Here’s a quickie for those who just want to know how to eat. Now is time for whole grains, beans and cooked veggies. Please check my website for cooking instructions- do not eat the new fruits which will be tree berries till after half the month. Watermellons and other temperate climate fruits are for after Chag HaShevuos—after the first week of Chodesh Sivon.

For those who want to understand deeper, please read on.

In Chodesh Eyar we re align our physical and spiritual selves to Heaven. This process of alignment is called Sephirat HaOmer.

During the Sephirat HaOmer count we re engage our higher self with our seven lower Sephirot. Chodesh Eyar begins with the third Sephira, Tephiret. Tephiret, meaning beauty, is the balance between Chesed-Loving Kindness and Gevuah-Strictness. This we call, Rachamim-Compasion. Tephiret, which is balance, also represents Truth and correlates to Yakov, the Torah Scholar who eats a centered, balanced diet of mainly whole grains and beans.

Chodesh Eyar begins nice and pleasant weather, and many “health food” advocates will prescribe a “cleansing
diet” for this new “springtime” weather, however, this is not necessarily the best way to approach this month. The idea that in the spring we begin to cleanse is true and it is precisely for this reason that we must stay balanced and not so to speak, “over cleanse”.

“Over Cleansing” is probably the main serious health problem in our generation. In the time of the Gomorrah the only cleansing food available all year round was wine, this being that wine is a “storage food”. Our blood needs cleansing from heavy foods and for this reason the Gomorrah also states that in a city with out wine you will find sick people.
In our generation however tons of cleansing foods are available to us all year round, too much, really too much. Always fresh fruits and vegetables and that’s beside the all the juices, fake juices and vitamin C, sugar and honey. This over cleansing causes ones lymphatic system to secrete too much lymph causing a variety of health problems.

Wine in large quantities (and for some of us depending on your health situation) is not recommended at all even in small quantities during this month. In fact we see that on both sides of the Jewish Year there are strong hints that wine at this time is not recommended. One hint is in Parshot Noach. Noach planted a vineyard, drank of the wine became drunk and as we know, the consequences were not good! (See Parhsot Noah) We read of this story about wine just after Chag Ha Succoth. Then just another two weeks later is the story of Lot and his daughters in Parshot Veyara where we again see a miss hap with wine. So too, on this side of year just after Chag Ha Pessach is the story of the sons of Aharon HaCohan, Nadav and Avihu (in Parshot Shemene) who according to Rebbi Yishmael, they died because they drank wine before going in to the Holiness of the Tabernacle/Mikdash. Two weeks later just like after Parshot Noach, the Torah once again mentions the death of Nadav and Avihu in Parshot Achari Mote. One should ask themselves, can I handle right now the intense cleansing which wine and even grape juice brings to my body? If not, then its best abstain, and for Kiddush use bread and for havdalah use tea. Also, wine which has a super opening and cleansing effect on our bodies balances out animal foods which have a more building and constricting effect on our bodies. It is therefore now time to totally move away from animal products except for occasional fish (for those who want).

In respect to “cleansing” similar to wine though not quite as intense are fresh fruits and juices. As you know, The Jewish Year Diet (and Macrobiotics) never suggests that one should eat and drink “tropical” fruits and juices, (and also tropical vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant), in a temperate climate. This includes bananas, oranges, grapefruits, avocado, papayas, mangos, etc. Also note, that the tropical fruits and veggies which of course do not originally come from temperate climates, though can grow anywhere, including temperate climates are called “cash crops”. Tomatoes which can grow just about any where, for instance, as a older woman in one of my lectures over 25yrs ago told me; “I remember when they brought tomatoes for the first time to N.Y., no one wanted to eat them, labeling them as the of “deadly nightshades”. So what they did was that they took a push cart with sliced tomatoes dipped in a wooden box filled with salt and gave them out for free”. It is of course the extreme constricting effect of salt together with the extreme expansive, cleansing effect of tomatoes which goes together. This is a bit of a turn on which I call Pizzazz. It is not a healthy way to live and it surely got many “hooked” on Tomatoes! There is also the tuna tomato, cheese tomato, meat and ketchup etc. All super off balance, extreme “side to side” eating!

What I am speaking about now is when those of us who do live in a temperate climate such as Israel and most of the U.S., should yes begin to eat our temperate climate fruits. They include, berries, (tree and bush), watermelons, apricots, peaches, the many types of plums. Grapes (the seeds are good for you! eat them too) which though only just begin to come into season at parshot Shlach Licha, Late Sivan as we are entering Tamuze, which is when the Meraglim-“spies” went into check out the Land of Israel”, {by the way, this is opposite mid Chanukah, late Kislev as we are entering Tevet. This is in parshot Miketz, when the ten brothers of Yoseph, “The New Light”, come in to the Land of Egypt and are accused by Yoseph as being “spies”-Meraglim Atem! Check my website to learn more about this.} There, in Parshot Shlach Licha, even though it is stated; “it was the time of the first grapes” late Sivan, though, which really does just begin our grape season, grapes should really only be consumed in large amounts starting forty days later after the ninth of Av. We are referring at that time when we do begin to eat lots of grapes, after the ninth of Av, not to red grapes but to white grapes, and that’s what’s mainly in season. The fact that at that time is time for specifically white grapes is also clear to us being that the women on the Tub’Av, (the 15th of Av) who were dancing in the Vineyards where all wearing white dresses and therefore not to stain their dresses, they were obviously not dancing in a red vineyard! They were harvesting grapes to make wine so therefore a few days later there would be no more grapes for eating so at that time, a few days after Tub’Av, cut down your consumption of white grapes and wait another month till around the 15th of Elul for red grapes. At that time the week which comes before the 15th of Elul we are reading Parshot Ki Tezte which includes the law that a worker in a Vineyard may, as he/she is working, eat as many grapes as they want, till satisfaction.

Please note that being that the world has figured out how to produce fruits not only of region but also out of season is precisely why we can not relay on when we see them in the markets or in the stores.

Therefore, I choose in this news letter to emphasize the importance of whole grains, the staff of life. By the way intestinal problems with gluten etc. can be alleviated with body work and the right quality sourdough bread and grains. The gluten problem is only a problem with ones intestines and not a problem with The Staff of Life-Wheat and other whole grains!

Guard your skin in Chodesh Eyar!
Chodesh Eyar normally begins with Parshot Tazria and Metzora. These Parshas speak about a new birth and skin problems. “Birthing” means that a new you is pushing outwards to be born. This means that everything is moving outwards, toxins to the lungs and skin etc. Also in nature at this time all is moving outwards and beginning to blossom. Sugars and fruits and juices also cause and increase in lymph and toxins in our bodies to move outwards. The sun which is super strong in Eyar has a great quality which “pulls” surface toxins from our body to the skin. The Gomorrah therefore calls the sun, “The King Healer” (Since there has been those who have or might G-d forbid worship the sun, I therefore believe that it is for that precise reason that the sun in Hebrew is called; “Shemesh”, meaning servant, to know that the sun is a servant, serving G-d. Therefore, do not worship the Sun, worship G-d!)

In Eyar till Lag B’Omer the suns pulling quality is super strong and can therefore bring on too much toxicity and can even G-d forbid bring on a stroke! I therefore recommend that till Lag B’Omer to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Our skin may cleanse out lymph, or toxic lymph at this time so also lesson your sugary fruit consumption. Get this; Sugars push toxins to the skin and the sun pulls toxins out to the skin (which can really heal) though a pull and a push together is too much cleansing into the skin, in fact, most of the year it is best not to eat too many sugary and other super “expansive foods”, namely, things which push and spread toxins in your body. Pulling toxins out which is the work of the sunshine, along with compresses and clay can be super beneficial for our healing. The “push” however is iffy. This is like what I recently heard in the name of Rav Beril Wine; “Most Jews have a natural “pull” to The Land of Israel and if they go with that pull then all will be good. Perhaps this means that they can come with all their money. However, if they go out because of the push, meaning being pushed out, then they may not G-d forbid leave in such a good way. So too toxins in our bodies, too much “pushing” around toxins caused by an over consumption of “cleansing foods” can cause G-d forbid real serious problems both in our inner organs and our skin. This all depends on many factors, including ones diet, their history, parents etc. and their body type. So we see that it is not the sun which causes G-d forbid serious skin diseases such as G-d forbid melanoma, but rather the sun and sugar, fruit, juice combo, and also with vitamine C which also causes over cleansing. The sun by itself for most of the year is a true Healer! It works great by drying up toxic lymph! Times not to be in the Sun are Chodesh Eyar till the 18th and during Chag Ha Succoth. At that time best to be only in the shade of your Succah!

