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August 29, 2014

4edcd5b3e12b5_image“Talking about losing weight isn’t going to help you lose weight. You have to physically workout and eat the right foods!!” – @roblouw6

Below is a summary of Torah Parsha (Portion) Shoftim from

Moses instructs the people of Israel to appoint judges and law enforcement officers in every city. “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” he commands them, and you must administer it without corruption or favouritism. Crimes must be meticulously investigated and evidence thoroughly examined—a minimum of two credible witnesses is required for conviction and punishment.

In every generation, says Moses, there will be those entrusted with the task of interpreting and applying the laws of the Torah. “According to the law that they will teach you, and the judgment they will instruct you, you shall do; you shall not turn away from the thing that they say to you, to the right nor to the left.”

Shoftim also includes the prohibitions against idolatry and sorcery; laws governing the appointment and behaviour of a king; and guidelines for the creation of “cities of refuge” for the inadvertent murderer. Also set forth are many of the rules of war: the exemption from battle for one who has just built a home, planted a vineyard, married, or is “afraid and soft-hearted”; the requirement to offer terms of peace before attacking a city; and the prohibition against wanton destruction of something of value, exemplified by the law that forbids to cut down a fruit tree when laying siege (in this context the Torah makes the famous statement, “For man is a tree of the field”).

The Parshah concludes with the law of the eglah arufah—the special procedure to be followed when a person is killed by an unknown murderer and his body is found in a field—which underscores the responsibility of the community and its leaders not only for what they do, but also for what they might have prevented from being done.

Last Sunday I was planning a long ride to do some hill training in the Dandenong’s. For the last few weeks Sunday’s weather has been crap. The original forecast was great, so I was excited. The forecasts all changed closer to the time. I always get anxious when I am unsure on how the weather is going to turn out. I woke up and the weather was not great, it was raining. What should I do? Should I brave the weather and get my long ride in or should I go back to bed. My co-riding buddies had all been What’s app– ing that they were not riding. I knew the right thing to do was to exercise! I knew I needed the training session (some would say I needed the sleep-in, but that is a different story.)

I decided to cut my losses and do a trainer bike Spinervals session and then do a quick run off the bike (BRICK). It was really hard setting my bike up outside when it was raining and even harder to get started. I knew this was the right thing to be doing.

I started out on my Spinervals session and really battled. It all seemed hard. The weather was not good and trainers can be a bit boring. I knew it was the correct thing to do and slowly I got into it. As they say I got into the ZONE. During the session I battled a few times, but kept pushing ahead. At the end of the session I set out to do a quick BRICK run. Once again it started out hard, but I again got into the ZONE and pushed on. At times again it was hard, but I pushed until I finished. At the end I was very happy with what I had done. I had judged my fitness level, decided I needed a training session and went about training. It was not easy, but at the end I was happy I had done it.

This week we read the parsha of Shoftim (Judges). “Shoftim v’shotrim tetane l’cha (Judges and officers you shall appoint for yourselves) in all the gates that Hashem has given you for your tribes, and they shall judge the nation with righteous judgment. [16:18]”

Rav Moshe Feinstein offers an explanation for this passuk. “Shoftim v’shotrim tetane l’cha“–every person must be a judge over himself. To be sure that we are doing the right things. To avoid rationalizing and making excuses. To ignore the pressures of what those around us might be saying and to do what we know is right.

As Rabbi Chanan says in discussing this week’s Parsha, many of us know what is right by judging ourselves, but this does not always mean we do what is right. This is the lesson we need to judge ourselves and then implement ways to do what we know is right.

Michelle Bridges in her weekly article gave her “Michelle’s Tip”. She said – “The best thing to do when there’s a good wave? Catch it: join the wholefood revolution!”

I may be a bit extreme in judging my exercise routine and training, but I do think that more and more people are making judgements on their health and well being and are adjusting their diets and exercise routines. People are making the hard decision about their life, behaviour and health & well being and are implement changes to get into the ZONE. There will be times when it will get hard, but by constantly judging ourselves and persevering with what we know is right, we can get back on track and as Michelle says – Catch the wave it makes a whole lot of sense!

This idea is especially important as we are about to conclude another year. As we approach the months of Elul/Tishrei and the Yamim Noraim, (High Holy Days), we must remember why Hashem placed us on this world. Our greatest defence for continued good health and welfare is the fulfilment of our raison d’etre (reason for existence) to improve ourselves both spiritually and physically. This should be our life-long goal. It is certainly never too late to start doing our part.

“Every time you eat healthy..every time you work out..every time you try your hardest..You’re closer than you were before!” – @roblouw6



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One Comment
  1. Mom permalink

    Enjoyed this blog & agree with the your sentiments. Always been my motto! Well written thanks.

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