Oct. 30, 2018

Chayei Sarah

My condolences to all of us. We are all affected by the Pittsburgh murders.

When Abraham was tested by Hashem he was told gradually and gently so that he had time to get used to the test: “Please, take your son, your only one, whom you love, Isaac...and bring him up there as an offering...” This was Abraham’s test and he had the resolve to obey. It was not Sarah’s test and she had no storehouse of fortitude. Sarah was not told gradually and did not have the opportunity to prepare herself. Sarah was told bluntly, and perhaps incompletely, about the Akeida and was overcome by grief.

Many things are better when accepted in small doses rather than all at once. If you are learning Torah, do it gradually, like climbing steps. At each new level, pause and make the new learning part of your life. Then continue moving forward.

Yoga—Downward dog in small steps

If you are not familiar with the yoga poses, it is best to begin very gently and gradually become more accomplished in each pose. A gradual introduction to downward dog is kind to your body.

Start by bending at the waist.

This is a ninety degree or right angle bend.

It is not a downward dog bend.

This is a partial downward bend.

It is okay to have your knees bent.

 

If you are not dizzy with this partial inversion, progress to tabletop.

You are on your hands and knees.

Head in straight line with spine.

 

When you are ready, push back, weight on hands.

Hips up, head down, like a V inverted.

Your feet are pressing down, they do not have to be flat on the ground.

Your knees could be bent.

 

As you progress:

Your hips push back more.

Your back is straighter.

Your head hangs between your shoulders.

Your heels are lowering to the ground.

Your legs are straighter.