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Shofar – an Alarm Clock!!

October 11, 2011

After Rosh Hashana someone asked how I am going to link the festivals to health & well being. With so much going on I was not planning to do a blog, but I have managed to pull together a few things I have read over the Yom Tovs that do link the festivals.

This is from a piece by Rabbi Frand – The second Mishna of tractate Rosh Hashana teaches “On Rosh Hashana all who enter the world pass before Him (for judgment) like Bnei Maron” (sheep being counted). However, the Gemara there quotes an opinion that “Man is judged dail y” [Rosh Hashana 16a]. At first glance, these two opinions seem to conflict with one another. Apparently, Judgment either occurs once a year or it occurs on a daily basis. The two opinions seem to be mutually exclusive.

Rav Eizele Charif tries to reconcile these statements by introducing the concept that that in reality, there are two types of judgment. When a person starts his year, it has been determined that he has certain abilities, a certain status, and certain physical and financial attributes. A status quo for the coming year is determined on Rosh HaShana. However, this “baseline” can be altered during the year — for better or for worse — based on the actions of the individual during the year.

One again quoting Joe Friel – “In order to do really hard workouts you must first do really easy workouts. Balance is the key to training.”

We all have a starting point, let us try do more. Watching Ironman Kona on Sunday was very motivating, seeing how deep these top athletes in both the men & woman have to dig, just to finish.

In an article by a year 7 or 8 student on the Shofar as an Alarm clock, (I was blown away by this article), that we all need to plan our time to do the things that are Urgent and the things that are Important. We are all focussed on the Urgent issues and often forget the Important issues like family time & of course excercise. The Shofar is our reminders to get our priorities right.

A third article by a lady Ayelet (Aish Hatorah) titled – Getting in shape, physically and spiritually is summarised it below:

This year, my list of Rosh Hashanah Resolutions will include: ‘Get in Shape!’ And I figure, the same basic principles that will get me in shape physically, will also get me back in shape spiritually:

  1.  Believe in Myself – I need to believe in myself enough to really give it all I have and try my best to make it happen. So my first step is to believe that no matter what, I know I can do this!
  2. Make a Plan – It is very easy to say ‘I want to lose weight,’ or ‘I want to be a better person,’ but without a clear plan and goal, I don’t know where I am heading, and I can’t possibly find my way there.
  3.  Take Small Steps – If I take on too much at once, I will burn out very quickly. Slow integration is the key to long-term effects.
  4.  Think of the Big Picture – I can look at the big picture and see how my choices will affect me later on.
  5.  Make Lifestyle Changes – Successful weight loss and teshuva can really only be accomplished by a true change in my lifestyle and
    behavior pattern.
  6. Resist Temptation – The easiest thing, of course, is to avoid temptation.
  7. Get Over Minor Setbacks – There is really no such thing as a major setback. My problem is that I let my minor set-backs turn into major ones.
  8. Monitor Progress –
  9.  No giving up –  …..that my goal is too important to ever stop trying.

I would like to add one additional point. SUPPORT – The great Chrisse Welllington who was pushed to her limits to win the Woman’s IronMan in Kona on Sunday was commenting on the fact that the athlete who came second pushed her to the limit – “My victory is also hers and I want to congratulate her on an amazing second place,” I would not be able to do the excercise I do, follow the eating regime required and attend the Shiurim that I do without the support of my wife. Loren supports what I do and also pushes me to be a better person. Yesterday when I woke for a run I said I was not feeling motivated. She said that Michelle Bridges (Biggest Loser Fame) says who is motivated at 5:15am. You just got to do it. (It is easier when both of us do excercise).

This year, may we all have success in our endeavors to get in shape, physically and spiritually!


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  1. Ian Pamensky permalink

    Wow – I’m impressed….thought provoking and good, sound advice to many of us….well written.
    I admire your committment in ALL you do…and of course I LOVED your comment of Loren!!!!!
    Lots of lov,

  2. Ian Pamensky permalink

    Wow – I’m impressed…very thgouth provoking and good, sound advice to many of us…well written. I admire your committment in ALL you do…and of course I LOVED your comment about Loren!!!!!!
    Lots of luv……Mom

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