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May 2019

The Love Barometer

Love Barometer 31.5
Dear Rabbi Brody,

I'm one of your non-Jewish readers, but since I consider you both my health and spiritual coach, I depend on you for body-soul guidance. So first of all, thanks to you for opening your heart and for being there for me, and thank you for your lovely new website. You have an uncanny way of writing and saying what I always need to hear.

Here's my issue: I've been dating someone for 6 weeks, and he already says that he loves me and wants to marry me. He seems special, but this is really too fast for me, and to be honest, my head is more than a little bit in the clouds. On the other hand, I'm afraid of losing this dude. What do I do?

Sincerely, Connie from Southern USA

Dear Connie,

“He already says that he loves me…” - Real love is only possible after marriage, when the two partners have a mutual commitment and a common goal. What people in today’s world refer to as “love” is basically nothing more than animal urges and Hollywood-style flash-in-the-pan infatuation that is ever so short-lived as soon as those urges are temporarily satisfied. To be candid, lust is not love, and many people discover this only after they’ve been badly hurt and taken advantage of. I don’t want that to happen to you, Connie.

At any rate, you can try this "love barometer" on your boyfriend - it's simple and foolproof:

1) How often does he think about you: Once a day, once an hour, once a minute? This is reflected better by deeds (notes, phone calls, text messages, small acts of kindness, little presents, etc.) than by words.

2) Ask him if he knows what makes you happy and what makes you sad. If he answers that he can't possibly know the answer because he doesn't know you well enough, then his proclaimed love for you is none other than an illusion. How can he love what he doesn't know?

3) Is he a good listener? Does he value the things you say and treat you with respect? Don't confuse lustful flattery with respect.

4) When he speaks to you, close your eyes and listen to his voice: Is there friendship, kindness, and compassion in that voice, or only lust? Don't let physical attraction overwhelm your good judgment.

5) Is he interested in your family background? Is he interested in meeting your parents and taking you home to meet his? This is a sure-fire sign of an individual with serious and honorable intentions. On this point, if he passes the test so far, I urge you to meet his parents and other people who are close to him. One’s family and friends can oftentimes say quite a bit about a person.

6) Does he talk to you about his goals, dreams, and aspirations? Are they materially oriented or spiritually oriented? Can you identify with them?

In picking a partner for life, you're better off using your brain than your heart. Is the person kind and considerate? Is he even-tempered? Is he decent? Is he dependable? Is he modest? Does he come from a family with healthy interpersonal relationships? Do you have a common goal? In order to make a decision, you need to do some serious homework and check out this guy.

Once again, meet his parents. If he has a connection with a clergyman, by all means make an appointment with that clergyman. Talk to his friends and acquaintances. Speak with his roommates or colleagues. Make sure there are no skeletons in the closet like substance, gambling, or porno addictions. You'll be saving yourself from unpleasant surprises and raising your chances for future success.

Don't worry - if he really cares about you, you won't lose him in the extra few weeks that you’ll need to be doing your legwork and homework. If he's only trying to use you for a good time, then let him walk and good riddance. Whatever you do, don't let meaningless coffee-house expressions of love make your head spin.

Connie, the most important effort in finding the right mate is prayer - the more the better. Keep me posted. Blessings and smiles always, LB


Going Where You Want to Go

Wrong Crowd 29.5

A vital element in emotional wellness is doing what you want and what you believe is right. Anytime you bend to social pressure, and therefore bend your personal principles, you're sewing the seeds of bitterness. Don't go there. Don't run with the herd; do what your heart knows is right. It's not easy but it sure is conducive to a healthy body, mind and soul.

So how do you learn to buck social pressure, do what you want and not what others want from you? Learn to do what most people hate doing - be alone with yourself.

You can't be alone with yourself if you're not at peace with yourself. We attain that peace by taking a daily timeout, going somewhere where we can be tranquil and collect our thoughts, and honestly assess ourselves. When we take daily stock in ourselves, we review what we did during the past 24 hours while thinking of what we need to improve and what we need to reinforce. If we invite the Almighty to be with us and guide us, then we'll have a daily emotional reboot that is priceless. When you get used to such a daily session, you can't live without it.

In the meanwhile, if someone asks you to do something, apply this checklist of questions:

  1. Do I want to do this?
  2. Does this make me happy?
  3. Is this a good deed that will gratify Hashem?
  4. Will this make me a better person?

