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July 18, 2013

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” – Sir Winston Churchill

Below is a summary of the Torah Parsha (Portion) Va’etchanan from

Although Moshe (Moses) is content that Yehoshua will lead the nation, Moshe nevertheless prays to enter the Land of Israel in order to fulfill its special mitzvot. G-d refuses. Moshe reminds Bnei Yisrael (People of Israel) of the gathering at Sinai when they received the Torah — that they saw no visual representation of the Divine, but only the sound of words. Moshe impresses on Bnei Yisrael that the Sinai revelation took place before an entire nation, not to a select elite, and that only the Jews will ever claim that G-d spoke to their entire nation. Moshe specifically enjoins Bnei Yisrael to “pass over” the Sinai event to their children throughout all generations.

Moshe predicts, accurately, that when Bnei Yisrael dwell in Eretz Yisrael (Israel) they will sin and be scattered among all the peoples. They will stay few in number but will eventually return to G-d. Moshe designates three “refuge cities” to which an inadvertent killer may flee. Moshe repeats the 10 Commandments and then teaches the Shema, the central credo of Judaism, that there is only One G-d. Moshe warns the people not to succumb to materialism and thus forget their purpose as a spiritual nation. The parsha ends with Moshe exhorting Bnei Yisrael (People of Israel) not to intermarry when they enter Eretz Yisrael, as they cannot be a treasured and holy nation if they intermarry, and they will become indistinguishable from the other nations.

When trying to think of a topic for my Blog, I always look and think about e-mails received, other blogs, torah inspirations and life in general. Over the last there is a topic that has come up. As normal the hard part is to link this with the Torah Parsha.

The Parsha includes the following famous words – “Ascend to the top of the cliff, and raise your eyes westward, northward…and see with your eyes, for you shall not cross this Jordan” (3:27).

Based on Drasha written in the name of Rabbi Yerucham Uziel Milevsky z”l – Moshe wanted dearly to enter Eretz Yisrael. Why, then, did Hashem “tantalize” him by commanding him to climb the cliff and gaze at the Land that he would not enter?

Moshe is associated with the power of Netzach (Forever/ Eternity). Everything that Moshe did was forever. He took us out of Egypt, never to return there as slaves; he taught us the Torah which we study and observe until this day. Therefore, Hashem wanted Moshe to gaze upon every blade of grass of Eretz Yisrael, so that throughout our long exile, the Jewish People would never lose that longing for Eretz Yisrael that Moshe felt when he stood on the top of that cliff gazing into the Land.

The Parsha goes on and includes the following words – “These words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart and you shall teach them to your sons” (6:6-7).

This week Loren said to me that Michaela had mentioned that it is so good to eat healthy foods, but that she also likes a few treats, which I believe is something very positive.

Only today on the radio they were asking people to phone in if they had dumped someone or been dumped because of their body shape. What is the world coming to? What message is this teaching children?

In the Rich Roll Podcast that I listen to. Rich’s guest spoke of going Vegan/ Raw-Vegan, then knowing all the benefits he had felt from such a diet he started to eat meat again, but from eating vegan he has learnt to love vegetables. The lesson that I learned from the Podcast are that eating “fads” may come and go and may even “back you into a corner”, but a good well balanced diet is with you forever and that diet and exercise needs to be part of my daily life.

eat cleanGetting back to how I got to the topic of my blog I read a few very good blogs/ tweets on healthy eating which are all very worth reading:

  • Peter Jacobs – “Kona diary; Day 1 – no more treats.” –
  • Natasha Kufa – “Don’t Forget the Carbohydrates” – It is common for athletes to refuel after a strength or endurance workout only with protein. However, without a source of carbohydrates post-workout, your body will not be able to produce insulin, the hormone that drives muscle building. Carbohydrates also help to replace muscle and liver glycogen to refuel your energy stores. The current recommendation is a ratio of 2:1 carbohydrate to protein following strength workouts and 4:1 after endurance workouts.
  • The Healthy Chef – Here’s a tip from my book 101 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT: Tip 61: GIVE YOUR BODY THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT TO THRIVE: – There are 6 lifestyle behaviours that have the greatest influence on our health and how we age. they are:
  1. Eating Healthily
  2. Getting regular exercise
  3. Getting enough sleep
  4. Not smoking
  5. Maintaining a healthy weight
  6. Not drinking alcohol or drinking it in moderation
  •  “Change your environment and you have the power to change your health in the future.”

As a husband, parent, friend and “blogger” I know that I cannot keep up my training, cooking, “dieting” (good eating) forever, but I know that I have seen and been taught the great benefits of diet and exercising. These benefits I am trying to teach to memy family and others.

To end I noticed the following quote today on Twitter that sums up healthy eating – “Choose black beans instead of refried. Brown rice over white rice and water over soda!!!”

For the last few months I have been toying with rebranding my Blog and possibly creating a website. The hardest part was thinking of a name. The potential name I have come up with which encapsulates diet, exercise and so much more is “Beyond the Fringes”. The name is based on a Shiur by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Rabbi Sacks says that one of the great commands of Judaism – tsitsit, the fringes we wear on the corner of our garments as a perennial reminder of our identity as Jews and our obligation to keep the Torah’s commands. There is an unusual phenomenon. In the course of time, the custom has evolved to fulfill the command in two quite different ways:

  • the first, in the form of a tallit (robe, shawl) which is worn over our other clothes, specifically while we pray;
  • the second in the form of an undergarment, worn beneath our outer clothing throughout the day.

The two types of fringed garment represent the two dimensions of the life of faith – the outer persona and the inner person, the image we present to the world and the face we show only to G-d.

In the same way we wear an inner and outer garment I want my Blog to represent both the inner being the spiritual side and our diet and the outer being the exercise we do and our behavior. This encapsulates what my Blog means – a Blog about Family, Religion, Life, Fitness & Health

Please feel free to comment, give ideas etc!

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One Comment
  1. Mom permalink

    Always enjoy & get a msg from your blog. I found your explanation of Moses looking from without at Israel devouring whatever he saw and connecting it to our universsl love & longing to be in Israel enlightening & significant connection. Your thoughts on diet & health is always valuable. Thanks for sharing it. Love xxx

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