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
“Simcha, what happened? You put on A LOT of weight since I saw you last!”
That’s how Abuelo (may his memory be for a blessing) greeted me last May, which was one of the last times I had the privilege of seeing him (although I didn’t know it at the time). Abuelo was a doctor and the father of D., a friend of mine in Modi’in. He used to visit Israel from his home in Argentina about twice a year to see his daughter, son-in-law and four grand kids.
Everyone warmly called him “Abuelo,” which means “grandfather” in Spanish, because he was an avuncular, sweet patriarch with a doctor’s calming bedside manner.
Continue reading I Miss Abuelo…