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Running Rabbi

Thursday, 1 December, 2011 - 9:34 am

mot_running_co_1_lk0w.jpgThis past Monday morning, a dear friend of mine managed to convince me to work out with him in Central Park. We began by circling the park reservoir- a light 1.6 miles. We then headed to the benches where we did forty pushups and forty dips. It has now been three days since those thirty minutes of exercise and I am still feeling extreme agony in muscles I hadn’t even known existed. In fact, it is even painful to be typing these words.

As every athlete knows, exercising without being in shape is a painful ordeal. I suppose as a rabbi I have been studying a lot of Torah and eating too much cholent by the Kiddush while not paying enough attention to the physical health of my body. Lack of regular physical activity has placed an enormous amount of strain on my muscles. Well, that’s about to change. I have decided to get fit, although that won’t really alleviate my present predicament. When I next work out, though, I’m going to have to take it easy. Start off with less, then build up gradually to allow my body to become accustomed to the routine.

I often urge people to get into spiritual shape. I suggest starting off by studying Torah once a week. The most common excuse is lack of time, to which I respond that if there is time to nurture the physical body by feeding it every day and exercising it, then time has got to be set aside as well for the soul. And just as it is with physical training, spiritual training need also be gradual. If on day one you begin by lifting forty pound weights, you may kill yourself. Start by learning Torah once a week and gradually build up. Rome wasn’t built in one day! You need to start somewhere, taking baby steps…

This week’s Parsha details Yaakov’s initiation into the business world. Upon arrival in Charan, he spent twenty years working, guarding his uncle Lavan’s sheep. The Midrash relates that before Yaakov made his way to Charan, he spent fourteen years studying Torah constantly in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever. And it took fourteen years of nourishing his soul before he felt ready to delve his body in the art of business.

This is not to suggest that we study for fourteen years before making our millions, but we can do the minimum and that is at least an hour’s Torah study a week. It’s time to get into shape both physically and spiritually!

Comments on: Running Rabbi
12/1/2011

Ari H wrote...

Look forward to seeing you on the road