Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Today is the Fast of Gedalia and 7 smart ways to cut sugar from your diet

Every effort I make to bring G-d into my life is met by a corresponding feeling of His loving presence. And that's what heals.

Love Yehuda Lave

Tzom Gedaliah Fast Day

What, why and how we mourn on the day after Rosh Hashanah

Tzom Gedaliah in Brief

Tzom Gedaliah is a dawn-to-dusk fast ( click here for exact times) observed on the day after Rosh Hashanah (if that day is Shabbat, it is observed on Sunday). Commemorating the tragic death of Gedaliah, governor of Judea, the day begins with special Selichot liturgy ( click here for a Hebrew PDF).

Historical Background

After the Babylonians destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiled many Jews in 3338 (423 BCE), they appointed Gedaliah ben Achikam as governor of the remaining Jews in the Holy Land. Jews who had taken refuge in the surrounding lands of Ammon, Moab and Edom heard of his appointment and returned to Judea to join his group—the last remnant of the once-mighty Judea. Under his wise and pious leadership, they tilled, planted and cultivated, coaxing the ravaged land back to health.

Prior to Rosh Hashanah 3339, Gedaliah received word that a certain Ishmael ben Netaniah, jealous of his position of power and dissatisfied with his tactical alliance with the Babylonians, was planning to kill him and usurp the leadership for himself. But the trusting Gedaliah refused to believe that Ishmael would act treacherously, and restrained those who wanted to kill Ishmael.

On Rosh Hashanah, Ishmael came to Gedaliah with ten men, ostensibly to celebrate the holiday with him. While they were eating together, Ishmael and his men got up and killed Gedaliah, as well as all the other Jewish men and Babylonian soldiers who were present.

This treachery was followed by more bloodshed. It also caused the Jews to flee to Egypt, effectively ending the prospects of Jewish settlement in the Holy Land until the return of the Babylonian exiles in the year 3390 (371 BCE). 1 Thus, the Babylonian exile was absolute, and Judea was left bereft of her children.

The Fast

In memory of Gedaliah's tragic death and its disastrous aftermath, we fast every year on the 3rd of Tishrei, the day after Rosh Hashanah. 2 If the 3rd of Tishrei falls out on Shabbat, the fast is postponed to the 4th of Tishrei. Like other "minor" fasts, it begins at dawn (alot hashachar) and ends at nightfall.

During morning services, it is customary to add special selichot, penitential prayers. Click for a PDF of the selichot services in Hebrew.

During both morning and afternoon prayers, the Torah is taken out, and we read the portion from Exodus 32:11–14 and 34:1–10 in which G‑d forgives Israel for the sin of the golden calf. During the afternoon prayers, we also read a haftorah, from Isaiah 55:6–56:8.

As it is written in Zechariah 8:19, Tzom Gedaliah is one of the four fasts that will be converted to joy and feasting with the arrival of Moshiach. May it happen soon.

Learn more about the life and death of Gedaliah.

Learn about the inner significance of Tzom Gedaliah.


The entire tragic story is recorded in detail in Jeremiah 40–43, and it appears in a more abbreviated form in II Kings 25.


There is a disagreement whether Gedaliah was killed on the 3rd of Tishrei or on Rosh Hashanah itself, in which case the fast was postponed to the following day (3 Tishrei) due to the joyous nature of the holiday.

A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.
Mario Puzo
Author, screenwriter and journalist
There's nothing wrong with crooks having lawyers. Everyone is entitled to a lawyer.
Sydney Pollack
Film director, producer and actor
Deceive not thy physician, confessor, nor lawyer.
George Herbert
Poet, orator, and priest
Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Novelist, poet, essayist, musician and travel writer.
The jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
Robert Frost
I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.
Steven Wright
Stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and Oscar-winning film producer 
It's every lawyer's dream to help shape the law, not just react to it.
Alan Dershowitz
Lawyer and academic 
I decided I wanted to be a lawyer when I was 11 years of age.
Johnnie Cochran
Lawyer who got his dream
He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides.
Charles Lamb
Essayist, poet,
Whether you're a newspaper journalist, a lawyer, a doctor. You have to organize your thoughts.
Frederick Wiseman 
I learned law so well, the day I graduated I sued the college, won the case, and got my tuition back.


Everyone concentrates on the problems we're having in Our Country lately: Illegal immigration, hurricane recovery, alligators attacking people in Florida .. .. . Not me -- I concentrate on solutions for the problems -- it's a win-win situation.


* Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border.

* Send the dirt to New Orleans to raise the level of the levees.

* Put the Florida alligators in the moat along the Mexican border.


Any other problems you would like for me to solve today?

Think about this:

1. Cows

2. The Constitution

3. The Ten Commandments




Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.




They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq ...

Why don't we just give them ours?

It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.




The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this --

you cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal'

'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery' and

'Thou Shall Not Lie'

in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians,

it creates a hostile work environment.


4 Signs You're Eating Too Little When Trying to Lose Weight

4 Signs You're Eating Too Little When Trying to Lose Weight

If you're trying to lose weight, it's pretty cut and dry, right? Cut as many calories from your diet as possible. Unfortunately, it's possible to eat too little, which not only makes it harder for you to achieve a healthy weight, but can also cause other health problems.

