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 Chabad.org 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.