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A man and his stomach have a party.



Stick Figure Vignette: Parshat Ki-Tavo


Joy: Stick Figure Vignette: Parshat Ki-Tavo

A man and his stomach have a party.
Chessed; Acts of Kindness, Joy of a Mitzvah, Ki Tavo

We have such an amazing and beautiful inheritance of ideas, us Jews. In fact, we have so much, that it often becomes difficult to appreciate it all. I’ve come across this line from Rambam before. In fact, I come across it every year as I go through the Mishneh Torah. But seeing as I have a great deal of difficulty even appreciating the poetry of High Holiday prayers, it’s not surprising that I may miss some strong imagery in the middle of a book of Jewish law. “Joy of the stomach.” There’s something great there. And I may have missed it entirely if it weren’t for a remarkable compilation of commentaries on called “Parshah In-Depth.” I strongly recommend making it a part of your weekly lineup. And I may not even have been looking there if I didn’t have to share something about the Parshah with you. So I recommend making that a part of your schedule as well.

What I like most about this vignette is that the man isn’t enjoying himself. Normally I would imagine someone selfishly indulging in a feast as having a blast. But this guy isn’t into it at all. Not because he has had a revelation about the selfishness and meaninglessness of his actions, but simply because it’s no fun hanging out with a stomach. At least I imagine it would be no fun. In fact, our original concept for the cartoon was to have someone running around an empty amusement park with a stomach having a wonderful time. But when we started writing it out and imagining that guy all alone with that stomach, it just didn’t seem fun. In other words, that line in Mishneh Torah isn’t just telling me not to do something, it’s changing the way I look at it so that I won’t want to do it. I think that’s cool.


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Meira Shana Vista, California September 11, 2012

A joy shared I get it ... (and I'm from Cleveland)

When I eat out I enjoy myself ... when friends join me, I enjoy myself and them.

The food? Sure ... as long as I eat mindfully.

But I have learned that a joy shared is a double joy. Reply

JennyLeah OH September 3, 2012

RE: Anonymous in Cleveland I think what is trying to be said here is that true joy and gratefulness is selfless. When we are truly grateful for what Hashem has provided for us, our joy will be elevated by sharing it, rather than hoarding it for, because it gives our neshamas an opportunity to connect with their source (Hashem). If we are only at the party with your stomach, which is to say the more animalistic parts of ourselves, then we're only half there and can't fully enjoy it. Reply

Yakov London UK September 3, 2012

But...... One of the many poignant Holocaust stories..... It was on a forced march. A boy suddenly sees some bread on the ground. He goes out of the line to get it and a Nazi sees this and aims his gun to kill the boy. The boy says to him: "Please let me eat this bread before you kill me" He's saying - let me have a little bit of happiness - the feel of the food in my stomach. In my opinion, this is a very 'holy' thing. In this vignette don't begrudge the guy for wanting his food Reply

Anonymous Cleveland September 2, 2012

Huh? I don't get it at all. Reply

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