Hebraic Studies - Are you Dieting?

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Are You Dieting?

With Rabbi Reuven Ben-Avraham.

The medical profession likes to tell the story of the matronly patient who was on a strict diet but she continued to gain weight. Finally, after weighing her for the sixth straight week only to find she has gained another kilo, the doctor asked, if she was eating anything else beside her diet. She replied in astonishment. “Oh doctor I strictly keep my diet, I eat my regular meals and the diet, and absolutely nothing else.”

The truth is “You are what you eat!”

But sadly there are many Jews that take their Jewishness just like that lady took her diet. Serving Elohim, blessed be He, is fine - providing it does not get in the way of the things I want to do.

Everyone who has ever dieted knows that self-control and restraint is necessary in order to lose weight. Those who have read the Torah also know that the natural inclinations of the self, is as opposed to the will of Elohim, as chocolate and regular meals are to dieting. We cannot be good Jews and be slaves to the “I, me, and myself” all at the same time.

Four aspects of our lives need strengthening

These are: Torah study, Tzedakah (charity, good deeds), Prayer, and Honourable behaviour. It is obvious that we must do our utmost to strengthen ourselves in all those areas.

Torah study and good deeds: The Torah says;

“Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the Torah”. Yahushua - Joshua 1:7.

Be strong in Torah study and very courageous in good deeds. Of Yahushua - Joshua we also read:

“Yahushua the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the Tent. (he loved prayer and studying the Law)” Shemot - Exodus 33:11.

Now if Elohim told Yahushua that he must strengthen himself in studying the Law, how much more so must we all do?

The Torah warned Bnei Yisroel (Children or Sons of Israel), that if the mitzvoth were not kept, Israel would be scattered to the four corners of the earth.

“But if you will not listen to Me and will not perform all of these commandments, and if you reject My decrees and abhor My laws and fail to carry out all My commands and violate My covenant, then I will do this …” - “ (Y-H-V-H) will scatter you among all the peoples … among these nations you shall find no ease…” - “When they confess their sins, and the sins of their forefathers, for the treachery they betrayed Me …” - Then will I remember My covenant with Ya’akov - Jacob, and My covenant with Yitzchak - Isaac, and also My covenant with Avraham will I remember; and I will remember the land …” - “But despite all this, while they will be in the land of their enemies, I will not have been revolted by them nor will I have rejected them to destroy them, or annul My covenant with them, for I am their ElohimVayikra - Leviticus 26:14-16, 40, 42, 44 & Davarim - Deuteronomy) 28: 64-65.

Out of the 168 hours, that we may have spent over the past week, and how many hours were spent for your own pleasure and how many hours were spent in prayer, and/or Torah Study? As we well know, time spent watching TV or sport can only be charged to our own pleasure. If our days are spent working or keeping house, just as our neighbours spend their days, and our free time is taken up with the trivial pleasures of life, how then are we unlike the world? Our beloved Creator commanded us to be different!

I am well aware that this type of self-examination may be uncomfortable, but how much better that we ask ourselves this question now, than wait until Elohim, blessed be He, calls us before Him to ask what we have done for Him? If our life is not different to those in the world, then how can our lives be described as priests, for remember that we are meant to be …

“Ye will hearken unto My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples.” Shemot - Exodus 19:6.

Are you dieting?

If we eat our regular meals as well as the food on the diet, we are not really on a diet. The reward of dieting will only come to those who strictly keep their diet. The measures of reward will only come to those who are faithful to the precepts as given by the Almighty.

We should be spiritually trim and fit today. Present yourself fit in the sight of Elohim, blessed be He. Acknowledge your failures, and with Teshuvah return to the Elohim and study His wonderful Torah!

For those who have not been to Shul for a long time, yet you have a yearning to learn more about the Torah and grow in being a good and faithful Jew, why not contact your local Rabbi.

And remember our motto seen on the logo at the top of this page: “The More Torah, the More Life”, for Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, is the one who gave us our Life!”

Rabbi Reuven Ben-Avraham.


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