Snacking and Satiation

Eikev By :  Shira D. Epstein Former Dean of the William Davidson School, JTS Posted On Aug 7, 2015 / 5775 | דבר אחר | A Different Perspective

Moses relays to the People of Israel that when they eat and are “satisfied,” they should bless God for the land that was given to them (Deut. 8:10). This passage from Parashat Eikev, incorporated into the Birkat Hamazon (Grace after Meals), tethers the sensation of fullness and abundance to the act of offering gratitude for the source of our food. In this modern era of overly-processed packaged goods and “in-between snacking,” how many of us are actually tuned into the moment when we experience satiation, or take the time to consider the original source of what we ingest? We crunch on cookies in between errands, slurp sodas at our desks, and leave a trail of crumbs behind us as we hurry to catch a bus. 

In order to fulfill this mandate of appreciation, we need to honor mealtimes as opportunities for mindfulness. The children in this image are closing their eyes and savoring their food. One can assume that an adult is encouraging them to become aware of each chew and swallow, and has modeled for them the ways in which they might pause and experience the textures and flavors. A space has been created for them to recognize when their bodies are full, and to offer gratitude for this gift.

Photo by kind permission of Mindful Schools