Photo Credit: Eyal Bartov

Health has to do with harmony. An unhealthy body is one in which different parts are not in touch with each other. For example, the foot is strained and throbbing but the brain is not aware until it is too late, and the damage is already extreme. How does this occur? It occurs when we are not listening to the body’s tune. We are not fine-tuning our bodily instrument enough and so we may not even be familiar with how an ideal body should feel anymore.

This can be related to current events. It is said that problems that befall the Jewish people are related to our own internal issues. For example, the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed not because of the Romans, but rather G-d sent the Romans to destroy the Temple because the Israelites were lacking in the Mitzvah of V’Ahavta L’re’echa Kamocha & had become corrupt. These days, a strong split exists within the community of Israel in America. The left and the right are failing to see our united fate, roots & souls. Liberal Jews are often embarrassed of their association with the traditional Orthodox. Right-Winged are outraged at the Left-Winged resistance of our most Pro-Israel President in history. The irony is that these two wings belong to the bird that is the “Hashem Echad” we all belong to.


Health is more than choosing the right foods. Choosing the right foods is very important, no doubt. Organic, fresh produce is going to make people feel better. Green foods will be healing. Lemon will be cleansing. Cucumber will be refreshing, etcetera. These truths are evident. But beyond the issue of food, herbs & natural medicine, there are the root issues that are giving us problems in the first place. It may come as surprising, but these root issues usually have nothing to do with the physical reality. This is similar to the destruction of the Temple, which was not caused by the physical destruction but by the interpersonal failure of our nation to hold the space for what was our Holy Temple.

What happens when the foot gets to such an extreme situation that no amount of massage, physical therapy or herbal medicine can help it? It may need to be amputated. It may need to undergo surgery. We are all guilty of imagining the amputations of our opponents. If the Arabs would only just disappear altogether, the Middle East crisis would be solved. If we just ignore the left-wing outcry, it will simply die down and come around. If we just keep assimilating, the ultra-Orthodox will eventually drop their Yiddish ways. Whatever it may be. But the bird includes all of these things, and all for very good reason. The solution is not in ignoring or neglecting the other side of “Hashem Echad.” Certainly not for the Israelite Nation, one of the most ancient and culturally-rich nations alive today.

Judging favorably, our nation is passionate, involved, inclined towards judicial systems and advanced thinking patterns. For this reason we are not apathetic, we care. Now to take that energy and transmute it into a more harmonious integration of the different parts of our nation and world would be an advanced exercise in healing, harmony & thereby exponential growth.

Perhaps instead of organizing Marches Against the things we don’t agree with, we organize meetings to discuss them. This may be a slower, more labor-intensive route, but it will at least cause productivity as opposed to more & more oppositions.

So where does illness come from if not from our foods? When we say “air-borne illness”, what air are we talking about? Is air only physical or is it full of the energy of the activities, words & thoughts happening in the same space? Illness is a root issue. Remember, the problem is not in the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, but in the problem of Sin’at ‘Hinam. The problem is not in the painful foot, but in our lack of having been tuning the foot at all, to the extent that we completely missed and were oblivious to all of the warning signs that would have naturally had to have occurred before the foot reached its critical state.

Health has to do with harmony. Harmony with our surroundings. Harmony with ourselves. Harmony with our decisions. There is plenty of work to do and none of us are living in the Garden of Eden, since if one of us actually was, then that would mean that all of us were. But no, we are certainly not! We are living in this flying bird world that is trying hard to find the olive branch from the revealed Garden of Eden. The most important thing is to remember our roots and never to forget where we come from.

To find the path to health, harmony and peace, we must work within our community to find those things. Our nation is a powerful microcosm of the world. As Rebbe Nachman said: “If you believe that you can destroy something, believe that you can fix it.” If we have seen the destruction of our Holy Temple because of baseless hatred within our communities, let us not continue to make that same mistake. Let us take heart to build harmony within ourselves, our families, our communities & our entire nation. Because the healing of our nation is the healing of the world. The Temple in Jerusalem was a place for all of the nations of the world to come and worship G-d and recognize the unity of the bird we are flying with in this life.

The physical reflects the spiritual. The mess on our desks represents the mess in our minds. The beauty of untouched nature reflects the genius of the G-d who created it. Let us focus on rectifications. Let us harness our minds to heal the issues and to make a positive difference, as opposed to continuously airing the dirty laundry of our world.

Together, pristine health, beauty and harmony are not only possible – they are absolutely inevitable.

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Alyssa Elbogen is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner specializing in Detoxification and Ayurveda with a degree in Jewish Thought and English from the University of Haifa. Ms. Elbogen works for Organic Circle in NYC and runs Holistic Health Wisdom.