If you can answer "yes" to all four of the above, go forward! If the answer is "no" to all four, avoid doing you're being asked to do. If your answer is a combination of yeses and nos, ask Hashem to guide you on the right path. When you ask for help, He'll be glad to give it to you. Blessings always, LB


Tips for Senior Fitness - Who Says that 70 is Old?

Are you what folks call a senior citizen? If so, Bro and Sis, you're like fine wine that gets better with age...

Some people are old, round-shouldered, overweight, lazy and sluggish at 23. Others have ramrod posture, stability, agility and flexibility at 83. Your life is doing the very best with the raw material that the Almighty gives you.

I don't care how old you are, but if you want to say goodbye to a load of aches and pains, candidacy for diabetes, cardiac issues and a long list of other ailments, then start eating right and exercising every day. Here are a few tips for seniors (or juniors) just getting started on a personal fitness improvement campaign:

  1. Exercise every day, just like you eat and drink daily.
  2. Take it slow it first; like Rome, you don't build your body in a day, but each day of good nutrition and exercise adds up.
  3. Active walking is the sport of choice. Start with 10 minutes a day and then add an additional 5 minutes every week until you work up to at least 30 minutes a day.
  4. Choose walking over riding in cars; take the stairs instead of the elevator if your heart, lungs and knees are in decent shape.
  5. Once you're capable of walking 30 minutes a day, you can add Pilates and resistance training. I recommend starting out with bodyweight exercises rather than reaching for the iron. 
  6. Do a good warmup before any exercise; the flexibility you get from your warmup prepares muscles for further injury-free activity.
  7. Chart your progress by keeping an exercise log.

We'll be posting specific advice in reference to the above points in the near future, G-d willing. Meanwhile, here at Brody Health and Fitness, if you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. Enjoy the following clip and stay healthy! Every blessing, LB

Who Says that 70 is Old? from lazerbrody on Vimeo.


The Pep-Talk Selfie

Pep-talk Selfie 24.5

The secret of winning coaches and mentors is knowing how to motivate their players, to "fire them up".

Even if you don't have a coach or a mentor, you can fire yourself up with "positive self-talk." Essentially, this is a pep-talk selfie.

Use positive language to describe what you hope to accomplish today, tomorrow and in the future. Tell it to God and pray for it, too.

Unfortunately, people are constantly using statements that cause them to berate themselves, their efforts, or their abilities. What could be greater self-persecution? They need to learn how to turn these around into positive statements instead. That's where "positive self-talk."  You certainly know how to take a selfie with your cellphone camera, right? This is just as easy - give yourself a pep-talk selfie! Make 5 to 10 strong statements that reflect your aspirations and abilities. Share them too with the Creator, and tell Him that you're positive that He hears you and that He'll help you. Do this daily and you'll go a long way.

Don't ever forget though: true personal growth doesn't come easy. In fact, it hurts. But it sure feels great.


The Importance of One

Suppose a person has good health, a good income, and many other reasons to be content. Yet, he or she is still not happy. What could be the problem? There's one important element missing...

I'm writing this post from the USA, where I've made an emergency unscheduled visit to meet all my fellow sibs and visit our mother, who needs a major portion of Divine compassion and mercy. Please pray for the full recovery of Chasia bas Kaila. King Hezekiah teaches us that even if a sharp sword is resting on a person's jugular vein, he shouldn't give up hope.

Watching an elderly person's health deteriorate stimulates a lot of thinking and soul searching. Let's not wait until age 93 to ask ourselves what life is all about. Now's the time, for no one knows what will happen in another hour, much less tomorrow. In any event, the best way to weather a challenge in life is to maintain the smile on our face. It works!

Enjoy this, and may we hear good news from each other. Every blessing, LB

The Importance of One from lazerbrody on Vimeo.


The Citrulline Fertility Secret

Watermelon 20.5
Here is wonderful news for folks with fertility issues. Put aside the expensive pills and meds and try something natural from the Almighty's garden - watermelon, and watermelon rind. Yup, the rind is full of fantastic fertility-fortifying amino acids citrulline and arginine as shown by conclusive USDA research. In fact, the name citrulline is derived from the Latin word citrullus, which means watermelon.

Many fertility and fertility-functional problems both in men and women can be traced to a lack of the amino acids citrulline and arginine.

