web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Helping Yourself Get Inscribed In The Book Of Life

Share Button

     The Days of Awe are quickly approaching, a time that we focus on what the future will hold for our families and us. In particular our thoughts and mental energies are directed to the fervent hope that we and those we love will be inscribed in the Book Of Life.

 

      Ultimately our spiritual deeds may be a big factor in Hashem’s cheshbon of where we will be inscribed, but our physical deeds – such as our eating habits, our exercise schedules (or lack of them) and going for annual medical checkups may contribute to an unfavorable outcome of our tefillah on Yom Hadin. Our Judge has commanded us to shomer al nafshicha (watch your soul) which means “watch over yourself.” If we are lax then we are disobeying His command and committing a sin for which He may or may not forgive us.

 

      It is said that Hashem helps those who help themselves. Here is a good beginning to do just that.

 

      Don’t Smoke. If you are a teenager and haven’t started to, don’t even think about it. No matter what kind of pressure you are under, be it peer pressure or a misguided belief that having a cigarette dangling from your mouth makes you look “cool,” or as a means to “calm down your nerves”, or because of a rebbe you admire in yeshiva is always puffing away – don’t even try it once. Because taking that first step might mean you have already fallen into a pit that you cannot climb out of. Untold number of people are tragically addicted to smoking, an activity they desperately want to end to but instead have become slaves to, unable to stop a habit that very likely will shorten their lives – and very possibly undermine the health of those they live with. Besides the health issues, smoking causes one’s breath and clothes to reek; stains teeth and fingers; ages skin and is a waste of money that could be used for so many other things.

 

      Why the gedolim haven’t yet banned smoking or declared cigarettes and related products treif and forbidden – as they did the wearing of human hair sheitels from India – is a mystery to me. I understand that it’s too late for some people to quit – but why not issue a proclamation that anyone currently under the age of 16 is forbidden to start smoking?

 

      Exercise: The same way that people make time for davening every morning, afternoon and evening, there should be a requirement to set aside at least half an hour for some kind of physical activity, such as walking or weightlifting. Sort of like a zman kavuah. A man and his chavrusah can discuss their learning as they exercise together, making both activities enjoyable. While on the treadmill for example, each can have his daf in front of them.

 

      Eating: The truth is some people eat less then others but nonetheless gain weight from what they eat. Conversely, there are non-stop noshers that are a size two. People need to accept this “unfair” fact of life and know how much they can eat and act accordingly. Believe me, I know this is easier said than done, but nonetheless, men, women and now children need to monitor their eating habits before they have to deal with “rodfim” such as diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer.

 

       Medical Checkups and Tests: Going for a yearly checkup isn’t a big deal for most people. The problem is when the doctor orders tests that are universally viewed as being “nasty.” In particular, colonoscopies. I have friends who, having hit the age of 50, have been advised to get a colonoscopy. “No way” is the answer as they shake their heads in disgust. The fact is that a colonoscopy is a tremendous tool in the fight against colon cancer, which is often fatal if in an advanced stage. Colonoscopies can detect pre-cancerous growths that can be removed before they become malignant. A bit of inconvenience is worth the peace of mind a good report will give you or your family, or in the case of a not so good report, the patient will have a much better diagnosis because something was found sooner than way later, when the person is already feeling unwell.

 

      The same is true for mammograms, pap-smears and other gynecological tests. This is true for men as well. Recently a young father in his early 30′s approached me after hearing from a mutual acquaintance that I write a column in The Jewish Press. He had had a very harrowing year fighting testicular cancer – a disease whose victims tend to be quite young – 20′s and 30′s (unlike prostate cancer that usually hits older men). He has surprised his doctors by still being alive. He told me that he was aware of physical changes in his body but was totally unaware that these signaled cancer. While it is common knowledge that a lump in the breast needs to be checked as soon as possible, that kind of information as it pertains to males is not as widely disseminated.

 

      In the zechus of him sharing such a sensitive issue with me so that I could tell others, may he have a refuah shleimahand long years of good health.


      Speaking about lumps, ask your doctor to check your thyroid for them since they can indicate hyperthyroidism – where there is too much thyroid hormone being produced in your body; hypothyroidism – a lack of the hormone; or cancer, whose incidence is quickly escalating. Luckily, the most common form of thyroid cancer is very curable since it grows very slowly, which is why your doctor should palpate your thyroid annually. In addition, one of the symptoms – among many – of hypothyroidism is memory loss and forgetfulness, and it is possible that an elderly person who might be showing signs of dementia is actually suffering from a lack of thyroid hormone which can be cured with medication. (Information on any medical condition can be found online by going to a search engine and typing in its name.)


      I know that losing weight, exercising, and going to doctors/medical tests is easier said then done, but it’s something we must undertake – for while davening to our Creator to be merciful and inscribe us in the Book of Life is crucial, no doubt Hashem wants hishtadlus – effort – on our part as well.


      May your davening this year be successful and result in peace of mind for your loved ones and klal Yisrael.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Helping Yourself Get Inscribed In The Book Of Life”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Border Police take charge of  Yitzhar's Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva while students are on vacation.
Brave Israel Police Stand Guard at Empty Yeshiva to Stop Violence
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

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

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/helping-yourself-get-inscribed-in-the-book-of-life/2006/09/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: