2010-09-24

Two difficulties on Sabbaths and festivals

I find it more and more difficult to spend Sabbaths and some Jewish festivals not because of their observance but for two other, non-religious, reasons.

Being a single, I really appreciate those families and synagogue congregants who invite me regularly to meals on Sabbaths and festivals at their places. The foods are all delicious, and the familial atmosphere surely adds special taste to the meals. But I often find my body react negatively several hours after such meals, because what and how much I eat is so different from what and how much many people in Israel, including my hosts, eat. I eat no meat and nothing sweet, including fruits, at home. When I am invited to a meal, I still decline to eat anything sweet, but I do eat meat. I have also noticed that many cooks compete with each other in the quantity of foods they serve. On such occasions I tend to overeat. I am not surprised that so many people are physically unfit because of a large quantity of unhealthy foods they consume regularly. Americans are said to be the fattest nation on earth, but at least in Manhattan I saw far less obese people than in Israel. Actually, I have seen such a large concentration of obese people nowhere else as here, and generally speaking, many immigrants from the Unites States I know are physically more fit than their Israel-born counterparts. In the swimming pool where I swim on weekdays I hear mainly English. I am surprised that the average life expectancy in Israel is quite high in spite of such unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical exercises.

We are meant to rejoice on Sabbaths and certain Jewish festivals, but instead of rejoicing I often become depressed for lack of a significant other with whom I can share my joy (as well as other innermost feelings and thoughts). I feel more and more keenly that we, or at least I, are not meant to spend our life alone. But considering my age, I have also started to think about the possibility that I may remain single all my life. I do not know from where the "salvation" will come, if at all, but I am trying my best not to give up my hope altogether.