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October 20, 2016

In the Emmy Monash Annual Report, the Patron Pauline Gandel said “My family, community and Jewish traditions have been keen motivators my whole life”

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Torah Reading in a Nutshell from

G‑d agrees to Moses’ request that His presence only dwell amongst the Jews. Moses requests to be shown G‑d’s glory. G‑d agrees, but informs Moses that he will only be shown G‑d’s “back,” not G‑d’s “face.”

G‑d tells Moses to carve new tablets upon which G‑d will engrave the Ten Commandments. Moses takes the new tablets up to Mt. Sinai, where G‑d reveals His glory to Moses while proclaiming His Thirteen Attributes of Mercy.

 G‑d seals a covenant with Moses, assuring him again that His presence will only dwell with the Jews. G‑d informs the Jewish people that He will drive the Canaanites from before them. He instructs them to destroy all vestiges of idolatry from the land, not to make molten gods, to refrain from making any covenants with its current inhabitants, to sanctify male firstborn humans and cattle, and not to cook meat together with milk.

The Jews are commanded to observe the three festivals — including the holiday of Sukkot, “the festival of the ingathering, at the turn of the year.” All males are commanded to make pilgrimage to “be seen by G‑d” during these three festivals.

The maftir, from the Book of Numbers, discusses the public offerings brought in the Temple on this day of Sukkot.

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.” ~Emily Kimbrough

As in the past after I have done a race, I like to jot down a few points. I will just jot down these points and focus on one of the points.

The Melbourne Marathon was a tough day out, I missed my target time by 26 seconds, but I did learn some valuable lessons:

  • I was very happy with my time, was happy that I just kept on going and did not stop to walk, even though it was so tough for me on the day with the windy conditions and the way I felt.
  • I still don’t understand why these events are so expensive to enter. It really leaves a bad taste that people are making such profits!
  • As normal I enjoyed most the training, it is always hard to train for a marathon when you need to do your long runs during the week on your own (I like to do my long cycles on a Sunday!), but I guess that is my choice?
  • Getting the “Balance” right between training and recovery to achieve the best possible execution is always hard for me. Have you under-recovered or over trained in the lead up and do you understand your body? I think sometimes you have to do things you don’t always want to do – like REST! Still not sure I can get this balance right!
  • In an article titled “The 7 Biggest Race Day Mistakes and How to Avoid Them[1]”. I identified with two of the mistakes:
  • Mistake #4: Not Following Your Race Plan – I wanted to focus on 3:30, but opted to start with mates in the 3:20 group as it is always nice to run with people. The group started way too fast for me and from about km 23, the race was a battle…

Every race should have a plan, even though it may require some adjustments on the fly. Know your pacing strategy in advance, and try to stick with it. The better acquainted you are with the course, the easier it will be to plan for hills and varying terrain.

Going out too fast is the number one way to sabotage your race plan, especially in longer races. Stay focused on your own pacing strategy and keep it dialled in until you cross the finish line.

  • Mistake #5: Not Making Adjustments

Even the best plans need to be tweaked from time to time. No matter how perfectly you planned out your racing strategy, things like challenging weather and unexpected route changes will impact how your race plays out. It’s ideal to set multiple goals and backup plans to allow yourself some flexibility on race day. That way if your plan for a PR goes awry when temperatures soar over 90° during your marathon, you will have another goal to fall back on.

  • Feel inspired by others that you run with – I was very inspired (and kept amused!) by one of my running mates, Antony Barnett who returned to running after a long layoff due to a severe back injury. Ant did his first marathon in 9 years (ask him how many days?). It is so easy for people to make excuses and give up. Antony showed us that you should never give up on the things that you love to do – well don’t Ant! Ant I did plan to run with you but as you can see from the picture below, you disappeared before the start….
  • img_1472I asked one of my running mates Doron, why are we doing these races when we can just do a social run with mates and I think the answer is there is this sense of COMMUNITY! Community amongst the entire field of runners and our little running communities and “clubs” that all joined for this race.

“I love the inclusiveness of cycling… Just ride, Ride with people who are better than you, ride alone, … and for the best motivation, sign up for a challenge…” – David Kelly – Partner at PwC – AFR 14-16 October 2016

This point is re-iterated by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his book “Total Recall” when talking about the Body Building Community. This applies to all sports “when you part of an international sport, you’re never totally alone…There’s amazing hospitality in the body building world. No matter where you go, you don’t have to know people, you always feel that you are part of the family…..”

What is Community? Community can be defined as a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

We are now celebrating the Jewish Festival of Sukkot and this Theme of community is very relevant to the festival. The two primary mitzvoth of this holiday are dwelling in the Sukkah and the taking of the Four “Kinds”. Jewish unity is one of the primary themes of this holiday, and these two mitzvoth are symbolic of two approaches to Jewish unity;

  • the Sukkah is the shelter of connection. “Bring friends and family into your sukkah. Learn from others and share what you have learned. Build and nurture the connections that you have with others in your life. Feel the embrace of the chain of kindness that redeems so much darkness; be another link in that chain.” SARA DEBBIE GUTFREUND (
  • while the Four species (Kinds) that make up the Lulav represent different kinds of people. We live in a community made up of all sorts of people and in order to do the mitzvah of Lulav we need all “4 types” together, resembling unity amongst people and that each person is important! This symbolize the importance of “ – Jewish multiculturalism.”

Over Yom Kippur I read a very interesting “paper[2]” by Estelle Frankiel titled “Yom Kippur, Teshuvah (repentance), and psychotherapy through a Jewish lens”. The author discusses important connections between the notions of repentance, particularly as conceived in Jewish religious thought, and psychotherapy. She writes that the Jewish concept of repentance, or teshuvah, provides a path of return to one’s true spiritual nature, a path that reunites the individual with a larger spiritual community. In comparison, psychotherapy provides a secular path toward a sense of individual psychic wholeness. The author proceeds to investigate the steps involved in teshuvah and the psychological importance and implications of these steps, including the important issue of the role of morality in psychotherapy.

One of the interesting observations and differences she makes is the link between teshuvah and community. This link does not exist in the framework of psychotherapy. Teshuva plays an important role in maintaining the emotional and spiritual well-being of the entire community and serves as a communal healing function. This is geared for restoring harmony for the individual person within himself and in relation to G-d, his loved ones, and the community.

In a recent Podcast[3] I listened to. The questions were asked:

  • Why has Tough Mudder and Spartan races become so popular; and
  • Why do people go to the Cross Fit Gym, when the Gym next door is much cheaper and has better equipment.

I am sure the answer is COMMUNITY.

“There is a power of community to reinforce the level of engagement …it is an invisible force … it provides self-perpetuating energy…” Rich Roll

The Community is a very powerful “tool”, it makes you feel part of a “group”, it connects you, it motivates you and it perpetuates your values.

After jotting down the points above I noticed an article ”The Power of Community[4]”. This gave 6 powerful reasons not to go it alone:

  1. Collective wisdom.
  2. Pushing our limits.
  3. Support and belief.
  4. New ideas.
  5. Borrowed motivation.
  6. Accountability.

“Allowing others to help is hard, but it ultimately raises everyone’s game, and suddenly that summit isn’t nearly so far off.” – Jen Waak

Our Community is our strength” – Jewish Care






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