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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘body’

Goodbye World, I’m Off to the Mountains!

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

After analyzing the many different facets of t’shuva, Rabbi Kook explains what happens to a person who sets out on a path of return. The first thing we should know is that there are many barriers to t’shuva. To begin with, when someone is not accustomed to the sounds of holiness, his ears are blocked to t’shuva’s constant call.

Life’s inner moral demand calls out to man, “Turn back from your sins!” Sometimes this inner moral compunction begins as a soft echo barely audible in the conscience. Was it a voice? Did I hear someone calling? Little by little, it gains in volume and insistency until it thunders, SON OF MAN, RETURN FROM YOUREVIL WAYS!

Occasionally this voice calls out so loudly, it rings in a person’s ear wherever he goes. It won’t give him rest. “RETURN!” it calls out in the disco. “RETURN!” it calls out at the beach.  “Leave me alone!” the hounded soul cries out. No longer can he pretend not to listen. No longer can he remain in the chains of crass material existence with all of its vices and pulls.

At this point, Rabbi Kook says, a person must rise to a higher spiritual level in order to find inner peace. He must summon inner courage to face this spiritual crisis. Sometimes, however, the moral demands of t’shuva seem so great, a person despairs of ever being able to escape the clutches of sin. His transgressions, like thorns, pin him down on every side. Outside forces seem to control him. He sees no possible way of making amends.

Once again, Rabbi Kook offers hope by telling us that it is precisely from this point of despair that God’s mercy will shine. “A broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise” (Tehillim, 51:19).

Sometimes when a person has a passionate desire to do t’shuva, he longs to perfect everything all at once. Discovering a world of greater morality, he immediately wants to actualize it in life. A sudden spiritual illumination has raised him out of his darkness, and he wants all of his actions, thoughts, and character traits to be immediately on the same holy level. With all that needs to be corrected, he does not know where to begin. It is easier to contemplate a state of absolute morality than to achieve it in everyday life. The more t’shuva he does, the more he feels the gap between where he is and where he should be. Without a firm foundation in the realm of the holy, he can easily grow discouraged and lose his resolve to become a more moral person. As a result, people who begin learning about Judaism, and about their inner spiritual world, often put on the brakes in fear of experiencing further letdown in not being able to reach their ideals.

“If a person wants all of his inner sensitivities and powers to be instantly renewed in line with the spiritual elevation which he has discovered, and expects all of his immoral ways to be immediately straightened and perfected — he will lack inner stability, and he will not be able to fortify his will to follow the path to true perfection” (Orot HaT’shuva, 13:6).

The solution, Rabbi Kook says, is to do t’shuva in stages. First of all, one should console oneself with the knowledge that the very thought of t’shuva, the very desire to perfect the wrongs of one’s life, is t’shuva itself. This very understanding brings great inner correction in its wake. With this recognition, a person can feel more relaxed, feeling certain that the t’shuva process is already underway.

Next, a person must intensify the illumination of holiness within him. This is to be found in the study of Torah. As we have learned in our previous blog, the study of Torah strengthens the will to do t’shuva and refines character traits and modes of behavior. As the saying goes, “Where there is a will, there’s a way.”

After the will for t’shuva has been firmly established, the person is ready for the details of t’shuva. This stage has two aspects: t’shuva over behavior in the future, and t’shuva over transgressions in the past. Once again, the Torah provides the guidance and light. The Torah translates the ideal moral standards which the person has discovered into the details of day-to-day living. Rabbi Kook writes:

Tzvi Fishman

Fit And Trim

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Dear Tanya,

There are some diet delivery services that are kosher. Do you recommend I try them? In the past, one of the reasons I had a hard time sticking to a diet was because I hate preparing for myself, and when life gets hectic I just don’t have the time.

Signed,
Do I?

Dear Do I?,

From what you are saying, it sounds like you would benefit from this type of service. Many women would prepare a three course, customized meal for any member of their family, but when it comes to ourselves, we get lazy and find every excuse not to do it. With a kosher diet home delivery service, all the work is done for you. Although the price may seem high, it really isn’t if you consider how much you spend on groceries and take out. Plus, long term you save money – if it works for you then you won’t have to keep spending money on a nutritionist or a fitness program. The key is not to eat anything outside of these meals (unless it is required in the program). Be sure to do your research, as not all the diet services are the same. Find a program recommended by a qualified nutritionist and make sure the food is not only kosher, but tasty as well so that you enjoy it.

