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The First Stage Of Tshuva


If someone were to approach me and say "I am ready! I want to return to Hashem. Where do I start?" What would I say?

Well, first I think I would kiss the person [assuming of course that we share a gender]. Then I would explain "I am a Kookie. I am a follower [or at least I try] of the teachings of my revered Rebbe, Rav Kook ztz"l. Unfortunately he passed away over 35 years before my birth but left us a lot of his teachings to ponder. This is what I would recommend based on the first chapter of Oros Ha'tshuva: Stop consuming white flour, white sugar, soft drinks such as Coke and Pepsi, fried foods, limit portion size, wait a few hours in between eating and sleeping [good for digestion], sleep a minimum of seven hours a night [unless you really need less] and exercise at least three times a week.

"Hey, I want to do teshuva - not stop living!" I am scolded [by the man I just kissed moments ago...].

"Hey, sweetest friend, I can't change reality. The reality is that tshuva begins with your body. You take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Afterwards we can start talking about your soul."

Holy brothers and sisters, yesterday a nice young man was at my house who followed this regimen [more or less - nobody is perfect..] and he said that he feels LIKE A MILLION BUCKS. Now, how a million bucks feels I don't know. I have never interviewed a million bucks. ["So Mr. Bucks, how does it feel being you? Do you enjoy that fact that so many people dream about you? Do you have any hobbies besides sitting in foreign banks so that people don't have to pay taxes on you? Doesn't it get stuffy sometimes in peoples wallets?"] But he [and many others] claim to feel great.

Maybe, maybe, maybe, give it a shot. Then tell me how it went. One caveat! Giving it a shot doesn't mean trying for one afternoon from 3:00 until 3:45 [in between meals of course]. A real prolonged shot.

Good shooting!!!!!!!

Love and blessings to all!

funny... my sem is chronically underfunded and in dire need of donations- we don't have an ira rennert, unfortunately. so i asked my dad if he could include this wonderful institution on his list of places to give tzedaka to. my dad went ahead and donated them a treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike. these now sit in the basement of the dorm (girls fight tooth and nail to get just 20 minutes on a machine), with a plaque bearing my father's name and the passuk "venishmartem lachem". i was slightly embarrassed with my dad's idea of a gift to a torah institution, but when i saw the plaque with the passuk, i realized why he chose this particular gift. we need healthy bodies to contain our (hopefully) burgeoning nishamos.

G-d bless the Holy Doc!!!

But I hope the girls make shalom between each other.... [Is that the screaming I sometimes hear?]

He he.

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good point, as a doc, he is very much involved in the shlichut of bringing about physical health. plus, his field of medicine has always made our family appreciate asher yatzar-- i think i might have been the only kid in the universe who didn't giggle when they taught us the bracha in school.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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