A passage in the Torah this week tells us that “man does not live by bread alone.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

What the Torah is saying is that we all have powerful hungers that cannot be satisfied by the material things in our lives. We all have a deep hunger for love and affection. We have a great hunger to be needed and to know that we are filling a vital role in some lives other than our own. We have a hunger to feel that we are making some contribution, however humble, to the well-being of our world.

We have a genuine hunger for dignity, for self-respect, and for courage, as these qualities enable us to renew our faith in ourselves and in one another.

The Torah wants us to be aware of these hungers so that we might better understand ourselves and live fulfilling lives. Blessed as we are with material well-being, it is those thing that we cannot see or touch that make us most human, and that represent our path to personal fulfillment.

We are each endowed with a heart that yearns for nourishment and with a soul forever reaching out for something grander than it has ever known.

For sure, “man does not live by bread alone.”

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Greenberg