Dear Tanya,

I’m wondering if it’s possible to target a specific area of my body, without working other areas. I am short on time so when I exercise, I want to target the areas that bother me the most.

In need of target

Dear in need of target,

As good as it may sound, the results of targeting specific areas for reducing or even muscle building, are usually disappointing and often prove to be of little or no use. The only body part that shows any real potential for spot training are the ab muscles. The reason is that the storage areas for your excessive weight are predetermined and genetically imprinted. These areas are the first to show gains and last to show losses. This is not to say you cannot lose fat in these areas, but change require an approach that burns calories overall, which, in turn, affects these specific areas. Spot building by targeting a certain muscle or muscle group can have slight benefits, but the results are more often marginal due again to individual genetics. The best way then to see results is to eat a good healthy diet, and to make sure that your workout includes fat burning cardio as well as toning for all areas of your body.

Dear Tanya,

How do I get more energy? I am so tired all the time. I tried coffee and even caffeine pills and they don’t seem to help much, maybe just a bit short term. Any suggestions?

In need of energy

Dear In need of energy,

Your energy throughout the day is affected by many different factors. The most common include overall health, mental stress, sleeping patterns, activity/inactivity, diet, prescriptions, drugs & alcohol.

Sleep: Obviously, if you are not sleeping well, your energy levels will be directly affected. We need 6-8 hours of sleep per day. Though everyone is a little different, most of us fall into this category. If you are not sleeping at least 6 hours a day, you are most likely dealing with sleep deprivation.

Stress: Not allowing your mind to relax from everyday concerns at the job, at home, in life, relationships and uncontrollable events will deplete your body’s immune response and make you susceptible to increased sickness/illness/disease as well as rob you of daily energy levels.

Activity: We need to be active enough to sleep better & lessen stress, as well as increase our metabolism, which in turn provides more energy. The more active you become, the more energetic you feel (as long as you get sufficient rest between workouts). The increase in activity also burns more calories, which assists in weight loss.

Diet: Your diet has enormous effects on your energy levels throughout the day. It is advisable to start every morning with a full glass of water, some type of fruit or yogurt, or oatmeal. Few of us have an hour-long lunch. But for those who do, this is an ideal time to get some energy through activity. If possible, get in a 40-minute workout/walk/jog/run or 30 minute swim/aerobic type class followed by a 10 minute cool down. Lunch can be taken back to the site, office or desk for leisurely consumption.

Tanya Rosen

Israeli Named to U.N. Human Rights Committee

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Yuval Shany, an Israeli professor, was named to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Shany, an international law expert who is the dean of the law faculty at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was approved with the support of 112 countries and will serve a four-year term.

He is the second Israeli to serve on the committee. Dan Kretzmer, also a professor, served from 1995 to 2002.

The Human Rights Committee is a body of 18 independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its 162 member states.

It is separate from the more high-profile U.N. Human Rights Council, a political body made up of 47 states that is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the globe. Members of the council, which has been accused of unfairly singling out Israel for attention, are elected by the U.N. General Assembly.

JTA

Dyslexia And Dysgraphia: Struggles With Reading And Writing

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Shifi and Shana were neighbors and their mothers had been getting together before they could even roll over. Now that the girls were in second grade, they did their homework together.

“Shifi, your ‘d’ is so funny! It looks like a banana,” Shana giggled.

“It’s not a ‘d,’ Shana, it’s a ‘b.’ And I can’t help it. It just comes out like that!” Shifi responded.

“What do you mean it’s a ‘b?’ It looks like a ‘d’ to me, but Morah says I keep making those mistakes anyway,” Shana said, blushing.

“Yes, but she keeps telling me I need to write neatly. I’m trying, but I can’t do it. Maybe we can trade. I’ll read for you. You write for me!” Shifi said eagerly, handing over her pencil.

While Shifi and Shana could be two girls who are experiencing regular struggles with reading and writing, if these issues continue, it is possible that they each suffer from a different learning disability: dyslexia or dysgraphia.

