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Seeing the Light!

April 24, 2014

Blog 2“The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.” – George Sheehan

This week’s Parsha is The Parshah of Kedoshim[1] (www.chabad.org). Kedoshim begins with the statement: “You shall be holy, for I, the L‑rd your G‑d, am holy.” This is followed by dozens of mitzvot (divine commandments) through which the Jew sanctifies him- or herself and relates to the holiness of G‑d.

These include: the prohibition against idolatry, the mitzvah of charity, the principle of equality before the law, Shabbat, sexual morality, honesty in business, honor and awe of one’s parents, and the sacredness of life.

Also in Kedoshim is the dictum which the great sage Rabbi Akiva called a cardinal principle of Torah, and of which Hillel said, “This is the entire Torah, the rest is commentary”—“Love your fellow as yourself.”

Riding a few days ago, once again someone pointed out something on the road, this time it was not puffy bread rolls, but was a shining/ flashing red light that must have fallen off a bike on Beach Road. Did I see the light! Once again I thought I would add some additional thoughts post Pesach.

Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs)

Rabbi Noam Sendor gave a brilliant Drosha on the link between musicians seeking a way to express their souls through words in a song and more specifically through hip-hop and jazz. I noticed the following question in a piece attributed to Rav Kook[2] – “What is the purpose of Literature, and Art in general?

The purpose of Art, in all its forms, is to give expression to every concept, every emotion, and every thought found in the depths of the human soul. As long as even one quality remains concealed within the soul, it is the responsibility of the artist to reveal it….”

Recently I listened to a Pod Cast[3] on this Los Angeles based writer, rapper, actor, host, teacher, and award winning spoken word artist named IN-Q (see his website – www. http://www.in-q.com/ ). His spoken words are both moving and inspiring. He says that his words come from his soul. I have taken a few words from one of his poems that he read on the Pod Cast (I wish I could find the words) “Hard to say yes… easier to say next year… when I have more time…waiting for an invitation.

The future of the earth depends on how we treat each other… how we treat each other depends on how we treat ourselves…how we treat ourselves depends on how we see ourselves…”

I have noticed a group of riders called BIKE RELIGION. On further investigation I have found it is a bike shop in the US. They have the following on their website – “Yes, it is a Religion….We live it, breathe it, believe it…. It’s a part of our life, make it yours!”

I would like to believe that cycling etc. is not a religion, but exercise is very much a part of my life. Just like song or any art forms of art brings you closer to your soul, I think that exercise and good nutrition are needed to nurture your soul, but as IN-Q says we must not wait for an INVITATION to start on this journey. I noticed the following quote: “Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion.” – Gail W. Kislevitz. I honestly would not get through the difficulties in life without my exercise and love of healthy nutrition.

Splitting of the Red Sea

When the children of Israel reached the Red Sea after leaving Egypt, they hesitated. They were prepared to plow into the ocean, but they needed to be led. A leader appeared in the person of Nachshon, son of Aminadav, tribal prince of Judah. Leading his tribal column, Nachshon strode into the sea. Wading through the rising tide, the waters first reached his waist, then his chest and shoulders.

At the very last moment, as the waters reached his nostrils, the Red Sea parted and the Children of Israel followed him into the sea. The question is not why did the waters part, but why did the waters wait till Nachshon performed his act of brinkmanship?

As Rabbi Sendor said the waters were waiting for the Jewish people to express their faith through action. It was not enough that the Jews believed. The sea demanded an external demonstration of their faith.

Every Jew is capable of reaching the pinnacle of devotion that Nachshon reached at that moment. When a person resolves to change, the obstacles will disappear. Like the Red Sea, our obstacles will recede and allow us clear and unimpeded passage.

Counting the Omer[4]

As previously mentioned we must digest the lesson of the counting of the Omer. It is specifically during this time that we strive to grow and mature.

Last Sunday running with friends I suggested we increase the run to 30 km’s. Anton Dembo said that last week we did 27, this week we doing 28 and next week we will do 29.

The steps to change needed to be taken one step at a time. There are no short cuts to making these changes. Exercise and nutrition are two important steps.

On the Parsha (Weekly Torah Portion)

BlogThe Parsha summary above mentions the “Sacredness of life”. I noticed the following question “STOP! Have you packed some salad or veggies in your lunch today?” This was linked to an article – “Eating More Vegetables Can Almost Halve Your Risk of Dying[5]”. As my sister says “If there is enough salad, there is enough food”. On a daily basis we cut fruit for breakfast and take a salad or veggies to work for lunch.

In his final Drosha over Pesach Rabbi Ian Goodhardt said that we need to take what we have learnt and this freedom we have experienced out of Pesach and into our lives. Let’s all try take theses flashes of light we get from listening to a Drosha, reading, listening to a Pod Cast, music or exercising as an inspiration to both a healthy body and a healthy mind.

 

[1] http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/75894/jewish/Kedoshim-in-a-Nutshell.htm

[2] http://ravkooktorah.org/SHIR61.htm

[3] http://www.richroll.com/podcast/rrp-81-spoken-word-poet-in-q-on-reimagining-your-truth/

 

[4] Counting of the Omer is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot as stated in the Hebrew Bible: Leviticus 23:15-16.

[5] http://time.com/45790/eating-more-vegetables-can-almost-halve-your-risk-of-dying/

 

 

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One Comment
  1. Mom permalink

    Great blog really enjoyed it. Well done!

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