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After The 12th Siyum haShas

Friday, August 03, 2012

I merited to go this amazing and inspiring event on Wednesday, which united 91,000 jews plus thousands more who were connected remotely in love of Hashem and His Torah, and to honor the Torah and the men who spent 7 1/2 years each day learning a page of the Talmud.

It was like a glimpse of Tishrei, with the intensity of the Yamim Noraim (the High Holydays) and the simcha of Simchas Beis Hashuavah (celebrated in Sukkos) and of Simchas Torah.

And similarly with Tishrei, I'm feeling a sense of, "Yaakov holech bdarko" And Yaakov went on his way, which the Lubavitcher Rebbe said means that we have to carry the spiritual intensity with us through the rest of the year. Now that I've felt the heady sense of being not just part of my little kehilla but a part of the greater Jewish world, feeling an unbelievable sense of unity and belonging and a love for every Jew, how can I take this with me on my journey through life?

Also, I think this got me on track as well. Yes, I can tell my children when I go exercising that it's really on to serve Hashem (Gd) bsimcha (with Joy) to be a better eved Hashem (servant of Gd), and so I can be a good Mommy and so on, but did I really mean it? I know I was becoming just a little obsessive with checking my weight and so on. Yes, it's good, yes these changes are good, but after such a siyum, somehow these things have been put naturally in the smaller but necessary places they belong. They were elevated unnecessarily. Now things have shifted to the proper places. What's ikkur is ikkur and what's toful is toful. (What's the main point is treated as the main point and what's secondary is treated as what's secondary.)

And major apologies to anyone who is reading this and has no clue what I'm talking about.

Here's a link to an article with stories and pictures.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESEVEN 8/5/2012 6:31AM

    My husband and I just started studying the daf yomi together with a rav online. I hope we will be able to go to the next siyyum in 7.5 years. I envy you being able to go. It must have been a truly incredible experience.

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While I'm working on making my body healthy

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I need to spend more time keeping my neshama healthy.

-The new cycle of Shemiras Halashon (laws of proper speech) has started. I'm going to try to keep up with it and learn from the Sefer Chofetz Chaim daily.

-I want to get back into the habit of really listening to the shiurim (Torah lectures) I put on. Not just having it be background noise as I work. I want to be able to learn it well enough to present it at the Shabbos table, b'ezras Hashem (Gd willing).

-I want to integrate my re-found ways of healthy eating by making sure I'm doing it for the right reason. I'm doing this so I can serve Hashem (Gd) better. Rebbetzin Nechama Greisman, a"h, talked about making gashmius (physicality) into ruchnius (spirituality). We purchase nice things so we can do them to perform mitzvos. Similarly, my focus on the gashmius (exercise, eating healthier) is in order so I can be an better eved Hashem (servent of Gd), as well as a happier calmer wife and mother. If I start serving the god of exercise, Gd forbid, than I will have missed the whole point.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDDYMEESE 5/31/2012 12:37AM

    Sounds like a great plan!

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A set back.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm hitting my first set back. And with Shavuos around the corner I need to re-group.

And a need to re-evaluate.

Why am I doing this?

Is it so the size 16 skirt I got (it's so wide!) gets too big?
Is it so I can be, with the help of G-d, healthy to raise my children to, also with the help of Gd, Torah, chuppah and maisim tovim (good deeds)?

I'd like to say it's the latter, but somehow part of me is a little miffed with the size 16 skirt. Even though it's new and even though it's part of a badly needed holiday outfit. And even though I'm halfway there to having lost 10% of the body weight I had back in April, which, I keep on reading, brings health benefits all of it's own.

So I'm reminding myself of concepts/phrases I've learned:

1. yerida letzorech aliyah (a descent in order to ascend). Sometimes it seems like I'm going backwards when really it's in order to go upwards. This has so many applications and it has one here, as well. Okay so I went up a little. Maybe this was in order for me to better in the long run?

