web analytics
July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Doing Personal Teshuvah

         With three sets of three-day Yom Tov/ Shabbat combinations behind us, and a return to “normalcy” and our daily routines, now would be a good time to examine our lifestyle habits – and improve them. We just completed a period of time, known as the 10 Days of Teshuvah, pleading with the Heavenly Judge to inscribe us in the Book of Life.


 


         But our efforts to have our lives extended should not end after Ne’ilah. It should be a daily undertaking, one that we ourselves must take.

 

         Based on our Yom Kippur davening there are three ways to extend our lives and avert the bad decree, as spelled out at the completion of U’Netaneh Tokef. They are: Tzedakah (charity), tefillah (prayer) and teshuvah  (repentance).

 

         Doing teshuvah by vowing to not repeat our wrongdoings traditionally revolves around the transgressions between man and God, and man to man.

 

         But what about the transgressions to ourselves? Shouldn’t a commitment to remove bad behaviors and habits fall under the category of doing teshuvah? After all, Hashem has commanded us to take care of ourselves by avoiding dangerous situations and promoting measures to improve our health. When we indulge in activities that put our health at risk, and when we avoid lifestyle practices that can improve our physical and emotional wellbeing, we are sinning before our Creator.

 

        Additionally it behooves us to also do a cheshbon hanefesh (a personal accounting of our actions), followed by personal teshuvah.

 

         Here are some basic suggestions to accomplish this:

 

         ·    Exercise: It may be difficult to find the time to go to a gym or sports club and work out on a regular basis, but finding a half-hour to walk should be doable. It may only involve doing errands by foot, like mailing a letter or pushing a baby carriage to the grocery store. When at home on the phone, you can do a stretching exercise, like standing up and down on your toes. Other possibilities include kicking your legs out, or holding out your arms and lifting cans of vegetables in the air several times before storing them. Every little bit helps, and can improve both your physical and mental stamina.

 

         ·  Eat less (of the fattening stuff) or eat more (of the good stuff): We all know what we should be eating more, or less, of. It’s just a matter of implementing what you already know and summoning up the necessary self-discipline and effort.

 

         You must be extra vigilant when feeding your children. Overweight kids tend to become obese adults, potentially facing serious health issues that can shorten their lives. You are their protectors and role models. If you eat sensibly, they will do likewise. Also, encourage them to exercise; for example, turn walking into a family activity. This will benefit them both emotionally and physically.

 

         ·  Get treatment for life-threatening habits: Celebrate Shabbat, Yom Tov and simchas – but don’t go overboard on the alcohol. If you have a drinking problem, seek professional help. Ditto if you have any kind of addiction, be it drugs, gambling, indulging in risky behaviors or being involved in dangerous relationships like an abusive marriage. There are communal agencies that will help you receive the needed guidance and resources. You are made b’tzelem Elokim, and you are a valuable and worthy entity – deserving of an abuse-free life. You owe it to yourself and to those who love or depend on you to save yourself – and them.

 

         ·  Be a conscientious driver: Always wear a seat belt, even for a very short drive, and never ignore stop signs and red lights. Never drive when sleep-deprived or after drinking. Also, don’t drive while chatting on a cell phone. If you feel impaired or distracted in any way, pull over until it is safe for you to continue driving.

 

         ·  Quit smoking: For those who find it too challenging to quit, a good start is to cut down. And for those who don’t smoke, don’t start! This will obviously negate the need to quit.

 

         As far as I’m concerned, a parent who exposes babies or children to second-hand smoke should consider himself/herself a rodeph. Thus theymay very well be transgressing the commandment of not killing.

 

         ·  Be aware of your surroundings: Be alert and aware of the traffic and people around you. Know where you are going, and have a working cell phone handy in case of any problems. Always check the front and back seats of your car before entering it, even if the car was locked. Try not to walk alone in an unfamiliar or deserted area.

 

         There are many more areas vis-à-vis our personal lives where we can do teshuvah. But trying to improve even one is a good beginning to a life well lived.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Doing Personal Teshuvah

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
U.S. President Barack Obama escorts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of the Oval Office
Pirated Phone Conversation of Obama Slamming Bibi from Unverified Source
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-032814

A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.

Kupfer-031414

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.

Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.

One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.

For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.

The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/doing-personal-teshuvah/2007/10/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: