Avidan Freedman

97/929 The Torah’s No Fat, Low Bread Diet

There are diets that are supposed to make you skinny and diets that are supposed to make you strong. But what about a diet to make you humble? That’s what the Torah has been offering us in these opening chapters of Vayikra.

Chapter 7 reinforces two important rules of this diet.

First rule: no fat. Not because it’s bad, but because it’s so, so good. Being willing to give up the very best of what you have for a higher calling is one of the most powerful pathways to humility, to internalizing deeply that our possessions not as ours by right or merit, but as a gift.

The second rule: minimal bread. As we’ve seen, nearly all the flour offerings in the Mikdash are made of matzot- the flat, humble poor-man’s bread. Carbs are necessary, but they can also be dangerous, and therefore their consumption must be delimited and constrained. Leavened bread is the symbol of hubris, and hubris is anathema to worshipping God.

But are we ever permitted, within the context of divine service, to allow ourselves to be a little puffed up and proud? Essentially, only when we bring a thanksgiving offering, a korban todah. When we are taking the gifts we have received and recognizing their source, and thanking God, we can brag all we want, because all the glory is to God.


This is my own little insight about the 929 chapter of the day, in 300 words or so. I’d love to hear your comments and start a conversation

What’s 929? A near-impossible challenge of consistency. A song of Jewish unity. A beautiful project worth checking out. Learn more at

About the Author
Avidan Freedman is the co-founder and director of Yanshoof (, an organization dedicated to stopping Israeli arms sales to human rights violators, and an educator at the Shalom Hartman Institute's high school and post-high school programs. He lives in Efrat with his wife Devorah and their 5 children.
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