) of food [in a day] he is sound in body and happy in mind. He who consumes a greater quantity is a glutton, and he who consumes less suffers from bad digestion” (Eiruvin 83b).
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