June 14, 2014

60 Days of Growth – Go To The Bathroom (Day 46)

shutterstock_152121869There is an ancient Jewish tradition, dating back around 2000 years, it is quoted in the Talmud (Brachot 60b), “אמר אביי…כי נפיק אומר ברוך אשר יצר את האדם בחכמה וברא בו נקבים נקבים חללים חללים גלוי וידוע לפני כסא כבודך שאם יפתח אחד מהם או אם יסתם אחד מהם אי אפשר לעמוד לפניך – Abaye said, when a person leaves the restroom he should say, ‘God is the source of all blessing, He created man with wisdom, and built in him openings and cavities, it is clear before His holy throne that if one opened at the wrong time or closed at the wrong time a person could not live.’”

As we have discussed before, every action is a spiritual action, every action that we take can be something to connect us with God and our Jewish heritage. There is an ancient Jewish value that is being transmitted to us by this blessing that Abaye instructs us to say. It is a value that many people forget about and that many people neglect to incorporate as part of their Jewish outlook. This is the value of looking for the small miracles in life. The very fact that we exist and are alive and our bodies function properly is a miracle. Thanks God, we are surrounded by healthy people and it is easy to forget this…check out this quote from Dr. Kenneth M.Prager, M.D.,

“It was not until my second year of medical school that I first began to understand the appropriateness of this short prayer. Pathophysiology brought home to me the terrible consequences of even minor aberrations in the structure and function of the human body, At the very least, I began to no longer take for granted the normalcy of my trips to the bathroom. Instead, I started to realize how many things had to operate just right for these minor interruptions of my daily routine to run smoothly.”

Today’s Jewish mission is to use the bathroom and appreciate the small miracles in our lives.