Can’t always have it all

new yorkEarlier I’d written how limits can make us free. Then it was the topic of fasting, which we have in Judaism a few times a year, but it is not a common thing in mb. Now the limit that is weighing heavily on my mind is my upcoming trip to New York. When I travel I love meeting new mb people and even more, love learning with mb teachers.  That I love both Judaism and Macrobiotics is why I started this blog – but that sometimes they conflict is my difficult challenge.  As a practicing Jew, I follow the laws of Torah, which include kashruth.


For the most part, I bring my own pots and cook my own food in places we rent. In New York there is no problem finding kosher restaurants, but then my challenge is eating the healthier options, definitely not pure mb. On the other hand, I have compromised by eating in vegan restaurants – not what some observant Jews might do, but I feel as long as there is no meat, dairy or seafood cooked at the establishment, it is at a level I can be comfortable with (the first few times were the hardest). My problem is not all mb restaurants are vegan, nor are all teachers – and then I do not allow myself the luxury of eating there. There is plenty of food options, so it is not that painful. But there are not that many wonderful mb teachers, then it is painful.

Sometimes we are very fortunate and teachers come to us. Here is an excerpt from Victoria Bayarev who will be coming at the end of June to our community:


A human being cannot live without a certain system of values. Originally, a man has a clear set of features, capacities, abilities. By nature, a person is LIMITED in physical capacities, given him at birth (we are not able to fly or swim under water more than a few minutes or jump further than a few meters, etc.). Our physiological abilities are also limited (we can’t ingest an unlimited amount of food; we can’t live without sleeping a certain amount of hours a day, etc.). And this initially insurmountable set of functions requires a certain system, a set of values,  that will allow a human being to thrive, to be healthy, productive, and feel protected, secured and comfortable. It is a matter of achieving happiness and freedom within the structure. Macrobiotics is a great system to follow if we deeply understand its meaning and how to make it work for us. My passion is to share my experience and knowledge and be able to help as many people as I can to heal their health, to heal their lives. I want to take an opportunity to encourage you to never stop learning, to strive for better health, better you for the sake of your loved ones and the world around you.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the details of my program in Jerusalem that will take place on June 29, 2015. To learn more about me, please visit

Happy Passover!
Hag kosher ve sameach!

With love,
Victoria Barayev, CHNC


Of course, travels are much more than just finding mb experiences – but having to say no to something I would have enjoyed is not easy. Then again, life is not always easy – who ever said it had to be??


3 thoughts on “Can’t always have it all

  1. I am in the same boat, Klara. But remember, everything in life has a front and a back. Everything balances out sooner or later. You are in for something bigger than not being able to have what you want at this given moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Victoria. Interesting, the mb answer is front/back, the Jewish answer is Hashem rules everything and all He does is for the good – but in both cases, one has to be much further along in their belief systems than I am – in the latter, I am taking a course called Keshet Wife with Sara Yocheved Rigler – and that’s one of the lessons she’s teaching now – whenever something DAFI, Disappointing, Aggravating, Frustrating, Infuriating happens, first we say it’s from Hashem, then we thank Him for it (gratitude for everything), then we look to see what we might have learned from it (sometimes that needs perspective of time). With both of those beliefs, we can approach and its challenges with so much more optimism.


  2. “I feel your pain”. For many years, I’ve struggled with the conflicts between being an observant Jew and serious practitioner of macrobiotics. I’ve travelled and starved. Twenty-seven years ago, I changed my minhag (through bet din) to Sephardic, having long been immersed in its heritage (my main teacher, Meir Abehsera, was Moroccan, and my wife as well). Until that point, I used to get quite sick every Pesach, as I couldn’t find enough food to eat to replace the whole grains and beans. Now I eat them. It is not my problem that the rabbis do not know about kasha, millet or amaranth not being grains, but seeds, and no reason not to eat them just because the minhag has not been established either way. Or that some poskim try to make it impossible to eat any grains whatsover, forcing one to eat meat fish egg to maintain one’s strength. Having studied the laws of Pesach now in depth, there is a freedom of practice that didn’t exist for me before. The Arizal said a Jew COULD be strict, but I know even Ashkenazim who were given heterim for brown rice and beans on Pesach for health reasons. Like you, I won’t eat in macro restaurants that cook shellfish, but will eat in vegan ones. Rabbi Mark Angel holds that if you know the ingredients, can see the kitchen, and don’t make motzi on bread, one can eat in vegan restaurants in a pinch.

    Everywhere I go, I see observant Jews in very poor health, mostly because of the poor diet, heavy in animal fats and simple carbs, and lack of exercise. Can this be what our great rabbis meant for our people?

    Liked by 1 person

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