web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Eye-Opening ‘Teshuvah’

      Jews the world over just celebrated our receipt of the Torah and our unconditional acceptance of its precepts. One of the most prevalent principles exhorts us to do what we can to extend our lives. We are commanded to literally watch over our souls – in other words, to take care of ourselves.


 

      One way we accomplish this is by taking a day off from the stresses and pulls of our everyday lives, and indulge in a day of rest we call Shabbos. Removing ourselves from the daily grind for 25+ hours and eating together as a family, socializing with friends, learning Torah or just sleeping recharges our “batteries” and gives us a much- needed mental boost to help us cope with the rest of the week.

 

      But what about so many other activities that can lengthen our days – activities we shrug off, avoid or ignore? Look around in shul and you will see a lot of men, women and children who are clearly overweight. Over a very hot and humid Shabbos this week, I saw a young, obese man walking (actually waddling) with his wife and a few small children. I remarked to my friend that I was sure this man loved his children, and for their sake he had to somehow lose weight or there was a strong possibility he wouldn’t be around to raise them. Wondering why his wife let him get to such a state, we conceded that she could not make him take control of his life – for only he could. We also wondered why he had let himself get to such a state of obesity. But I think I know the answer – denial.

 

      Denial or the refusal to face facts is an attitude employed by those who do not want to deal with reality. They think that by not acknowledging what is blatantly obvious will somehow make it disappear. Young children afraid of something – for example, a shadow in their room – usually close their eyes in the sincere belief that if they can’t “see” the monster, then it isn’t there.

 

      Amazingly, many grownups buy into the childish notion of “see no evil, there is no evil” – but often with very dire consequences. There areehrlich men and women fortunate to be given early warning signs that something was amiss in their bodies, but who ignored this gift. Ultimately they and their loved ones paid an excruciating price.

 

      We all know someone who ignored a lump, a lengthy cough, or chest pains – until it was too late. Or skipped their blood pressure medication – and had a massive stroke. Or, despite having high blood sugar, ate what they wanted – and ended up on dialysis, desperate for a kidney transplant. Or had to have a limb amputated due to complications from diabetes.


      We have all gone to funerals, wondering, “if only”

 

      Some argue that everything in life is bashert, so what’s the point of getting that mammogram, colonoscopy or blood test. What is meant to happen will happen. But that’s not what the Torah teaches. Hashem wants us to watch over our souls. He wants us to make the effort to stay healthy.

 

      While we believe everything is destined, we still say every Yom Kippur that tefillah (prayer), teshuvah (repentance), and tzedakah (charity) can avert a bad judgment. Doesn’t teshuvah meancorrecting a bad habit or changing a bad attitude? If it is a mitzvah to do all we can to live longer, one can do teshuvah by eating and drinking in moderation, getting enough sleep, exercising, not smoking, and going for tests recommended by doctors. Thus the evil decree can be averted.

 

      Most important, the ultimate act of teshuvah is summoning up the bitachon (faith) that will bestow on you the courage to confront what needs to be met head-on. Very likely, you will walk away with relief and much peace of mind.

 

      But if the news isn’t what you wanted to hear, you will at least have increased your chances of coming out on top. Hishtadlus can give you a hefty head start on the cherished road to recovery.

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 “Eye-Opening ‘Teshuvah’”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli Air Force  planes reportedly bombed Hezbollah targets deep inside Syria.
Israeli Air Force Reportedly Bombed Missiles Site Deep inside Syria
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Kupfer-092614-Books

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/eye-opening-teshuvah/2008/06/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: