Feeding the body is how we survive, but feeding our soul allows us to thrive.
In the portion of Terumah, God instructs Moses: “Build unto me a Tabernacle, so that I can dwell within you.” In this story, there is a disagreement between Moses and Bezalel, the chief artisan of the Tabernacle, regarding how it should be constructed. Initially, Bezalel intends to build the structure just as one might a house. First you lay the foundation, then you put up the walls, the roof, and finally you place everything inside. Seems to make sense! Moses disagrees, saying first we must establish what is inside, and then we shall raise the walls around it. It’s an odd conversation to find in the Bible, but of course we know that there is nothing in Holy Scripture that does not contain profound depths of wisdom.
With these instructions to Bezalel, Moses is teaching us a great secret: When it comes to matters of the spirit, it is what’s on the inside that comes first, and matters most.
Statistic Brain did a study in January 2017, polling thousands of individuals on their New Year’s resolutions. At 21%, the largest majority by far resolved to eat healthier or lose weight. These are sound goals. After all, our body is a gift from the Creator, and as such it is important that we take care of it. Our soul too is a gift from the Creator, and though it is not as observable and needy as our body, it is the life force upon which the body runs and is worthy of being fed.