The first thing you should ask yourself is, "Why do I want to lose weight?" This seems simple. It's usually to fit into smaller clothes or to look better. But these reasons can cause you to make decisions that aren't necessarily in your best health interest. Eating below your needs is just one example of that and, unfortunately, it can backfire big time.

Everyone has a set amount of calories, or energy, they need to simply be alive. Consistently eating less than this can cause your metabolism to slow down and your body to begin preserving what it can to survive. Hunger and feeling full aren't the only indicators of whether you're fueling your body appropriately. In fact, if you aren't eating enough consistently, you may notice some of these other signs as well.


Our bodies are fueled by the foods we eat, so if we don't eat enough, our energy levels can also wane. Whether you're skipping meals or limiting the types of food you eat, eating too few calories also means you're taking in too few nutrients. Research shows you need all the macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat – for sustained energy. That said, vitamins and minerals are also essential in regulating the production of energy. When you skimp on calories, it becomes much more difficult to get all these important elements your body needs to function properly.



Feeling more irritable than normal can be another key indicator you aren't supplying your body with enough fuel to get through the day. Skimping on carbohydrates can be particularly problematic when it comes to mood stabilization. Without enough carbs, your blood-sugar levels may dip too low because the body doesn't have enough sugar, or glucose, to use as fuel.


To help preserve energy, your digestive tract may move food through your system more slowly when you restrict your intake below what your body needs for an extended period of time. This can cause constipation. In addition, not getting enough fiber regularly — which is challenging to do even when you do eat enough to meet your needs — can also increase the likelihood of constipation.


More isn't necessarily better. You usually lose weight when you run a calorie deficit, but if you're finding you just can't lose those last few pounds, it's possible you're either training too hard, eating too little or some combination of the two. Smaller deficits (think 250–500 calories) are often all you need to see longer-term weight loss. Plus, this won't trigger your body to go into self-preservation mode the same way, drastically restricting your intake often does. Although dropping your calories to significantly low levels may provide you with quick weight loss in the beginning, it can be detrimental to your health and set the stage for weight regain in the future.

7 Smart Ways to Cut Sugar From Your Diet

Christine Byrne
by Christine Byrne
August 20, 2018
7 Smart Ways to Cut Sugar From Your Diet

While there's nothing wrong with indulging in a craving for a scoop of ice cream or margarita every so often, too much sugar has negative health effects and can be detrimental to weight loss. The  FDA recommends getting no more than 10% of your daily calories from added sugars, and  defines them as sugars added during processing or packaging. This includes syrups, honey and concentrated fruit or vegetable juices with more sugar than would be expected from the same volume of 100% fruit or vegetable juice of the same type.

Naturally occurring sugars in things like fruits, vegetables and dairy are much more nutritious than added sugars, because they come with important vitamins and nutrients, as well as fiber and protein that slow their digestion and make them a more steady source of energy.

Finding ways to swap added sugar for naturally occurring sugar (or to cut down on sugar altogether) is a good idea for both your energy levels, and your overall health.

Here are seven simple ways to get started:


Packaged cereal, granola and yogurt often contains sneaky amounts of added sugar — and using honey, maple syrup or another sweetener yourself can add up if you're not careful. Instead, opt for plain yogurt topped with fresh fruit and some nuts. Or make overnight oats with a hefty pinch of cinnamon (which can make things taste sweeter, even though it's sugar-free) and later stir in chopped fruit and some unsweetened nut butter.


Search for a store-bought granola with no more than 5 grams of added sugar per serving.  KIND Peanut Butter Granola Clusters fit the bill, as does  Bear Naked Granola V'nilla Almond. Both are lightly sweet, packed with whole grains and contain  healthy fats from nuts.


Drinking a daily coffee with a spoonful of sugar is a habit that could sabotage your weight loss goals. Instead, try a high-quality cold brew, or the increasingly popular nitro brews, which have a deeper but less-biting flavor than traditional drip or steeped coffees, making them easier to drink plain or with a splash of milk.


Pre-mixed drinks like margaritas, daiquiris and fruity sangrias are loaded with added sugar since bartenders often rely on pre-made sour mixes or flavored syrups. If you want to indulge in an alcoholic beverage, try making these lower-sugar versions at home.


A little added sugar in pies is helpful for bringing out the sweetness of the fruit filling and creating an ideal texture. However, in most cases, you can cut the amount of sugar called for in your favorite recipes by 1/3, or even by 1/2 — smaller amounts still work well for turning already-sweet fruit into a more indulgent, but healthier, dessert.


If you've ever eaten a blueberry in January, you know offseason produce isn't nearly as flavorful as in-season picks — it's less sweet, more tart and often less colorful. What fruits are in season and for how long depends on where you live, so your best bet is to ask vendors at your local farmers market.


Flavored bubbly water is a great option in lieu of sugar-laden soda, provided you look for ones that don't have added syrups or sugar. Try a can of La Croix or make your own fancier version by combining plain seltzer with some mashed and sliced fruit.


13 Low-Calorie Ice Cream Alternatives
See you Tomorrow--Yom Kippur is Next Wendesday
Love Yehuda Lave
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