The real truth about the month of Eyar being a time of healing is that healing does not mean “healed”, it is rather the process of becoming healed. We are told by our sages that the first letters of Eyar in Hebrew correlate to the Hebrew words which in English are: “I am The Lord Your Healer.” This statement by G-d is from Parshot Beshalach (Shemoth 15/26) which comes as we are leaving Mitzriyim-Egypt. It is not just a guarantee but rather guarantee which is on CONDITION. As the Torah tells us in Beshalach: “If you hearken diligently to the Voice of The Lord, Your G-d. and do what is right in His Eyes, give ear to His Commandments, and observe all His Decrees, then any of the diseases that I placed on Egypt, (which were manly skin diseases-though of course this means all diseases) I will not bring upon you, for I am The Lord Your Healer”.

Skin problems and Loshon Horror
The parsha which begins Chodesh Eyar, Tazria as I mentioned begins with the laws of birthing and then speaks about a skin problem called Tzaras. This Hebrew word sounds a lot like Psoriasis. Our sages tell us that this skin problem comes from the sin of speaking loshon horror. They learn this from Miriam, the sister of Moshe Rabanu speaking negatively about her brother. Moshe, for spiritual reasons had temporally separated from having marital relations with his wife and Miriam spoke negatively about this. The result was that her whole body/skin became tzras. Moshe cried out to heaven for her and she was healed.
Why though is it the skin which is attacked for one who speaks badly about another? My understanding is that the Hebrew word for “skin” is “ore” spelled with an Iyin and as I learned over thirty years ago from Rev Dovid Aharon, “ore” spelled with an Aleph is Light. Reb Dovid explained that according to Kabalah, Adam the first man and Chavah the first woman were created as pure light, just ore, though after the eating of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil they fell from the world of Atzilute, emanation, which is spelled with an Aleph to the world Asiyah, this physical world, spelled with an Iyin. Therefore “ore”-light with an Aleph fell to “ore”- skin with an Iyin. I therefore believe that the reason that ones skin is attacked when speaking
Loshon Horrah about a human being is to remind the speaker or the listener that they too are in skin, meaning that they too have fallen to this world of Tikun, therefore stop speaking negative about someone who is going through their Tikun. Look, you also have skin and therefore you too have a Tikun! Besides this, now at Parshat Tazria which begins with the laws of birthing, is us experiencing a new birth, with a new chance to begin again! Also at the full moon of Eyar is Pessach Sheni which Rev Shlomo Carlbach tells us is the secret of a second chance. Let’s then only take in/look at, and ingest the Good. As Reb Shlomo would also tell us quoting the Yishbizer Rebbi—(by the way we are opposite Berashis and Noach at this time of year) “from the tree of knowledge of good and evil to not eat” The Yishbizer tells to read it this way by inserting a comma—“from the tree of knowledge of good, evil do not eat!” Do not ingest the bad! This means not only negativity about others but also about yourself! My music producer and engineer, Andrei, however says that the highest level is no Daat—no knowledge of neither good nor bad-hum.

I therefore have two suggestions concerning skin problems in Eyar. Now is a time for a new birth in all of us. Judge your brother/sister to the side of merit, and only speak good about others and yourself. This also means even words/thoughts about yourself and others which remain deep inside and never reach to physical speech. The other suggestion of course is to cut out of your diet the foods which cause too much cleansing. This means tropical foods, spices, drugs, coffee, sugar, honey, molasses, too much oil, and eating fruits out of season! What should we then eat, and what should we do with our energy and brain power?

