Minute #514: Spaces

“Is it really Erev Shabbat again?” Hindy asked Rivkah. “It seems like I just finished setting the table for my melaveh malkah! So much has happened, yet it seems as if it only took a minute.”

“I agree with you,” Rivkah said. “To me it seems as if what used to happen in a year now takes place from Shabbat to Shabbat. It’s hard to keep up with all the news I hear in a day.”

“I don’t know if it’s new technology that bombards my senses or just the speed at which things are happening, but I do know that whatever I thought was so important just a week ago feels like old news by now,” Hindy added.

The health risks of excessive consumption of fatty delicacies, sugary beverages or high-sodium foods are well publicized and discussed. However, the potential damage to the human psyche and body caused by the stress of living in our fast-paced, multi-tasking world is not as popular a talking point.

Relaxation takes many forms that can also be productive. Some may enjoy crocheting or knitting; these hobbies serve to release some of the pressure created by daily life while also being the means of producing beautiful gifts. One who is not relaxed by the “toil” of Torah learning may find reading a biography of a Gadol or an article about a period of our history to be a calming break from routine. Others exercise their bodies or read Tehillim or engage in some other diversion — but all need a break to maintain a healthful lifestyle.

The environment is delivering too much too fast. We need to take charge and create “spaces” for our mind and body to regenerate and rest. As the road signs warn: Slow down and LIVE!

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

The body is covered to direct attention from the person’s external appearance towards his hidden spiritual essence. Thus animals require no clothing because they have no neshamah. There is no internal essence in need of emphasis. (Rabbi Zev Leff, Outlooks and Insights, p. 123)