Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad you must not eat thereof… (Genesis 2:16-17)It’s interesting to note that it was actually a food-related commandment given at the very beginning of time.
The commentaries explain that this was because from the time of Creation, relating to food correctly was destined to be one of the primary challenges of a human being.
In fact, it's interesting to note that the Zohar calls eating a “time of war.”
In a similar vein, many have pointed out that the Hebrew word Lechem (bread) has the same root as the word Milchama (war), because when we sit down to eat, a battle for holiness takes place.
The Chida (see Chomat Anach, Terumah, Letter Hey) points out that the Gematria (numerical equivalent) of the word “Shulchan” (Table) is 388, which is the same as the phrase “L’Moshiach,” which means “for/to the era of Moshiach.”
I would like to suggest an explanation for this Gematria:
If a person uses his table, his meal times, and his eating in the correct manner, he enables himself to experience a semblance of the Messianic world right now.
His behavior brings inestimable merit to himself and the entire world and ultimately hastens the Messianic era. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Bregman is an internationally recognized Torah scholar, #1 best-selling author, matchmaker, entrepreneur, attorney, and media personality. His energetic and empowering messages currently reach over 350,000 people per week via social media, NYC radio, and newspaper columns worldwide. His website is www.RabbiBregman.com and his email is RabbiBregmanOfficial@gmail.com.