Yohanan 6:53-63 "Yeshua therefore said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of Adam and drink his blood, you possess no life in yourselves. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood possesses everlasting life, and I shall raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is truly food (meat) and my blood is truly drink...But Yeshua knowing within himself that his taught ones were grumbling about this, said to them, does this make you stumble?...It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh does not profit at all. The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life."
I was reading "The Essential Talmud" today and came across an old note I had made in relation to the kabbalistic concept above.
The Essential Talmud page 253 "Both halakhah and aggadah were Torah, each reflecting a different aspect of the truth. In one of the sources the sages compare halakhah to meat and aggadah to wine, emphasizing the difference between the basic food and drink that raises the spirits. In fact, aggadah was often regarded as the path to spiritual elevation..."
Catholicism tells us that Yeshua is referring to eating a wafer and drinking a small cup of wine/grape juice to receive eternal life. However with a good understanding of Jewish spirituality we can clearly see the true intent of Yeshua's words. When Yeshua sees that his students are having a hard time with this spiritual concept he explains "...the words that I speak to you are spirit and are life..." What words are there that are referenced as meat and drink? The Torah shebal peh - The oral Torah. When run back through the proper filter of orthodox Judaism Yeshua is stating that those who possess the halakhah and the aggadah have eternal life. The Torah which includes the oral Torah is life itself. Without the oral tradition/oral Torah you are lacking the flesh and blood of the written. The aggadah (which includes the explanation of spirituality/kabbalah) in particular is the spirituality of Judaism and the very source of spiritual elevation. Lets see if Yeshua agrees that the aggadah is elevation or vitalizing for the spirit.
"...It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh does not profit at all..."
The strongs number for "gives life" is 2227 " to (re-) vitalize" This word is also used just a chapter earlier...
Yohanan 5:21 "For as the Father raises the dead and makes alive, even so the son makes alive whom he wishes."
The word makes alive or quickeneth is used in the sense of elevating or revitalizing. So it is likely, and would make more sense that Yeshua was saying...
Realize that if you eat and drink (internalize) the oral Torah that I am now giving you - It is your spirit that is elevated/vitalized, the flesh does not profit at all.
This not only fits better contextually for the verse but it also matches the concept found in "The Essential Talmud"
" In one of the sources the sages compare halakhah to meat and aggadah to wine, emphasizing the difference between the basic food and drink that raises the spirits. In fact, aggadah was often regarded as the path to spiritual elevation..."
Notice the "raises the spirits" and the "path to spiritual elevation"
The sages of orthodox Judaism tell us that the oral Torah is both meat and drink, but not for the physical body, rather the spirit is raised or elevated by the oral Torah. Yeshua is telling us the same thing. By internalizing the written and oral Torah you are internalizing the essence (teachings) of the Mashiach.