Tuesday, April 4, 2017

And the Endorphins Kicked In

As a follow-up to yesterday’s excellent essay on the optimism of Rabbi Akiva, I thought I would tell you more about why it is so important for all of us to have such a level of optimism, faith and trust in the Only Source that can bring us salvation. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, I’ll wait here and let you read the deep message before I tell you more about what it means to all of us. Let me know when you get back…..

Welcome back.

As a child I rarely was involved in sports of any kind. I was more of a bookworm, a learner, an exerciser of the brain more so than the body. When I went to high school the only letter that I received had a G-clef on it for singing in the choir. In 1966 I was drafted into the US Army and my life changed. I now had the requirement to run two miles in a designated time according to my age. Before that any two mile trip was by car.

Needless to say, it was rough. The pain, the heavy breathing, the coming close to fainting (I may have fainted; I wasn’t conscience to know for sure). Then within a few weeks (or more, I don’t remember) something new happened. I started to get what is referred to as the “runner’s high.” Hashem actually provides us humans with the ability to produce endorphins in our brain and make the running much more pleasurable.

Dr. Google says: Endorphins are any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides that activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect. Back to me: It is like having a high on drugs, but using the natural drugs that Hashem gave us within our own bodies, not the kind purchased on the street corner.

Why am I telling you this? Because I experienced a similar high later in life that I like to call the “spiritual high” that may come from spiritual endorphins (I may have just made up a term; the research is ongoing). This spiritual high actually comes from doing Mitzvot, the Commandments.

We are told that we should not be doing Mitzvot for reward, even though the rewards are plentiful, even beyond description. We are also told that the true reward for a Mitzvah is the Mitzvah itself. What does that really mean? When I give charity to help others, especially when the others don’t know it came from me (the one time that my name is Anonymous), that is a high. When I write a blog post, like this, and have no idea who is reading it and even benefiting from it, that is a high. When you do something that gives you such a good feeling, peace of mind just knowing that it is what your Creator wants from you, the feeling is euphoric, a high that is much better than drugs or alcohol and lasts much longer (with no hangover).

We have talked several times about how prayer absolutely works and is always successful when done correctly, now we can see how Mitzvot can also work and greatly enhance our lives. Yes, the Mitzvot serve as the tools to correct ourselves, to bring us closer to perfection, closer to Hashem and set us up with the best Tikun possible for all eternity. But, now we can see that, when done with the proper inspiration and positive attitude, our lives can be enhanced to a much higher level of happiness immediately. We don’t have to wait for the time of the worldwide redemption to cash in on the joy and euphoria that doing the Mitzvot offers.

As an example: we say blessings so we can eat; it is proper to ask for all the abundance that Hashem provides and not just take. I remember hearing about Rabbis who wanted to eat so they can say blessings. The blessings were more important to them than the food. That is what gave them the spiritual high and made life much more enjoyable.

Like Rabbi Akiva who served Hashem with the most devoted service possible, we have the opportunity to do so much more. It is not just doing Hashem’s will through Teshuvah, prayer, Torah study, charity, helping each other, doing the commandments, etc, it is realizing that the higher level of very meaningful service to Hashem is for our benefit. Hashem doesn’t need anything from us; we need everything from Him. He gave us the absolute perfect system to have a life of complete joy and success, of happiness and comfort. Why do we spend so much time and effort complaining about what is not right in our lives, instead of working hard and making it all correct, as perfect as can be.

Does that mean I will never be tested again? No, it means that I will understand the reason for the test and pass it with flying colors – testing will be to my great advantage and not a burden in life. Yes, we are not robots; we make mistakes, but with proper Torah study we correct those mistakes and come out much, much stronger and happier.

Now I have a statement to make that many will not agree with me. WE ARE THE CAUSE OF ALL OUR PROBLEMS; WE ARE ALSO THE SOLUTION TO ALL OUR PROBLEMS. When Hashem tests us with sickness, money problems, family problems, etc, etc, etc, He is giving us exactly what we need because we were deficient in living the perfect system that Hashem provided. We were not doing things correctly, so Hashem in His infinite wisdom gave us the correction we needed (the involuntary way). Whether you agree with this or not, the truth does not go away and it is all good news.

