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The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Accounting for not Eating Food

P. C. Bruening from Germany wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I would like to know where I can find this passage in the Talmud. I think the indication I found in the Internet is wrong or defective. "Rabbi Hezekiah the Kohen said in the name of Rav: A person is destined to give an accounting before the Heavenly Tribunal for everything he saw but did not enjoy, ignoring G-d's world which He meant for man's enjoyment."


Dear P. C. Bruening,

The source that you are looking for is the Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Kiddushin Chapter 4 Halacha 12 (page 48, side b).

The Talmud states that anyone who saw food and did not partake of it will, in the future, have to give an accounting of his actions.

This statement means that when a person partakes of food he must make a blessing before he eats it. That blessing serves as a method to 'enhance' G-d's presence in this world. By choosing not to eat, a person is relinquishing the ability to praise G-d and His creation. Obviously, the Talmud is only referring to kosher food.

The Jewish outlook on physical pleasure is very beautiful. We believe that G-d is kind, and therefore made a world full of pleasure for us to enjoy.

Sources:

  • Pnei Moshe, commentary on the Jerusalem Talmud


 
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