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January 15, 2014


“Stuck on Stupid” – A Quote from John Joseph, but on further investigation it means – adj., in a prolonged state of being completely clueless or too high to think straight.

This week’s Parsha is Yithro – – Moses’ father-in-law, Yithro (Jethro), hears of the great miracles which G‑d performed for the people of Israel, and comes from Midian to the Israelite camp, bringing with him Moses’ wife and two sons. Jethro advises Moses to appoint a hierarchy of magistrates and judges to assist him in the task of governing and administering justice to the people.

The children of Israel camp opposite Mount Sinai, where they are told that G‑d has chosen them to be His “kingdom of priests” and “holy nation.” The people respond by proclaiming, “All that G‑d has spoken, we shall do.”

On the sixth day of the third month (Sivan), seven weeks after the Exodus, the entire nation of Israel assembles at the foot of Mount Sinai. G‑d descends on the mountain amidst thunder, lightning, billows of smoke and the blast of the shofar, and summons Moses to ascend.

G‑d proclaims the Ten Commandments, commanding the people of Israel to believe in G‑d, not to worship idols or take G‑d’s name in vain, to keep the Shabbat, honour their parents, not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to steal, and not to bear false witness or covet another’s property. The people cry out to Moses that the revelation is too intense for them to bear, begging him to receive the Torah from G‑d and convey it to them.

Today I read an article[1] – “Stop worrying about falling off the ‘diet wagon’”. The author quotes a Doctor who says – “Instead of embarking on another year of dieting deprivation and inevitable failure Dr Kausman prescribes an alternative solution.” What are these alternatives?

The parsha begins by saying, “Vayishma Yithro” — “And Yithro heard”, (Exodus 18:1). Our sages ask, “Was it only Yithro who heard? Didn`t the entire world hear of the ten plagues, the exodus, the splitting of the Red Sea, the battle of Amalek, the great miracles that G-d wrought for His people?”

I read the following Answer from Rabbi Osher of Hineini – “Yes, the entire world did hear, but only Yithro listened. Many hear, but only a few take the message to heart. Everything depends upon our ability to absorb the information that comes our way. Our successes, our failures in life are contingent upon it.

Yithro listened and found the courage to abandon his prestigious position in his homeland and join the Jewish people in a desert where, to all intents and purposes, there was no shelter, water, or food. It was his ability to listen that enabled him to sacrifice and undergo a life-transforming experience.”

This week I listened to a brilliant Rich Roll Podacst. He once again interviewed John Joseph[2]. John Joseph is a punk rock singer from New York City, most famous for his work with the Cro-Mags in the 1980s. Joseph was raised in foster care and grew up on the streets of New York. Joseph is the author of the book “Meat is for Pussies,” on vegan nutrition, training, and the healthy lifestyle. Joseph is a vegan. He was a vegetarian prior to becoming vegan.

In the Podcast he makes some beautiful quotes which I will try piece together. He says we all have “access to knowledge”, but in order to grow and learn we “need a seed of knowledge”, we need to listen and learn. By adopting a healthy lifestyle and a changed diet he says that “Food is the start… It is the portal to the evolution of consciousness.” Through the diet that we follow we gain some understanding on diet, ethics etc.

I really think that most people fall off the diet wagon or do not follow a “healthy lifestyle” as they do not have the interest in learning or taking action from what they have learnt.

Listening to Rabbi Chanan’s weekly Parsh Shiur he also says that Yithro heard and acted on what he heard, but he goes on to say in the context of religion that if a person does not spend time learning Torah he will always struggle with religion. He says the same way Yithro heard and acted, we need to make time to learn, and only through our learning can we grow. Only if we connected can we grow. Only if we take the time to learn about diet/ healthy lifestyle can we loose weight, get fit etc. The more knowledge you have the easier it is to “Change” and “Grow”.

I recently read an article by Ironman Chrissie Wellington on “Body Confidence” and she made the following statement – “But, really, our bodies are not the external form, but the internal – the muscles, bones, blood, tendons and, of course, the mind. Our focus should be less about what our bodies look like, and more on what we can do with them each and every day. Our bodies and minds enable us to achieve great things – to work, travel, write, paint, and yes, do triathlons too.” I think she should have included learning?

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”  ― Ernest Hemingway


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  1. Mom permalink

    So true. Pity more of us don’t listen & ‘do’!!! Good advice for those who will listen. Xxxx

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