February 16, 2009

The WeightLifting Reb

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 1:50 am

I have been going to the gym for weightlifting and aerobic exercise for over a year now. At first I did this as a test to see if it would interfere in my religious progress to take exercise to a bit more of an extreme. To the contrary though, I have found it to be not only uplifting but very fulfilling spiritually. My greatest thoughts have actually come to me while running on the treadmill. While bench pressing, I have found myself comparing the heavy load to pushing away the klipah and negativeness in my mind.

My Lifting Chavrusa and I have watched as most religious Jews at first attended the gym with great enthusiasm and slowly drifted away to an unhealthy lifestyle. Looking back, I think I contribute our dedication to the fact that my Lifting partner was formally my learning partner in Torah. It was also the extreme goals of becoming stronger and stronger which I always questioned if this was from the side of impurities but instead, I also contribute our continued healthier lifestyle to this. Weightlifting helped me to get rid of many aspects of Tivas Achilah, the cravings of unhealthy foods and this winter I did not suffer from my previous leg pains in colder weather. It has also helped me to continue to grow in good work ethics, socialization, and have a way to blow off some steam.

I shared with a friend that I am bench pressing 220 pounds and he has requested that I do a Tefillin Video and flex my biceps during it. I’m going to spare you the grief, but I would like to encourage others to join in physical activities and workouts. While you don’t have to lift weights, it does help in keeping the workouts entertaining. It is clear to me that avodas Hashem can benefit from good healthy exercise.

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