When the Maccabees arrived at the holy Temple in Jerusalem to liberate and reconsecrate it, they found a single small cruse of pure olive oil bearing the seal of the High Priest. They thought this would be enough oil to last only one night, but a miracle occurred and the oil burned for eight days.
If the Maccabees had said, “We don’t have enough oil to do this ceremony properly, let’s just give up,” we wouldn’t be collectively celebrating Hanukkah right now.
Many of us today are facing seemingly hopeless situations and the temptation to give up is strong.
Continue reading Don’t Quit Before the (Hanukkah) Miracle!
I believe the Hanukkah story, which transpired thousands of years ago, has shaped classical Jewish attitudes towards fitness, diet and exercise.
The ancient Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, conquered Jerusalem. Greek society idealized the human body and its citizens spent much time developing their physical attributes and thinking about their looks, and even held sporting events where competitors preened without clothing. The human body was so venerated in ancient Greece that its Olympians practiced and competed nude!
Continue reading Hanukkah and Exercising for the Right Reasons