As I mentioned above: Hashem gave us all the chemicals and electrical stimulation within our bodies to cure any disease, any medical situation we have. The goyim call it faith healing; the Jews call it Hashem!!!! I have mentioned that words can actually change the DNA in our bodies. You can’t get a more efficient cure system than that. This is not speculation, but years of self-cure and observation of others. I used to suffer from back spasms, headaches, acid reflux, high blood pressure, heart condition and recently a very debilitating hernia (Google hernia to see if it can go away by itself). They are all gone with no medical intervention, just using Hashem’s perfect system. Thank you Hashem!!

Learn how to get the best endorphin high with everything we do. Waste not, want not. Constantly live every second with the greatest optimism possible, and you will reach a spiritual high you didn’t even know existed. We are the solution to all our own problems, but until we know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, with complete faith in Hashem that He gave us such a system of life, our negativity is our worst enemy. Positive belief, which is nothing more than positive faith and trust in Hashem, and the system of life that we have, is all we need and all the problems are solved – guaranteed in writing!!!!!!


  1. "What Will the Mashiach do in the Third Temple? Rabbi Tovia Singer’s Answer might surprise you".......To all Listen Carefully,

    Dovid B


    You are so right. We have so much power! but most of us don't even know it. But not only are we the cause of all our problems, we are responsible for the conditions we see in the world. Want to see the result of lashon hara, baseless hatred, lying, thievery, immorality, murder and cruelty? Take a look at Syria, extreme weather, species die-offs, and the new plagues, (Ebola,Zika etc) occurring. We are responsible! Just as there are indisputable laws of physics, gravity etc. that G-d created in our world, He also created natural reactions in the world when we descend to a level no longer tolerable...think Exodus (49th level of Tumah) and the Flood. And we can fix it if we can get over ourselves and all of our contrived divisions, and return to G-d. If there was real wholeness among the Jewish people can you imagine what the world would look like?

    Rav Menachem, Can you give us a prayer/technique in regard to receiving health from the One Above? That you for everything you do.

    1. Excellent comment and very accurate. Since words cause energies to flow for the good or for the bad, the horrible language that is so prevalent around the world is a very big contributor to the chaos and devastation. On TV, the movies, even in the news. Words that used to be totally forbidden are now very common-place as though they were OK.

      But, it doesn't have to be in the public. If we as individuals say curse words, we should expect to pay the consequences -- it is wrong and very dangerous.

      So far as prayer, there are many suggestions to make prayers work. One is that it comes from the heart, and not just lip-service. We do things by habit and very rarely think about the words and their meanings. It is not just saying words that causes energies to flow, it is meaning the words, even with tears in our eyes. That is called Kavanah. Kavanah refers to one’s intention, concentration, directing the mind to the meaning of words uttered or acts performed.

      One additional secret that is the most important key to having our prayers work is in the names of Hashem. It is time consuming, but we must do two things with great Kavanah and prayers work. One is pronouncing the names correctly and distinctly; and the other is thinking about the meaning of each name. This is not easy, but every time one says the Ado... name, one should know and think about the fact that the name has the connotation of "mercy" (I like to think "infinite mercy"). The Elokim name is one of "judgement." Kal means "Almighty." There are many other names, but it is a very deep study to learn it all. Also, you will notice that I don't actually use the names out of context. That satisfies the Mitzvah: don't take His name in vain. It is why I call Him Hashem and not other English names that are used so often, usually abusively.

      None of this is easy, but it is very effective in having our prayers work for us correctly, including healing others. Also, when we say very inspiring prayers to heal others or help them with problems, Hashem gave us a system that the healing and everything positive comes back to us. That is why we pray in the plural and almost never for ourselves, unless we are asking for personal forgiveness for our transgressions.

      See my post of 24 August 2015, entitled "Prayer Works."