Limits can be Freeing

Orthodox Judaism – like macrobiotics – seems to go against the grain. Many in today’s society may think freedom means do anything you want, get anything you wish, enjoy more and more. But neither Judaism nor mb thinks so. Quite the opposite – by knowing our limits, we can fully appreciate what is given to us.

I was exposed to this idea when I first had my colors done – she said knowing what colors are good for you will make it much easier to shop, as you quickly eliminate all that doesn’t work for you. So it is with kashruth and with mb foods – I am not overwhelmed with a zillion choices, because many just do not fit into my life – and I am fine with that – for one spurs my spiritual path and the other one is healing for my body – what can be better???

At first, when one is used to “do/eat whatever I want,” this kind of discipline may seem difficult, even unappealing. It is only through actually experiencing it, does it work. If one’s attitude is of resentment, or fear, or any other kind of resistance, one isn’t truly accepting that the limit is valuable. So probably won’t be successful. And usually it is difficult at the beginning to accept something so new. As for mb, sadly too often it’s a last resort when someone is so sick and nothing else works – thank G-d, often it can still work, but such a pity one has to suffer before accepting.

Yes, there are many challenges, most especially when one is not in one’s own home, own environment. But even these challenges can be overcome. Whether one accepts compromises, depends a lot on where the person is in their spiritual/physical development.

One of the bigger challenges for me is fasting on Jewish holidays. Mb is not a proponent of fasting, as it is seen as too extreme for the body. For the most part, fasting is for spiritual reasons, either because we are so deeply sad (like 9th of Av) or because we are beseeching G-d and food is just not on our radar. The line goes that on Yom Kippur we are as angels, and do not need food. But I admit not to having got that spiritual – I do need food – but every time a fast is over, I realize I can do it. And I feel good that I can do it.

The following is the best reason I have read for fasting this coming Wednesday. Apologies, I don’t know who wrote it.

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2 thoughts on “Limits can be Freeing

  1. While fasting has many spiritual benefits, many people in our generation are too weak to fast, and many poskim will give heterim to those who have problems. I personally have recommended to several of my patients not to fast, except Yom Kippur and Tishe B’Av….

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  2. Much appreciated, Z’ev. Can you mention any references for people to read so they can understand what causes weakness in today’s society? And although people may be exposed to articles that discourage sugar, fast food, chemicals, etc, the taste is often so alluring, that the advice is not taken seriously. And so much so now during Purim 😦

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