Dyslexia

The National Institute of Health defines dyslexia as characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition, by poor spelling and decoding. Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurological in origin and often runs in the family. Children with dyslexia experience trouble reading when taught through traditional instruction.

Though the symptoms of dyslexia manifest in different ways, some common symptoms for a kindergartener through fourth grader are:

* Difficulty reading single words not surrounded by others. * Slow to learn connections between letters and sounds. * Confusion around small words such as “at” and “to,” or “does” and “goes.” * Consistent reading and spelling errors, including: Letter reversals such as “d” for “b.” Word reversals such as “tip” for “pit.” Inversions such as “m” and “w” and “u” and “n.” Transpositions such as “felt” and “left.” Substitutions such as “house” and “home.”

Children with dyslexia are often well-adjusted and happy preschoolers. Research shows they begin to experience emotional problems during early reading instruction. Over the years, their frustration mounts as classmates surpass them. Often, these children feel they fail to meet others expectations. Teachers and parents see a bright child who is failing to learn to read and assume he’s “not trying hard enough.” This can cause children to feel inadequate.

Children with dyslexia frequently have problems in social relationships. This is because they have difficulty reading social cues or dyslexia affects oral language functioning. Additionally, without proper intervention, these children will fall farther behind their peers.

Dysgraphia

It’s hard for people to understand that children can have a learning disability that affects only writing. Most people assume that if you do not have trouble reading, then writing should be a cinch. Or, parents assume that trouble with writing is a physical impediment rather than a mental one. Dysgraphia, a learning disability that affects writing abilities, debunks these myths.

Dysgraphia can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper. Children who suffer from dysgraphia often have reading skills on par with other children their age. Dysgraphia is not simply a motor problem, but also involves information processing skills (transferring thoughts from the mind through the hand onto the paper). If your child has trouble in any of the areas listed below, additional help may be beneficial:

* Awkward pencil grip and body position * Illegible handwriting * Avoiding writing and drawing tasks * Tiring quickly while writing * Saying words out loud while writing * Unfinished or omitted words in sentences * Difficulty organizing thoughts on paper * Large gap between written ideas and speech

There are different effective strategies.

For young children, here are some suggestions:

* Use paper with raised lines so children can feel the lines on the paper, allowing them to stay on track. * Experiment with different pens and pencils. * Practice writing letters with exaggerated arm movements. This will help improve the motor memory without the pressure of the paper. * Encourage proper grip, posture, and paper positioning. If you aren’t sure how to help your child with this – don’t push it off too long! The later you correct these concerns, the harder it is to unlearn the bad habits.

Rifka Schonfeld

EU launches Online Anti-Semitism Survey

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

The European Union launched an online survey into how Jews experience anti-Semitism in nine member states.

Results will be published in an EU report next year, Henry Nickels of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency said Tuesday at a European Jewish Parliament conference in Brussels.

Nickels’ Vienna-based intergovernmental body and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, an independent organization from London, commissioned the British market research company Ipsos MORI to conduct the survey.

The study “investigates firsthand examples of anti-Semitic harassment and violence as well as the extent to which Jews feel safe in Europe,” a statement by the institute said.

To participate, respondents must be older than 16 and residing in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Sweden or the United Kingdom.

“This type of robust evidence will assist EU institutions in taking measures that will ensure that the rights of the Jewish people are fully protected,” Ioannis Dimitrakopoulus of the Fundamental Rights Agency said.

Joel Rubinfeld, the European Jewish Parliament’s co-chair, told JTA that the situation in Hungary is particularly worrisome “because we are seeing signs that official institutions there are condoning anti-Semitism.”

Laszlo Banay, chief adviser for the Budapest municipality and an EJP member, said at the conference that the right-wing Hungarian political party Jobbik has two Internet home pages: “One official page, and another unofficial and openly anti-Semitic one which operates from the U.S.”

Hungarian authorities are not prosecuting the website’s operators for hate speech, he said, even thought their identities are known.

JTA

Levi Aron Gets 40 Years to Life for Killing and Dismembering Leiby Kletzky

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Levi Aron, who killed and dismembered 8 year old Leiby Kletzky in July 2011  pleaded guilty to kidnapping and killing Kletzky, in return he received 40 years to life in prison.

