Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Healthy eating


"One who eats foods which harm his body violates three prohibitions: He degrades himself, he degrades the food, and he recites an inappropriate blessing [upon the food]."

(Avot d'Rabbi Natan, Chapter 26; cited as well in Biur haGRA to Yoreh Deah 116:19)

Have a great day,


  1. I understand the first and third, but not the middle. Extrapolating to dealing with people (or their "produce"), if one were to praise "Mein Kampf", "Protocols...Zion", or child pornography, he would be degrading himself and inappropriately blessing evil material, but how would he be degrading the material itself? Is inappropriate praise somehow tantamount to degradation of the object of that adulation? Does Avot d'Rabbi Natan expand on this concept?

  2. Hi Anonymous,
    Yes, I wondered about that as well. Avot d'Rabbi Natan does not expand on it at all; perhaps the case is that one ate an item which would have served some other purpose, had he not consumed it.