There is a topic I would to address. This is causing me muuuuuuch anguish and [as someone once said], "I have no strength to speak but I have less strength to remain silent". I hope that it will help at least one person out there become a tad bit more spiritual and that will be my reward.
I have been reading these advertisements for Pesach programs that Jewish publications are filled with and I read again and again in many different words about food. "Exquisite cuisine", "culinary experts", "to'ameha program upon arrival" [meaning "we will stuff you with food from the moment you get here"], "24 hour tea room", "expert chefs", "dining pleasure", "gourmet delights", "sumptuous meals", "daily poolside barbeque" [combining, may we add, the visual delights related to gilui arayos together with your gastronomic pleasure. מעין עולם הבא ממש ...] etc. etc.
Here is one advertisement [featuring a picture of the chef! He is a "gavra":-)]:
Our Executive Chef Manny has many years of Passover Glatt kosher experience leading and managing culinary teams at the most prestige’s Passover hotels will bring his award-winning culinary team to ..... and will be coordinating our outstanding gourmet cuisine, Whether it’s in our dining room, tea room, or poolside barbecue, an array of impressive delights will await your dining pleasure.
Manny is currently the Executive Chef of Five Star Caterers located in New Jersey leading their high end division as one of the elite kosher caterers in the gourmet scene. Additionally, Manny conducts private cooking classes and demonstrations each year teaching younger professionals the science behind the dish. Most of all, he likes to have fun in his kitchen, which is evident in the casual perfection [??!!] of his dishes.
Our culinary team is a collection of the most professional world class gourmet chefs in the kosher food industry, with years of experience working with the leading catering companies, on Pesach and year round. Our rich menu with superb variety and delectable choices will assure everyone the most elegant [getting fat is NOT elegant E.E.] and tasteful culinary experience.
Our all-you-can-eat Tea Room is lavishly stocked a dazzling array of fresh fruits, fine chocolates, pastries, sweets, ice-cream, gourmet nuts, hot and cold beverages and smoothies, for your nonstop dining pleasures. It's the perfect stop during the day or night to get caught up or meet new friends.
At Passover in ..... our experienced staff will work hard to insure that your decision to join us will result in your total satisfaction exceeding all expectations.
Here is another:
The Aussie Gourmet, will returning to direct the innovative Culinary Program. Rachel will be sharing her passion for cooking with intriguing hands-on demonstrations and cooking competitions.
This has NOTHING to do with "simchas yuntiv" [where eating is a mitzva] and everything to do with a hedonistic, unbridled desire for food which horribly corrupts not only the soul but the body as well. If someone is at times "nichshal" and falls in his avodah of curbing his or her appetite, it is one thing. We are all people. But to have a premeditated almost non-stop eat-athon for which people are dropping tens of thousands of dollars [which could be going to thousands of families, some of whom live not far from you or many people you know, who don't have money for wine and matzos] is, to my mind, a spiritual crisis of no less magnitude that the "kids off the derech" epidemic and the many other problems we face. Here it is worse in a way, BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA THAT ANYTHING IS WRONG. THEY THINK THAT THIS IS LEGITIMATE.
But the Torah [the same one that they scrupulously follow when they eat their matzos and avoid chometz over Pesach], teaches us otherwise, as I hope to expand in future posts.
My purpose is not CHAS VI-SHALOM, to be מקטרג on Am Yisrael kedoshim, but to try to save any neshamos from falling. Every one of these people who will be fressing away over Pesach is better than I am in a thousand ways [although, in all likelihood, heavier as well. At least after Pesach:-)]. I am filled with sin, and have countless flaws [for a breakdown I can send you to various family members and I give them permission to share:-)]. But that doesn't preclude me from crying out about this contemporary epidemic that corrodes the gentle neshama of a Jew.