May 21, 2014

More on Health and Hishtadlus

follow-up to previous post

I have read many times where someone in Eretz Yisrael, when asked about living in a dangerous place or during war time, responded with: If my time is up, it's up no matter where I am.

That sounds correct because we know that Dovid Ha'Melech, for example, was allotted a certain number of years, and so too, for all of us.

However, on Rosh Hashana we say, "You apportion a set time for all Your creatures ... who will live and who will die; mee b'kitzo u'mee lo b'kitzo - who will die at his predestined time and who before his time ..."

Oh, so there is such a thing as dying before your designated time.  How does that happen? By smoking? Not using a seatbelt? By consuming sugar and not enough vegetables? By being sedentary?

"Ein somchin al ha'neis" - we do not rely on miracles.  It is easy to explain this by saying, don't cross a major highway blindfold.  The problem is, when it comes to ordinary activities, we each decide what our definition of "reasonable" is.  For some people, it is not normal to do an activity just for the sake of exercise; they think that going about one's normal activities is enough.  Others regularly walk, swim, cycle, and take an exercise class for their health.  Some people think nutritional supplements are a must; others think it's enough to eat a balanced diet (and they decide what a balanced diet is).  Some think having an annual physical and screening tests are the norm while others don't visit a doctor unless a particular reason to do so arises. 

We pick what is comfortable for us, what we like doing, and if we are obedient and disciplined types we do as current medical knowledge advises (although doctors contradict one another), and it's usually a combination of these.  And then we think we are "balanced" and doing the right thing.  And we feel in control.  And we're not.

a related post: here

1 comment:

  1. I guess that we have to pick a plan, any plan, and hope for the best. It is kind of like having several roads that all lead to the same location. When someone does not even care to have any type of plan, however, it appears that he takes his life for granted.