Leiby Kletzky had been walking home from his Brooklym camp when, after getting lost, asked Aron, a store clerk,  for directions.

Aron then kidnapped Kletzky, drugged him, smothered him, and dismembered him. Part of the boy’s body were found in Aron’s freezer and the rest in a garbage bin.

Aron gave no explanation as to why he committed such a sick crime.

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

So How Exactly did Rachel Corrie Die?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

So what actually happened the day Rachel Corrie died? Here’s the judge’s determination of the facts:

e. I hereby determine that, on the day of the incident, the two bulldozers and the armored personnel carrier were occupied with the clear military operational task of clearing the land in a dangerous area which posed a significant risk. The force’s action was designed to prevent acts of terror and hostility, i.e. to eliminate the danger of terrorists hiding between the creases of land and in the brush, and to expose explosive devices hidden therein, both of which were intended to kill IDF soldiers. During each act of exposure, the lives of the IDF fighters were at risk from Palestinians terrorists. As aforementioned, less than an hour before the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit, a live hand-grenade was thrown at the IDF force.

….

f. On March 16, 2003, the decedent and her fellow ISM activists arrived at the location where the IDF force was working to clear the land. They did so, they claim, in order to prevent the IDF force from demolishing Palestinian houses. They did so illegally and in contradiction of the military directive declaring the area a “closed military area”. They held signs, stood in front of the bulldozers and did not allow them to carry out their mission. The IDF soldiers informed the activists that they had to distance themselves from the area, threw stun grenades towards them, fired warning shots towards them and used methods to disperse demonstrations. All without avail.

The IDF force was very careful not to harm the Organization’s activists. Because of the activists’ interference, the force repeatedly relocated to continue carrying out their mission.

g. Based on the evidence presented to me, including the testimony of the expert for the prosecution, Mr. Osben, I hereby determine that at approximately 17:00, the decedent stood roughly 15 to 20 meters from the relevant bulldozer and knelt down. The bulldozer to which I refer was a large, clumsy and shielded vehicle of the DR9 model. The field of view the bulldozer’s operator had inside the bulldozer was limited. At a certain point, the bulldozer turned and moved toward the decedent. The bulldozer pushed a tall pile of dirt. With regard to the field of view that the bulldozer’s operator had, the decedent was in the “blind spot”. The decedent was behind the bulldozer’s blade and behind a pile of dirt and therefore the bulldozer’s operator could not have seen her.

The bulldozer moved very slowly, at a speed of one kilometer per hour.

When the decedent saw the pile of dirt moving towards her, she did not move, as any reasonable person would have. She began to climb the pile of dirt. Therefore, both because the pile of dirt continued to move as a result of the pushing of the bulldozer, and because the dirt was loose, the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt and fell.

At this stage, the decedent’s legs were buried in the pile of dirt, and when her colleagues saw from where they stood that the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt, they ran towards the bulldozer and gestured towards its operator and yelled at him to stop. By the time the bulldozer’s operator and his commander noticed the decedent’s colleagues and stopped the bulldozer, a significant portion of the decedent’s body was already covered in dirt.

The decedent’s entire body was not covered in dirt. In fact, when the bulldozer backed up, the decedent’s body was seen to free itself from the pile of dirt and the decedent was still alive.

The decedent was evacuated to the hospital and after 20 minutes, her death was declared.

I hereby determine unequivocally that there is no foundation to the plaintiffs’ claim that the bulldozer struck the decedent intentionally. This was a very unfortunate accident and was not intentional. No one wished to harm the decedent. I was convinced that the bulldozer’s operator would not have continued to work if he had seen the decedent standing in front of the bulldozer, as he and his colleagues acted in similar circumstances earlier that day, when they moved from location to location because of the disturbances caused by the members of the Organization.

h. Because I find, as aforementioned, that the decedent was accidentally killed in the framework of a “war-related activity” as defined in The Civil Wrongs Ordinance, and in light of the instructions laid out in Article 5 of the aforementioned ordinance, the State bears no responsibility for the damages inflicted on the plaintiffs resulting from a war-related action.

Jewish Press Staff

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