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August 20, 2014

Healthy LivingQuote from Rob Louw (Former Springbok Rugby Player) – “Exercise outdoors as much as possible– sun and fresh air are good for you. They uplift your spirit.”

Below is a summary of this week’s Torah Parshah (Portion) Re’eh from

“See,” says Moses to the people of Israel, “I place before you today a blessing and a curse”—the blessing that will come when they fulfil G‑d’s commandments, and the curse if they abandon them. These should be proclaimed on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal when the people cross over into the Holy Land.

A Temple should be established in “the place that G‑d will choose to make dwell His name there,” where the people should bring their sacrifices to Him; it is forbidden to make offerings to G‑d in any other place. It is permitted to slaughter animals elsewhere, not as a sacrifice but to eat their meat; the blood (which in the Temple is poured upon the altar), however, may not be eaten.

A false prophet, or one who entices others to worship idols, should be put to death; an idolatrous city must be destroyed. The identifying signs for kosher animals and fish, and the list of non-kosher birds (first given in Leviticus 11), are repeated.

A tenth of all produce is to be eaten in Jerusalem, or else exchanged for money with which food is purchased and eaten there. In certain years this tithe is given to the poor instead. Firstborn cattle and sheep are to be offered in the Temple, and their meat eaten by the kohanim (priests).

The mitzvah of charity obligates a Jew to aid a needy fellow with a gift or loan. On the Sabbatical year (occurring every seventh year), all loans are to be forgiven. All indentured servants are to be set free after six years of service.

Our Parshah concludes with the laws of the three pilgrimage festivals—Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot—when all should go to “see and be seen” before G‑d in the Holy Temple.

It has been a while since my last Blog. Often I have ideas, but don’t have time or energy to do a Blog. I should just MAKE THE TIME! Last week I half prepared something for a Sheva Brachot that would have been very good for a Blog, but did not say anything at Sheva Brachot and did not do a blog!!

I noticed the following quote on Twitter regarding an article in the Times[1] by Chief Rabbi Sacks – “Our greatest challenge in 21st century is not political or economic, it’s spiritual.”

I listened to two Drosha’s this week that link very nicely into what I would like to write.

Rabbi Chanan talking on this week’s Parsha said that we need to beware of what we see, we have a responsibility to watch our actions/ behaviour and we need to be careful with what we eat. Yes – He said that what we eat affects a person’s soul and spirituality!

Today at the Blake Street Shul Shachris service we were honoured to have the Bostoner Rebbe – HaRav Reb Mayer Alter Horowitz Shlit” speak. He asked the question why do the commentaries go into such detail in which direction a person should pray – He said that, The Talmud[2] states that a Jew praying in the Diaspora (outside of Israel), shall direct himself toward the Land of Israel; in Israel, toward Jerusalem; in Jerusalem, toward the Temple; and in the Temple, toward the Holy of Holies.

The Rebbe asks why all this detail? The answer he gave is that we all know that our prayers should be aimed at heaven, but we are looking to get closer to Hashem. If in the diaspora we want to be in Israel etc. We always need to strive to get closer to the source and to grow spiritually.

We are living in a world where there is both a lack of spirituality as Rabbi Sacks said and a yearning for spirituality with Bal Tshuva[3] movements and projects like the Shabbos Project, a world where there is massive problems with obesity and what people eat and a yearning to eat healthier, try different diets and eat more whole/ unprocessed foods.

On the side I am totally amazed that my daughter and some of her friends have starting posting healthy food pictures and ideas on Instagram – – Check out their posts @kaylagoescoconuts , @health_heart_happiness and @healthy_eating_healthy_life

As Jews, as parents, as friends, as work colleagues we are judged by our actions and our behaviour and we all need to try improving the way we act/ behave. We have a responsibility to set a high standard!

Effort and a yearning are required to grow spiritually, but as the Bostoner Rebbe says about where we face when we pray – it is one step at a time! We all wanted to get closer!

Rabbi Chanan says eating the wrong food “closes our heart” and impacts our spirituality. I think it does more than that. It impacts the way we feel.

Hopefully by improving our behaviour, trying to grow spiritually and by improving our diets (and of course by doing more exercise) we can lift our SPIRITS.

I am currently reading Thrive by Brendan Brazier[4]. I noticed this quote that sums up all I have written – “Thriving means making sure relationships, nutrition, exercise, rest, and a spiritual life are all solid and strong.” ~ @JoetheJuicer[5]

“The most amazing thing about mental training is that there’s always more to learn about yourself.” ~ @rebsoni (US Olympic Swimmer). On a Podcast I listened to her speak. She speaks about the mental aspects of peak performance. Rebecca had a dream for a time of 2:20 for the 200m breaststroke. She finally got that time, but had actually wanted to BREAK 2:20, but in her mind always thought about 2:20 and not better. Only when she built up the mental strength to say she wanted to BREAK 2:20 did she break 2:20. She said it was all about the mental training. Rebecca now does mental training and asks athletes the following questions:

Have you ever:

  • psyched yourself out, right before race time
  • told yourself you can’t do anymore
  • lacked confidence, when you needed it the most
  • been more worried about your competitors than yourself
  • doubted that your training is right, or enough

Why I have written this spiel on Rebecca Soni is to ask a question – Is there a link between spirituality and mental strength? I don’t have the answers now.


[2] Gemara in Berakhot (30b),

[3] is a term that often refers to a Jew who turns to embrace Orthodox Judaism. Baal teshuvah literally means, “master of return” i.e., one who has “returned” to God. It is often contrasted with “FFB” (Frum from birth), which refers to Jews who are born into families that are already religiously observant, and who have been conceived, born, and raised Jewishly.


[5] Joe Cross is the founder Reboot Media; a health and lifestyle brand that creates entertaining and actionable educational media for anyone that is sick and tired of being sick and fat. Joe is the Chairman and CEO of Reboot Media, as well as the Co-Director, Executive Producer, and the host and subject of Reboot Media’s first feature length film, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”. Joe lives in New York and Sydney.

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One Comment
  1. mom permalink

    Missed your blogs. Always learn something new & interesting thanks. We need to constantly remain united & strive to improve & grow esp in the current unsettled world in particular to support Israel & the brave soldoers fighting on our behalf.

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