923 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403

Parshat Toldot: Hangry – November 17, 2023

Genesis 27:25

וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הַגִּ֤שָׁה לִּי֙ וְאֹֽכְלָה֙ מִצֵּ֣יד בְּנִ֔י לְמַ֥עַן תְּבָֽרֶכְךָ֖ נַפְשִׁ֑י וַיַּגֶּשׁ־לוֹ֙ וַיֹּאכַ֔ל וַיָּ֧בֵא ל֦וֹ יַ֖יִן וַיֵּֽשְׁתְּ׃

He said, “Serve me and let me eat of my son’s game that I may give you my innermost blessing.” So he served him and he ate, and he brought him wine and he drank.

There’s a word I love that has become popular in the last few years: “hangry”. It is a combination of hungry, and angry. We use it often in our house when trying to figure out why one of us is mad for seemingly no reason. Oftentimes, the frustration we’re experiencing stems from the fact that a meal was skipped. Rather than something being truly irksome, we just have a short fuse because our bellies are empty.

We are different people, better versions of ourselves, when our needs are taken care of. We have more patience. We are kinder. We can give more to others. We see this with Isaac: he wished to give his son his innermost blessing, but could not do so until his physical needs were met. This went beyond just being full – he took the time to enjoy not just any food, but his favorite meal, even having a cup of wine afterwards!  In order to give this blessing from his soul, he needed to address his physical and emotional needs first. Our world needs a lot of blessings right now, and each one of us is called on to be the most effective blessing we can be to our friends, family, and community. To give of ourselves, and to do so from our depths, means our needs must be taken care of. When we neglect self-care, our inner being withers, and we lose the capacity to share the richness of life, and of ourselves, with others. Like Isaac, it is only when we are well-nourished, both in body and spirit, that we can extend genuine blessings to those around us. 

Office Hours

B’nai Zion Congregation
923 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(enter parking lot from Oak Street)

Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Please call ahead to confirm someone will be in the office when you arrive!


Rabbi Samuel Rotenberg: rabbirotenberg@bzcongregation.com

Autumn Clark, Office Manager: office@bzcongregation.com

Phone: 423.894.8900

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