20 Tishrei 5782 / Sunday, September 26, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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The Magic Pill    

The Magic Pill

Fits and spurts of diets, exercise programs, nutrition programs, and more pills and protein shakes then one could possibly count. I’ve done everything except the obvious…


It’s been several years now that I’ve been on this health journey. Longer if you count my entire post-childhood life, which I do. Since my teenage years I’ve been trying to “get healthy”, whatever that means. It’s been an elusive and squishy concept that no sooner do I think I’ve gotten a grasp upon it than it slips through my fingers and I’m left wondering if being healthy is even a real thing. Maybe, I’ve thought as I look at pictures of myself from years gone by obviously full of health and vitality, it’s one of those things you don’t know you have until it’s gone. And that is what has happened in the last few years… my health has gone and I miss it.


We’re supposed to take care of these beautiful, wonderful houses for our souls. Care for them and keep them healthy and well-conditioned. That self-care is something I’ve seriously lacked in over the years – fits and spurts of diets, exercise programs, nutrition programs, and more pills and protein shakes then one could possibly count. I’ve done everything except the obvious thing – consistently feed myself nutritious foods and move regularly.


The results of these years of bodily abuse and neglect – of fluctuating between no food is off limit / no exercise and extreme diets / extreme exercise – has been actually physically damaging. The extent of which I’m still learning. And it’s been emotionally damaging as I’m just starting to realize. It’s been damaging to my finances, to my peace of mind, to my stress levels, to my relationships.


I’ve had surgeries. I’m regularly in physical therapy. I have a naturopathic doctor trying everything she can to try to get my very confused body to start absorbing vitamins and minerals again. I have a cardiologist trying to work with me to undo the heart damage. I have family encouraging me to make good choices. I have the resources to educate myself on the best ways to heal physically. For the last few years I’ve been surrounded by a team of people trying their best to help. All very wonderful and an excellent lesson in compassion and caring.


However, I’ve been missing the main thing in this whole process. Hashem.


How can I say that? I’ve been learning and living emuna for over 10 years now. Certainly, I’ve included my health concerns in my prayers.


But Hashem opened my eyes to something just the other day – through all of this I’ve been looking for a magic pill to make this all go away. Some concoction, something I can do or take, that will make all of these health issues go away (and quickly too please).


Lemon water in the morning, better make it warm and add some cayenne pepper to it as well. That should straighten me out.


Green veggies and protein, nothing else. That will put me back on track.


Fats. I’m not getting enough fats so add avocado and coconut oil to everything.


IV vitamins. Not absorbing from my food so let’s just plug those right into my veins.


Juice. I need more nutrients, I’ll juice everything.


Let’s chase it all down with handfuls of supplements. Something in there is bound to help.


So, in essence, I’ve been praying “Hashem, please heal me!” and then my actions have been saying “just in case that prayer doesn’t work I’m going to keep searching for that one magic something that will make all these health issue clear right up.”


In the Universal Garden of Emuna Rabbi Arush tells us, “If the Almighty decrees that a person should be sick for a week, then no treatment in the world will help him get well faster. The opposite holds true as well – if G-d decrees that a person shall recuperate – despite all medical logic – then that person will get well immediately.”


Let me tell you, over the years I’ve read that statement so many times. But it never sank in until Hashem opened my eyes to recognize my ill-conceived search for a magic pill.


Rabbi Arush says that nature plays no role in human healing… as soon as we correct the spiritual cause of our ailment the ailment disappears.


So in reality, there is a pretty great formula for getting healthy:


Hitbodedut (personal prayer)

Teshuva (repentance)

Eat healthy nutritious foods

Move regularly


I don’t think I’m going to need to keep searching for that magic pill after all.



* * *

Jennifer invites you to participate in a regularly held Noahide on-line study group that reviews the garden series books of Rabbi Arush. You can contact her at jenniferjwoodward@gmail.com to be added to the weekly newsletter for dates and times. Visit the blog at noahidenews.blogspot.com

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