Saturday, August 26, 2023

Body and Soul: The Torah Path to Health, Fitness, and a Holy Life


Body and Soul: The Torah Path to Health, Fitness, and a Holy Life by Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld (Author), Dr. Daniel Grove MD (Author) is a good practical book about getting healthier despite being part of a culture and society that promotes overeating. 

Yes, I said it. Traditional Jewish life, nowadays isn't very healthy, and to be honest secular life isn't any better. One big difference is that eating plays a major part in Jewish Life, and most people would be embarrassed to serve a meal that looks "frugal," which can be a negative way of describing a healthy meal or kiddush.

Body and Soul conveniently includes an extensive section with the calorie count of favorite Jewish foods including things like gefilte fish and kreplach.

Personally, I've spent my entire life trying to keep my weight down, and usually failing, though I don't eat the sort of menu Seinfeld and Grove consider typical. I hate to think of what I would look like and my health if I ate that typical high sugar and fat menu.

Early in Body and Soul we read of the dangers of sugars, yes, there are many different kinds, and the many seemingly "healthy" foods rich in it. Rabbi Seinfeld and Dr. Grove also explain how to calculate the amount of calories each individual needs to maintain present weight and a realistic amount to reduce to lose weight safely. 

Because food and ritual eating is such an intrinsic part of Judaism, Body and Soul definitely has a market. Rabbi Seinfeld and Dr. Grove have written a very Jewish diet guide including typical, for many frum people, Shabbat/Chag menus, including what one noshes on at a kiddush. If you pencil in the calorie counts (from the guide at the end of the book) next to what you normally eat and then add it up, the chances are that you'd be horrified.

My most successful weight loss periods were when I kept a food chart, writing down what and how much I ate, plus the calorie counts. If you use a smart phone, that may be the best tool. There's probably an app which will make it easier. Rabbi Seinfeld and Dr. Grove also say that you really must know and keep track of what you eat. One of their tips is not to take second portions. For many people that makes a big difference in total calorie intake. And your total calorie intake is what's most important.

I would just like to add one of my suggestions. Simplify what you serve; make life easier and healthier. Don't give too many choices, because most people will try everything and eat more than they should. Serve just one carbohydrate. There's no reason to have both potato kugel and roasted potatoes. If you follow the custom of two and three kugel Shabbat, make spinach kugel, carrot kugel, along with either a noodle or potato kugel. There's no need to have three types of fleishik. One's enough, especially if you've started the meal with the first course of fish. Make lots of fresh salad and a choice of simple vegetables, no sugar/jam/honey added.  

Body and Soul: The Torah Path to Health, Fitness, and a Holy Life is a very readable book and can really help people by opening their eyes and making them aware of what's in the food they eat. I recommend it as a very good start in improving one's and one's family's life and health.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Jewish Spiritual Literacy Press (June 1, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 510 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1680259156
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1680259155

Monday, August 14, 2023

Theater in The Rough, Shakespeare in Jerusalem

Last night night I joined many at the performance by Theater in The Rough of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. It was fantastic despite the heat. Actually they started it at 6pm, a half hour later than usual, for the comfort of the actors and audience. 

The location is the Blumfield Park, which is "under" King David Street, closer to the Yemin Moshe end. The scenes are in a few nearby parts of the park, each a short walk from each other. Most people bring folding chairs, stools or blankets for sitting, though you can rent a very comfortable folding chair for only NS30, which I did. There are still more opportunities to see the play: 
Julius Caesar: in motion – August 8-24, 2023
There is no required ticket price, though NS40 is recommended, and they're grateful for any donation, more or less.

Here are a few photos I took at last night's performance. Public transportation and parking are nearby.

לפרטים נוספים – For more information 052-559-4257