In Chodesh Eyar we are well into the barley harvest, soon to begin the harvesting the new wheat. Please note that oats are in the category of barley and now is a good time for eating steel cut oats and or oatmeal etc. We see an interesting story in the Talmud (the first Mishneh of the second chapter of Baba Metzia) concerning the grain harvest. A young man hires workers (most probably for his father’s wheat harvest, though for any work) and tells them that they will be fed. The father returns and yells at his son saying, how can we feed these people, they are the sons of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, even a lavish feast at the time of King Solomon will not suffice! The Gemorrah/Mishneh ends by saying; don’t worry pop, when ever the word “food” is used it automatically means only the main staple food which the country eats which is whole grain bread and beans! I therefore highly recommend at this time this type of diet of mainly whole grain sourdough bread, grains and beans (most of you need to learn how to cook and choose the correct beans etc. –see my web site- together with good quality organic veggies.

As far as tree fruits go, here in Israel it will be another two weeks before they are in season. This happens to be the date (the 16th of Eyar) that the “Mon”-food falling from heaven to the earth, begins. The following day the 17th is the date (according to Rebbi Yehoshuah, the date in which the great flood begins) the flood. Malbul in Hebrew, shares the root with Mibulbal, meaning confusion, and therefore the Malbul which is new light from heaven reaching to our minds, is not actually about “rain” but rather it’s about “brain”. A healthy person will increase their health by using this new light to organize activities in their life. Not flowing with, and using the light in our brains causes all sorts of nervousness and health problems.

In order to receive and use the new influx of light in to our brains, three things are needed. One, is more sweet-sugar from fruits, (in season at this time is the tree berries) and two and three are, either more brain activity or more physical activity or both. Every thing is in sync and perfectly timed and therefore at this time of the new Mon falling, and The Malbul which brings a new influx of light, is also exactly when the tree berries just begin to come in season. Please note that many of the tree berry trees are not kosher, meaning they may have bugs in them. We must therefore check them carefully for bugs! Wash them etc. Most of the other temperate climate fruits which I mentioned above are not fully in season till after the wheat harvest, namely, Chag HaShvuos-Matan Torah. At that time we are already into Chodesh Sivan, healed (as our Sages tell us that everyone was healed at Mount Sinai the giving of The Torah) and it is then safe now and we are ready to allow our bodies to really cleanse! At that time is parshat Behalatcha which mentions our need for certain cleansing foods including water melons! Go for it, eat watermelons, be active, sweat and cleans-its summer time! At this time fresh fruits and fun in the sun really goes together well!

In Biblical times, the Omer period, especially after Lag B’Omer, was about organizing the wheat harvest. By getting involved with this world in an organized way, the new light which is reaching from heaven at this time will be properly used thusly avoiding the Malbul-confusion. This is the instruction of G-d to Noach-“Build for yourself and Ark”, “Come into the Ark.” In Hebrew the work for Ark, Tevah is the very same word for “word”, as the Ball Shem Tov teaches (pointed out to me by Rav Menachim Kalish, that this is the main Torah of the Bal Shem) “instead of Ark, read; “word”, go into the word, words of Torah and Prayer.” This is right in sync with the following day, the 18th which is Lag B’Omer the yortzite of Rev Shimon Bar Yochi, and his message is to let others do the wheat harvest, meaning any dealings with this world, and for us to put our brains only into the learning of our Torah. We see that both schools of camp have some truth for G-d tells Noach to come in the Ark and then a year later Noach is told by G-d to go out from the Ark. So too a heavenly voice tells Reb Shimon, go back into the cave and a year later to go out of the cave. Those who are able to put their brains only into learning should defiantly do this. Those who can not should try, and if still not, then make a balance between involvement with this world and the learning of Torah. This was the view of Rebbi Yishmael, both work in this world plus Torah.