In the urea cycle, citrulline combines with another acid to create arginine. Luis Pons of the USDA writes that arginine not only boosts fertility, but boosts muscle growth, improves wound healing, combats fatigue, stimulates the immune system, cures impotence and fights cancer. Pillar Health Care goes even further and says that arginine can benefit women by increasing the cervical mucous, enhancing libido, promoting a healthy environment for implantation and may even extend fertility for women over 40. Sperm health is also affected by arginine; one study showed a 250%-plus increase in sperm amounts and motility in most study participants. It also enhances male reproductive-functional problems, so much so that scientists at Texas A&M University have termed watermelon as "nature's Viagra". 

Need I add more? Start eating watermelon - it's in season now!

Here's an Brody-Health Fertility enhancer "smoothie" that both men and women can try: don't forget to invite us to your son's brit or your daughter's Kiddush, which will be soon, G-d willing. Just drink this smoothie two to three hours before bedtime and don't forget to ask Hashem to make it work for you:

Rabbi Lazer's Fitness Fertility Smoothie

2 Cups (approx. 500cc) mineral or filtered water

2 Cups watermelon rind (make sure that there are no bugs on the surface)

5 large pitted Medjool dates (or 10 small pitted dates)

26 dried almonds

1 level teaspoon of cinnamon powder

2 tablespoons dried shelled sunflower seeds

Preparation: Mix until smooth in a high-speed blender (approx. 90-120 seconds). Drink at least one big cup of the mixture. Any leftover holds up fine in the fridge for 48 hours. Enjoy! And don't forget to send me the birth announcement...


Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria

Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria 17.5
One of the greatest things a person can do to benefit his/her own body-soul health and well-being is to visit and pray by the holy gravesites of the great tzaddikim, especially here in the Land of Israel. One such tzaddik - not so well-known but where those in-the-know go to pray for astounding salvations - is Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria, whose place of eternal rest is in the north of Israel, slightly east of Meron in the Upper Galilee and near the village of Peki'in, overlooking the gorgeous Tiria Valley.

Rebbe Oshiya was an Amora, one of the holy sages of our Gemara, mentioned primarily in the Yerushalmi Talmud and in the Midrash for his extreme righteousness, humility and holiness. The Midrash Raba (Kohelet, ch. 1) tells us that the day Rebbe Abin the great of his generation died, Rebbe Oshiya - the tzaddik of his generation - was born. This puts Rebbe Oshiya in the time frame of the 4th generation of Amoras in the Land of Israel, which places him chronologically in the latter half of the 4th century CE, somewhere between the years 360-400, at the time of Rav Pappa and Rabina in Babylon. The Jews in Israel suffered extremely under Roman occupation. This is the setting for a story that the Yerushalmi Talmud in the beginning of tractate Bava Metzia relates, as follows:

A Torah scholar of impeccable piety and character, Rebbe Oshiya eked out his meager living as a launderer, washing people's clothes. To remain above suspicion of any wrongdoing, he wore odd and shabby clothes that no one else wore, to avoid any suspicion that he took unauthorized advantage of the clothes his customers entrusted in his care.  One day, the Roman queen was walking by the river at a spot where Rebbe Oshiya would wash clothes. She lost a packet of rare jewels. Rebbe Oshiya found this priceless packet and returned it to the queen. She said, "Go ahead and keep them - I have plenty of jewels."

Rebbe Oshiya responded, "The Almighty and His Torah require me to return a lost article to its rightful owner. These belong to you, Your Majesty."

The queen, not particularly known for her love of the Jews, to say the least, replied, "Blessed be the G-d of the Jews." This was a phenomenal sanctification of Hashem's Name. The Midrash in Vayikra Raba 30:1 therefore tells us that when Rebbe Oshiya died, his death bed floated in the air and a voice from Heaven declared, "No riches in the world can buy the love that Hashem has for Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria!"

I recently visited his gravesite and prayed for something I badly needed. I made a promise to Rebbe Oshiya that if he intervenes in my behalf, I will tell the whole world about him and his holy gravesite, where many here in Israel have seen big miracles after frequenting it. Rebbe Oshiya kept his part of the deal, and I am now happy to keep my part. I received the big salvation I asked for.

For your convenience, below are 2 maps - larger scale and smaller scale - of how to get there. If you need a big salvation, pass the link to this article on to at least five people you know, and G-d willing, you too will see miracles. Meanwhile, have a lovely Shabbat. With blessings always, LB

Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria Map

Oshiya Ish Tiria Map


Lesson of the Sagebrush: Vitality in the Desert

Sage 15.4
The plant you see in the above image is called rotem in Hebrew, or sagebrush. I photographed this in the dunes, right south of Ashdod, one of my favorite personal prayer and exercise spots (running up sand dunes is really healthy, and it doesn't put wear and tear on your joints like pounding the asphalt does). At any rate, we're in the summer here already and it's hot and dry. Yet, the sagebrush is still lush and green. It shows us that there is vitality in the desert; that's one of the messages that the Almighty was revealing to Moses when He revealed Himself in the burning bush. Guess what type of bush that was - rotem, just like the one you see here. With this in mind, enjoy today's "Brodybeam":

Secret of the Sagebrush from lazerbrody on Vimeo.


Keep on Walkin'

Walking 13.5
My favorite sport happens to be the worlds #1 fitness exercise, which does just as much for soul as it does for body. This is the only fitness activity that the whole family can participate in together, from 2-year-old toddler Mikey to 102-year-old great grandfather Morris. This is an activity that's joint-and-muscle friendly as well as fantastic for your heart and lungs. It's walking. If we add the technique of brisker strides and more vigorous hand and arm motion, we move up to the power walking category and burn all the more calories, just like we do in any other cardio exercise.

If you want to maximize the benefits of walking and prevent injuries, then your form and posture must be proper. Like in any other exercise, the better the form, the more beneficial the exercise. Use this form & posture checklist to evaluate yourself:

Proper Walking Form

1. Keep your head upright and eyes forward. Texting or looking at your smartphone destroys this important element of good walking form.

2. Engage your core by pulling your navel in as if you're trying to make it touch your spine.

3. Imagine that a string from heaven is linked to the crown of your skull pulling your head up and extending your neck. This method is a strong remedy to the kyphosis that people develop from sitting at a desk all day long.

4. Drop your shoulders and enable the back of your neck to touch the collar of your shirt. Your neck muscles should be relaxed.

5. Don't slump forward; if you feel like you are slumping, readjust your body position so that you conform to the above four points.

6. Swing your arms gently; the more you add arm motion, the faster you'll walk and the more calories you'll burn in a particular time period. Don't go crazy though - your hands shouldn't rise higher than your collarbone.

7. Walk with feet aligned in a straight manner rather than waddling from side to side. To do this, make sure your hips are moving forward rather than side to side.

8. Don't tiptoe; with every step, land on your heel and roll your foot forward. Comfortable shoes are a must!

Benefits of Walking

1. Great for burning belly fat.

2. Anyone can do it!

3. Lowers risk of hip fracture, especially with women.

4. Great for heart and lung health.

5. Wonderful for those who cannot or may not engage in more strenuous activities.

6. Fantastic for mental functioning, especially concentration, decision-making, self-composure and memory.

7. Wards off anxiety and depression while improving self-esteem.

8. Retards aging and increases longevity.

If we add personal prayer to our walking routine, and speak to the Almighty while sharing everything that's on our heart with Him, we have the greatest body-mind-soul health enhancer on earth. Try it; although we recommend 60-minutes a day, there are huge benefits for 30 minutes daily on up. KEEP ON WALKING - you'll love it. Every blessing, LB


The Key to Body-Soul Health

Thanks to everyone who forwarded the lovely feedback for our new "Brodybeams" series here at "Strength and Serenity," the blog of brodyhealth.com - in honor of our debut week, we've taped another "Brodybeam", which we're happy to post today.

Brodyhealth.com focuses on three main areas of interest: The first is health coaching, which includes fitness, nutrition and disease prevention. The second is spiritual guidance, which focuses on health of the soul, predominantly by way of emuna. The third is family and personal counseling, the bulk of which centers on marital relationships and parenting. We are seriously considering a series on successful relationships, if enough people express an interest. We'd be happy to hear your input.

Today's "Brodybeam" comes from our exquisite riviera in Ashdod. I wish I could share the lovely Mediterranean Sea salt-scented air with you - that would be quite an advance in video production. Meanwhile, we're delighted with the quality and service of our video host "Vimeo", where we pay for ad-and-popup free, wholesome viewing for our readers and viewers.

Here's the key to body-soul health. Enjoy it and have a lovely Shabbat. Every blessing, LB

The Key to Body-Soul Health from lazerbrody on Vimeo.