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Teshuvah and My Year of Eating Sacredly

By Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster Last year, one of my first posts for the Jew and the Carrot was giving up drinking Diet Coke as a way of eating more sacredly and doing a kind of food teshuvah (repentance). After all, Diet Coke does not exactly fit into my overall food values of eating locally and sustainably. It’s essentially water with coloring and caffeine, it creates wasteful packaging, and drinking enough of it each year has the carbon footprint of flying roundtrip from New York to Cleveland. In my attempt to eat mindfully, aware of God’s blessing present in the food before me, Diet Coke seemed like an easy target. Teshuvah comes from the Hebrew word meaning to return. Repentance is a chance to start over. But part of the teshuvah process is also reviewing how we are doing. We are told by the rabbis that we can’t repent knowing in advance that will plan to do our misdeed again, and yet, we are also human. Despite our best efforts, we slip backwards. We stumble, and once again, as Elul and the season of repentance arrive, we have to ask for forgiveness yet again. (more…)

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