Healthy Body, Healthy Soul
It is that date on our calendars, December 31. If you are like most people on New Year’s Eve, you will be setting resolutions before the ball drops in Times Square.
Many of those resolutions will be some version of being more healthy. We pledge to start a new exercise regimen, eat a healthier diet, relax more, etc.
And if you are like 80% of people, by February you will no longer be meeting your goals.
I suggest that health and wellness are more achievable as a way of life rather than as a goal to be achieved in the first weeks of January. One of my yoga teachers encourages us to see changing our patterns as a curious experiment. She says that it is more effective to be gentle with ourselves and take several small actions in the direction we want to go rather than setting impossible long-term goals.
“Fine and good,” you say. “But what are these sentiments doing in my rabbi’s blog post?”
I’m glad you asked!
Jewish tradition teaches that our body is the Temple of our Soul. God created each one of us in God’s image; therefore, our body is part of our sacred being, the place where our Godly spark resides. As Rabbi Simon Jacobson has written: “Keeping your body healthy is not just good for you; it is a critical component in your obligation of protecting and maintaining the treasured gift you were entrusted with: your body.”
Living as healthfully as possible is therefore a Jewish practice and a responsibility. We get strong, healthy and calm in order to be our very best selves — people who connect to community, have energy to give others, fulfill mitzvot, and learn something every day. In other words, we cannot partner with God if we are not strong and healthy. And partnering with God is exactly our responsibility in this lifetime.
So tonight when you make your resolutions, do it for yourself and do it for your soul!
Rabbi Paula Mack Drill