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South Beach Diet

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

Statistics show that the American people are overweight and out of shape. Well, with all the talk and publicity surrounding exercise and health supplements you would think the numbers are wrong. But -- fact is -- the latest diet plan fad keeps popping up its head. There are juices and proteins and carbs -- and lo-fat and no- fat -- and South Beach and 5-day and 7-day -- and people do try them all.

The more sensible weight loss plans suggest that one learn to eat differently than the way they are used to eating. The plan usually includes a scientific, physiological approach to eliminate hunger. If one eats properly he or she may eat more than what they normally eat yet lose weight anyway. The secret is to eliminate hunger.

The fuel of the body is blood sugar -- sucrose. Foods are broken down into this potent energy source that and is then delivered to all parts of the body via the blood system. When one lacks sucrose the body cries out for energy by saying, "I am hungry -- get me some food!" If one takes a fast fix like a sugary doughnut then the sucrose hits the body cells quickly and the energy burns out quickly as your insulin brakes fight off the sugar rush. No good! It is better to give the body a steady flow of food that breaks down slowly and evenly into sucrose. This system fights hunger and enables the dieter to eat healthy without becoming ravenous for the wrong stuff. A lot in small healthy doses --that is the secret. When a doctor prescribes a drug a person is instructed to take it at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day. Taking all at once is not only dangerous it is not going to make the person healthy. Small doses at regular intervals will do the trick.

When one is working on one's spiritual health one usually puts off things that do not seem big enough to make a difference. If I can't attend a 90- minute class what good is a ten-minute session in a Humash or 5 minutes to look up a Halakha? What good is holding back from one look at the forbidden or holding back one word of Lashon Hara? Don't be fooled --you need small doses throughout the day

Whenever you can't find a chunk of time to do a good deed or learn something new remeber this lesson. The health of your spirit depends on your "Torah blood sugar". Small doses -- throughout the day. It only takes a minute to have a spiritual snack but it will keep your levels where they should be for good spiritual health day in day out.


If one intentionally takes off his taleet with intention to put it on again he need not say another blessing when he puts it back on -- so long as it is within one half hour from the time he took it off. However, should the time that it is off exceed 30 minutes -- then a new blessing must be recited before the taleet is worn. [Source: Oserot Yosef, Siman 28:1]


The Gemara interprets the pasuk from the prophet Mikha, "Trust not in a friend, do not put your confidence in a familiar friend" as a reference to one's attitude towards the Evil Inclination. If the Evil Inclination says to you: "Sin and Hashem will forgive you -- don't believe it for it says 'Trust not in a friend."

When one is alone one might say: "Who will testify against me?" The Gemara says: "The walls of your home will give testimony". [Hagigah] 16a NOTE: The intent of this piece of Talmud is to teach us that all that is done is accounted for and that nothing slips through the cracks. One should be aware that ALL that one does --whether good or bad -- would be dealt with in the Heavenly court.

Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



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