2. The Chofetz Chaim, zt"l, taught in his introduction to his sefer (book) of the same name about the laws of proper speech, speaks about how the yetzer hara (evil inclination) tells us these laws are not possible to keep, when really, the laws were given to people, and with knowledge of how to keep these laws, and with Gd's help, we'll be able to keep them. Similarily, I am tempted to say things like, you've stopped losing. Why bother? It's obviously too hard for you to do. And Shavuos is coming up. Enjoy Shavuos. And you can't enjoy Shavuos without cheesecake and blintzes and ice cream. And anyway you can start again right after Shavuos.
No! I'm going to keep trying. I'll include a little treat for myself but most of the meals are going to be composed of foods that are not going to derail my goals.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOSH770 5/23/2012 1:35PM

    Not all orthodox women are thin but the ones who are maybe have good metabolism or work hard.

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BESEVEN 5/23/2012 12:09PM

    I honestly don't understand how so many observant Jewish women stay so thin! All of our holidays seem to revolve around fattening food!

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SHOSH770 5/22/2012 3:10PM

    Thanks for responding, btw.

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SHOSH770 5/22/2012 6:10AM

    That's easier than it looks! To quote a kid's song by Country Yossi:
"Yetzer Hara you're a real mean guy
You drive me crazy and I'll tell you why...
oy vey set me free
yetzer hara, stop picking on me!"

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EDDYMEESE 5/22/2012 12:27AM

    I think part of the journey is accepting the yetser hara and telling it, "yeah, so what? I'm going to do this, anyway!"

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My name is FEEL STRONG!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Every so often, my 8 year old daughter comes home with a badge her teacher gives her. It says "My name is FEEL STRONG!" on it. She receives it when she manages to overcome any challenges she has and she does the right thing, even though it's difficult sometimes for her.

I loved it so much, I even wrote a song for it. The lyrics are incredibly deep. Okay, maybe not so deep, but it has the advantage that it's very easy to memorize.

When I'm having a really difficult day I sometimes remember this and start singing it. Or when I really am proud of myself for just working hard even when I want to go to sleep I sing this song. (Two weeks before Passover, this was sung a lot for instance!)

So, after awhile of not taking care of myself enough, and feeling that there's no way I'm gong to be able to stop grazing or I have to say my name is feel strong. I've been back to tracking my weight and exercising for a couple of weeks now and I hope I can be consistent this time. I know I'm off to a good start, and, b'ezras Hashem, (with the help of Gd), I can do it.

My name is FEEL STRONG.


Had an amazing walk, Baruch Hashem!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I went on a walk into areas I've never walked before (although I've been through in a car).

It was nice to get to see other neighborhoods. I went west into a neighborhood that is still technically Crown Heights but feels more like Park Slope: Beautiful kept up streets with no garbage on them and lovely brownstones. Then suddenly I felt I was moved to suburbia (well suburbia compared to urban Brooklyn) with these large detached houses appearing as if out of nowhere.

I walked 3.4 miles and, although I'm disappointed to see that I'm not walking 15 miles per hour but more like 17 or 18 miles per hour I'm still excited for the walk. I had one of those moments where you feel like a tourist in your own city.

The weather was overcast which I like sometimes especially in fall; it's still beautiful with some of the fall leaves still on the trees.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOSH770 11/17/2009 11:05AM

    Thank you! I have a tendency towards the extreme so I will be happy with my 17-18 mil/hour :)

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PHEBESS 11/11/2009 7:53AM

    NYC is a great place for walking!!!!! Enjoy the weather! And hey, 17 or 18 minute miles is a great pace!!!!

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SHOSH770 11/10/2009 6:37PM

    Thanks, everyone! I'm hoping to keep up the momentum, G-d willing! I think another thing I'm going to try is there's a track that's part of a school but open to the public 2 blocks from my house. If I have a shiur or some music maybe I'll try that and compare my numbers. I'm curious if I'm walking faster but it's traffic that's slowing me down.

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RELIBELI 11/10/2009 3:39PM

    Great job!

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RELIBELI 11/10/2009 3:39PM

    Great job!

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IMAOFSEVEN 11/10/2009 1:56PM

    Good for you! The speed will come, keep up the good work!

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GRATTECIELLA 11/10/2009 1:52PM

    Sounds like a great walk. It is always so exhilarating to find new things in your very own neighborhood.

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