web analytics
November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

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

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

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: