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May 2021

June 2021

Tips for Senior Fitness - Who Says that 72 is Old?

Who Says 72 is Old

Senior, OK - that's what your birth certificate might say. But old? Who says?

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, preferably 5 days a week.
  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 periodically posting specific advice in reference to the above points, G-d willing. Meanwhile, if you have an ailment, first thank the Almighty for all your body parts that are healthy. When we thank G-d, He gives many more reasons to thank Him. Every blessing for a wonderful weekend and restful Shabbat, LB


Brodie Meets Brody: Maintaining Muscle Mass

We are delighted to present our debut functional fitness film of the new "Brodie meets Brody" series, where world-class exercise physiologist, strength and cycling coach Menachem Brodie (NSCA-CSCS, USAC-PBT) teams up with Holistic Health Coach and Nutritionist Rabbi Lazer Brody (CHC, CPT, CHN) to show how both women and men can maintain muscle mass at any age, whether they're in their thirties or in their eighties.


The 7 Tenets of Belief in Yourself

Believe 2

What is “belief in myself”? Here are the basic seven parameters:

  1. The Almighty created me, as He did every other creature, with a unique trait of my own that no one else has, just as my fingerprints are unique; there is no exception to this rule.

  2. The particular attribute, skill, or talent that the Almighty instills in me enables me to successfully accomplish my own very special mission on earth.

  3. The Almighty wants me to successfully accomplish my mission on earth; I can therefore succeed; indeed, if I don't limit myself, I can attain greatness.

  4. The Almighty loves me, for He has no other child like me; He wants to help me and He especially loves hearing from me.

  5. I am a person of worth.

  6. I have the power to improve myself.

  7. I can be happy.

Repeat the above 7 parameters over and over, daily, until they become second nature. Once you believe in yourself, wait and see how your life takes off. Your own personal Red Sea will split too...

Go for it, because you'll now go far.

With blessings for a lovely day, LB


Unifying the Unified

BnB Screenshot
Menachem Brodie and I really are family - we're from the same Burde/Broida family from Grodno (depending on history, sometimes Poland, sometimes Belarus, sometimes Lithuania). just when our respective grandfathers came to the USA from Europe, the immigration clerk on Ellis Island translated and spelled the name as he saw fit - the result, different clerk, different spelling.

The last two years in Israel have been socially terrible, with unprecedented infighting as a result of the political impasse and mudslinging. That upset us far more than the bombings from Gaza.

The two biggest powers of unification I know of are emuna and physical fitness. Combine the two and you have an unbreakable spiritual weld. If I'd be in a gym with a trainer from Syria, we'd right away have a common language and be teaching and learning from each other. And, putting religion aside, if I would talk about having a personal relationship with Hashem with anyone on earth except a self-declared atheist, we too have solid common ground to build on.

Menachem and I want to shatter stereotypes to help people feel better and be happier. Yesterday, we filmed several clips including exercise for beginners, overcoming back pain and healthy eating. Menachem, a master sports physiologist and world-renown strength and cycle coach, knows his stuff. With Hashem's help, I demonstrate technique and show how body and soul are inseparable, and both must be taken into consideration for good health. For example, massive biceps don't help much if a person is depressed. In addition to holistic health and wellbeing, we want to show that generation gaps and social gaps, especially between the more observant and the less observant, are not necessarily a fact of life. Respect the other person, let him or her exercise their Divine right of free choice as long as they don't hurt anyone else, and remember that ever since Mount Sinai, we're all one nation anyway. In that aspect, our new series "Brodie meets Brody" is simply unifying the unified. We look forward to sharing this new instructional series with you in the nearest future, G-d willing, so don't miss it.


Pilates-Breathing: Bomb-Shelter Tested Stress Reliever

Breathe Bro 6.5
Sad but true - experience is the best teacher. From here in the south of Ashdod, from the moment the Red Alert siren starts to wail, one has 31 seconds to get to a shelter or sheltered area. That's pretty luxurious, for our neighbors to the south in Ashkelon have only 21 seconds, while our brothers and sisters in the Sderot area have barely 14 seconds. It's no joke...

Now, once inside the shelter, there's a bigger challenge - staying calm, and calming the children. Words of emuna and encouragement, together with a nice chunk of Israeli chocolate, work wonders. 

Our children have just as effective radar as the Iron Dome missile defense does. They can immediately detect in adults' faces if there's reason to worry or not. That behooves all of us to stay extra calm.

How does one maintain inner calm and composure when missiles are exploding outside?

Only a few weeks ago, with Hamas getting their new Iranian-technology multi-missile launchers, we experienced the heaviest series of missile barrages in Ashdod that I ever remember. It wasn't easy to stay calm, for the explosions we could hear outside were frequent and thunderous. I gave a breathing lesson to my family members and taught them Pilates breathing...

Pilates breathing is in itself a relaxing warmup that soothes body and soul. You take ten as-deep-as-you-can inhales through your nose, then slowly exhale ten times through your mouth until your lungs are totally emptied. Now repeat, and do this six times. Even better, put a rug or a Yoga mat on the floor, and as you inhale, arch your spine. As you exhale, do a "Pilates imprint" until there's no daylight between your spine and the floor. This way, you get a wonderful spine-massage benefit that's great for your posture and general good feeling. This type of breathing also promotes abdominal engagement, which the Pilates method is famous for.

This form of breathing is not only conducive to relaxation, but it's a stress-buster as well. If it works under rocket barrages in Ashdod, it will certainly help you neutralize your stress and anxiety anywhere else. So there you have it, bomb-shelter-tried and tested. Try it! May we all hear good news from each other, and blessings for everything good, amen!


Focus Like a Cheetah

Focus

Look at the focus and determination in those eyes...

A cheetah is a magnificent creation. It's engineered much better than a Lamborghini - in acceleration and maneuverability, it outperforms a Ferrari as well. But its 75 mph speed (120 km/h) isn't the secret of its success; its focus is. While maintaining high-speed chases after oftentimes elusive prey such as jackrabbits, the cheetah's eyes lock in on its target in perfect focus.

Focus like a cheetah. Don't get sidetracked and lock in on your target too - that's the way to score in whatever your endeavor is, whether it's preparing for final exams, for the marathon, or to finish a tractate of Gemara (or all of Shas - go for it!).  Blessings for a lovely Shabbat and a wonderful new month of Tammuz!


The Megilla of Geula (Redemption), 2021

Megillas Geula
One doesn't even need a spiritually-sensitive nose to smell that Geula is in the air; this is not only apparent in Israel, but in the USA as well.

Trying to make sense out of isolated current events is like looking at one piece of a 10,000-piece puzzle with the presumption of understanding the entire picture. That, of course, is impossible. Reading or listening to media analyses that ignore emuna and the message that Hashem is conveying to the world are therefore a waste of time. For example, if Esther and Mordechai were in today's generation, imagine how the politically-correct and agenda-oriented anti-Torah media would lambast Mordechai for refusing to bow down to the wicked Haman, the head of BDS and the Squad. Yet, Mordechai's steadfast adherence to Hashem's Torah saved the Jewish People - most of whom had sorely compromised Torah values by the political correctness of attending the king's palace ball - from a terrible decree. Don't forget that from start to finish, the Megilla of Esther transpired a thirteen-year time span from start to finish.

According to the writings of the Gaon of Vilna, who few realize was a monumental Kabbalist in addition to his unprecedented scholarship of the entire revealed Torah, the Megilla of Geula is now underway. The isolated events that are now happening in rapid succession are proof.

