Question: You have often recounted how your teacher held meals. Their meals included onions, olive oil, bread, salt, pepper. Was this simple diet chosen on purpose so that the food didn’t interfere with the intention? Or was there some other reason?
Answer: It was at the very beginning of my journey. When I came to class in the evenings, I went into the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee and saw simple plastic plates with slices of half-eaten bread and the remains of chopped, peppered onions sprinkled with olive oil. There were always a couple of empty beer bottles nearby.
It turned out that five to six students of my rav’s father Baal HaSulam, old people already more than 70 years old, gathered together for classes and every evening finished their day with a meal.
I don’t think they needed any other food; that was enough for them in the evenings. Such food represents a meal of gratitude to the Creator, gratitude to each other for the fact that they gathered, studied together, and comprehended the universe in their studies. It was with this gratitude to the Creator that they ended their day.
Question: Would you agree that if they had some kind of sophisticated diet, special, very tasty dishes, it would probably be harder to keep the intention of why you are doing this. Was that why such a simple food was specially chosen?
Answer: I don’t think it would be difficult for them. Such a modest meal is not arranged for this. You just don’t need more. This is no ordinary lunch or dinner. With such a symbolic meal, friends who have lived together for 50 to 60 years sat down at the table and ended their day in this way. By this joint union, they emphasized their spiritual exaltation.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/9/21