Why is it so many of us build our self esteem around food? Or we tend to build an identity around food? “I am vegan”, “I am vegetarian”, “I eat paleo”, “I am gluten free”, “I am fat so I feel ugly”, or “I am skinny, I feel so beautiful”.
Somehow so much of society revolves around food, diets and either a good or negative self image. Some of this must be ingrained from childhood (comments we may have heard, or somehow constantly talking about food and diets). But a lot of it is because we need to identify and define ourselves according to something….food is something we all are busy with all day. So it becomes the easiest thing to identify with.
But in reality we need to realize we are a soul first and foremost and we need to identify with our Creator and with our mission in this material world. As a Jew, we need to identify with Torah. And that is actually the message of Simchat Torah: we dance with the Torah covered up in its mantle. Because our connection to Torah is higher than only learning Torah. Each and every Jew has an essential connection to the Torah and we therefore dance with it, celebrating that joy which is higher than logical understanding. On Simchat Torah we all are equal, from the greatest Torah scholar to the lowest person. We all dance with the Torah in the same way. In fact, often the simplest Jew feels the joy of Simchat Torah and dances more than the great scholar. So I wish everyone a chag sameach! This year let us identify with our Godly side and try to feel joy all year long.