Before I elaborate on The Gaon's writings, let me ask a question: if five years ago, someone would tell you that in 4 years, there will be a pandemic that threatens the lives and livelihoods of all mankind, would you believe it? If someone five years ago would tell you that in 4 years, you'd be forced to pray on your balcony or in your back yard instead of in the synagogue, would you believe it? If five years ago, someone would tell you that in 5 years, people would be trampled to death in Meron, bleachers would crash in Karlin, and a giant hole in the ground would open up during the week of Parshat Korach, you'd be wondering which hallucinogenic drug this person is high on...

Look at the parallels between Israel and the USA. The parties that embody traditional values are out. The parties who wave the flags of anti-Torah values are in.

In Israel, a motley conglomerate of parties with nothing in common except for their loathing of Torah values has united, despite the fact the the coalition straddles extreme differences in ideology. Two things unite them: 1, they're hate of Bibi, and 2, their respective ego, greed and personal ambitions that override all ideology. Who would believe that a tiny political party that barely represents 5% of Israeli voters would betray their own voters to cross over the political Rubicon so that its head, who not long ago could not even pass the electoral threshhold, can become Prime Minister! It's a miracle in reverse that no one could dream of that only shows that Hashem is doing all of this, and for the very best. It's part of the Megilla of Geula. Here's how:

The Gaon of Vilna wrote an amazing elaboration on the Megilla of Esther that interprets the Megilla in two different ways, one according to the revealed side of Torah and the other according to the esoteric side of Torah, entitled Even Shlema.  Following the Megilla, the Gaon addresses several significant moral and ethical topics. Chapter 11 is about the Geula, the full redemption of our people, may it come soon, amen. The Gaon says that the fourth and final Diaspora, the Diaspora of Edom which we have been suffering for the last 2,000 years, will end with the government of the Erev Rav (the wicked rifraff) over the Jewish People. The Erev Rav, despite their Jewish names, appearance or outer trappings, are apparent in their desire to uproot Torah values and Torah authority. Reading this is like reading an Israeli daily newspaper that is describing the coalition agreement of the new incoming government.

The Gaon goes a step further. In Proverbs 16:4, King Solomon says that Hashem creates everything for His own purpose, including {literally "and also"} the wicked for the day of evil. King Solomon is emphatically stressing that everything, even the seemingly bad, is all from Hashem, Who is using the choices of the wicked to implement a piece of Hashem's puzzle that appears to be bad. The Gaon notes that the numerical value of ve'gam, the word for "and also" from our passage at hand, is 49, indicating that when the Erev Rav reaches the next to the bottom rung of the 50 levels of impurity, Hashem will lift them up in order to trigger their utter downfall, both of which are necessary stages toward our imminent Geula. How imminent? No one knows.

The Gaon brings further proof for what he says. He quotes King David in Psalm 92:8 that reads, "When the wicked spring up like grass, and when all the workers of iniquity flourish, it is so that they'll be destroyed forever." This, writes the Gaon, is talking about the Erev Rav at the end of the Edomite Diaspora and preceding Geula.

As we stress in 3 Words of Emuna, when we know that Hashem is running the show and pulling the strings of the puppets He puts in power, and we know that Hashem is our loving Father in Heaven Who does everything for the best, there's nothing to worry about. I therefore have no part in the gloom and pessimism of so many people who are upset about events in Israel. One politically oriented rabbi asked me, "Aren't you worried about the new government starving the yeshivas?" To his surprise, I said, "Not at all." Hashem sustains the yeshivas and everyone else; with Bitachon, one isn't worried about where his or her next meal is coming from. We can already see the good in the Haredi parties going into the opposition benches of Knesset, because now everyone will have to learn emuna and bitachon, turning to Hashem rather than turning to the Government. What's more, once Moshiach comes, there won't be religious or Haredi parties - only Moshiach, Hashem's anointed King of Israel, the Sanhedrin and our true spiritual leaders. That's on the last page of the Megilla of Geula, something to really look forward to. So look at the big picture, smile and keep reading the Megilla, for no matter how things appear, it's all going to be party-time very soon, for these are simply the labor pains of the birth of redemption and the coming of Moshiach, speedily and in our days, amen!