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HEALTHY FREEDOM…

May 13, 2016

“Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move

Freedom, cut me loose!

Singin’, freedom! Freedom! Where are you?

Cause I need freedom too!

I break chains all by myself

Won’t let my freedom rot in hell

Hey! I’ma keep running

Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves” – Lyrics from Beyoncé song “Freedom”

(feat. Kendrick Lamar)

1 ultraThis Weeks (from www.chabad.org ) Parshah of Kedoshim begins with the statement: “You shall be holy, for I, the Lrd your Gd, 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 Gd.

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.”

Been a few weeks since my last blog. I will try get back into doing these Blogs as I really enjoy the preparation.

On Pesach I prepared a talk for the Sedar on freedom. I quoted Rabbi Cordozo – “Whether something is sport or not is independent of the actual activity involved. It is the mindset in which it takes place that make all the difference. It is the distinction between option and duty. When we decide on our own to engage in a game, we experience freedom. When we are forced to do so, we become slaves. In the first case it is sport; in the second torture.”

I mentioned that while running before Pesach I was wondering if we could become “Slaves” to the exercise we do or lifestyles we live?

I remember reading a quote that if your healthy food preparation and over thinking was causing you stress then it was not healthy diet! (can’t remember the exact quote, but think that I have captured the essence).

A few weeks ago I wrote about moderation, but are we sometimes getting caught up in the detail? When I mentioned this to Loren she said that you need to get your priorities right.

And God spoke to Moshe saying: ‘Speak to the entire Community of Israel, and say to them “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.”‘ (Leviticus 19:1-2)

The command to be holy seems difficult to fulfill. How can finite, limited man be “holy”? Moreover, what is holiness?

The commentaries teach that holiness translates as “separateness.” Nachmanides, sees this verse as a more general teaching to avoid excess. Nachmanides understands that we are to separate ourselves from things which are not explicitly forbidden, things that go against the spirit of Jewish law although they are within the letter of law.

After Pesach Loren was telling me about people who eat no processed food on Pesach and peel all fruit and vegetables before. Is this what is expected from us?

People are becoming more and more addicted to their mobile devices and social media. It is becoming a “disease” impacting performance, sleep, relationships etc.

The question is have we taken exercise, our diet, religion and the use of social media to an unhealthy extreme, got too caught up in what we do, forget about the true essence of what we should be doing & what we need to become and have we become addicted to various “vices”?

In last week’s Parsha I read about finding the middle road in Rabbi Alon Ledder’s weekly Parsha Sheet – “The Rambam was a great physician and he provides us with advice to keep healthy from both a physical and a spiritual perspective. How should we act if we find that we have strayed from the Rambam’s middle path? The Rambam advises that one who has swayed in the direction of one of the extremes in a character trait should practice being in the opposite extreme until they can return to the proper path. For example, if someone finds themselves being too stingy, they should try to be extra generous for a time until they can comfortably return to the middle path.

With an ultra-marathon planned for the weekend, is this something extreme or just part of what I am and the challenges I love or my way of finding that happy balance?

I noticed a great quote/ acronym: D.A.D: determination, ability and discipline.” 

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go. —T. S. Eliot” Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

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