Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Shvitz. What is the benefit? Each bead of sweat contains a small percentage of things that are bad for us. Toxins, minerals we don’t need, things that, if we were not functioning properly, could eventually harm us.

Interestingly, when it comes to the non-tangible things that we acquire in so many amorphous ways – ideas, habits, cultural norms and trends – we cannot simply dispose of or excrete the things we don’t need or want so easily. Abstract they may be, yet they may attach themselves to us in a powerful manner, perhaps refusing to let us go until and unless we exercise a Herculean effort over and over again. Would that we could sweat out impatience, addictions, anger, and our many other self-destructive behaviors that leave us worse off, closed off, and far off the mark!

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Sweat can be a good reminder, if we want. If we are mindful of our physical and obvious consumptions, then we must be many times more so when it comes to those consumptions that become habits of the mind and heart.

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Yitzchak Sprung is the Rabbi of United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston (UOSH). Visit our facebook page or UOSH.org to learn about our amazing community.
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