middot humility Displaying items by tag: health
Saturday, 15 January 2011 20:09

self-triage first

art-firstaidWhy is it that you see the speck in the eye of your brother, but the log that is in your eye, you do not notice? How can you tell your brother, “Permit me, and I will remove the speck from your eye,” and hinneh, the log is in your eye? Hypocrite, remove first the log from your eye, and afterward, you will surely see to remove the speck from the eye of your brother. --Matthew 7:3-5, DHE

Published in besorah
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 10:40

say something already

art-fingersears"Do not stand idly by the blood of your brother, I am God" —Leviticus 19:16

Back in the early 1990's, an unknown figure named Erin Brokovich emerged.  She was a single mother of three, working in a law firm in California, who wanted to know what medical records had to do with a real estate file. What she found out led to the biggest settlement on record for a civil class action lawsuit.  She discovered that Pacific Gas and Electric was dumping hexavalent chromium into unlined ponds on their facility grounds.  It was seeping into the groundwater.  It was killing the nearby residents. This story, which later became a film in 2000, was about a sassy, uncompromising woman who felt that the truth needed to be told.  Silence was killing the people of Hinkley, California, and enough was enough.

Published in torah
Thursday, 11 November 2010 11:21

fix yourself and save the world

art-maskFor thus we find in the case of Cain, who killed his brother, that it is written:  the bloods of your brother cry unto me: not the blood of your brother, but the bloods of your brother, is said i.e., his blood and the blood of his [potential] descendants.  (Alternatively, the blood of your brother, teaches that his blood was splashed over trees and stones.) For this reason was man created alone, to teach you that whosoever destroys a single soul of Israel, scripture imputes [guilt] to him as though he had destroyed a complete world; and whosoever preserves a single soul of Israel, scripture ascribes [merit] to him as though he had preserved a complete world. --Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a

Published in mesorah
Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:58

cleanliness according to Rabbi Hillel

art-healthfoodOnce when he concluded his studies with his disciples, he walked along with them. His disciples asked him: "Master, where are you going?" He answered: "To perform a religious duty."

"What is this religious duty, Master?" they asked.

"To wash in the bathhouse," he replied.

"Is that a religious duty, Master?" they asked.

"Yes," he replied, "if the statues of kings, which are erected in theatres and circuses, are scoured and washed by the man who is appointed to look after them, how much more so I, who have been created in the Diving Image?"

Published in stories
Monday, 11 October 2010 12:30

order through the body

art-deltaThe Hebrew word for order is seder.

This same Hebrew root also gives rise to words like sederah which means a "row", and siddur which is a "prayer book." Order brings stability, consistency, and a set pattern.  Order is like a straight path that helps us to get from one place to another without calamity.  Once we lose the ability to have order in our lives, it doesn't take long before a collapse of the other middot follow.  Though we cannot assume complete order in the universe through our actions, at least our greatest attempts to maintain the highest level possible of order in our lives can yield much fruit and help other areas of our lives. 

The next time you encounter a situation/place where there is a lack of order, either instigated by you or someone else, practice this simple meditation.

First, take a few deep breaths. Breathing, in the realm of our bodies, is an action which helps to regulate the oxygen levels in our blood and keeps our organs healthy.  Close your eyes. Realize that your your body is a manifestation of order given by Hashem.  As you try and remain still, sense the rhythm of your heartbeat.  Place your finger either on your neck or on your wrist so you can feel your pulse.  There is an order to this beat; it's regularity keeps you alive.  Revel in this miracle of your heartbeat while maintaining calm but steady breathing.  Continue to focus on the beating of your heart.

Imagine the blood flowing from the outer edges of your body to your heart, and then being sent out again to all parts of you.  Try and imagine the blood flowing in a very calm and quiet way, keeping all parts of you alive and functioning in a very orderly way. Meditate on the miracle of this order that Hashem has created within you.  As you slowly open your eyes, bring this simple but miraculous order of your existence and attempt to create order around you.  What this exercise will have achieved for you is mental focus, lowering of your blood pressure, controlled imagery, and a moment to regroup. By focusing on something that already has a beautiful and wonderful order, given from the Divine, you can harness order within you to share with others.

Published in meditation

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