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An Insight into Emuna Fitness

People who don't know me often say, "Hey, you don't look like a fitness trainer! Why don't you stick to being a rabbi?"

Two answers to the above comment: First, I'm not a YouTube trainer that wants to show off my six-pack abs and flaunt what he can do but what you can't. Second, following in the tradition of our forefather Jacob who outwrestled an angel, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who was both a juggler and a gymnast who could do pushups on his thumbs alone (see tractate Succoth 53a), Maimonides and many other great sages, coaching people in physical well-being is an integral part of spiritual leadership.

Emuna Fitness is harmony of body and soul. What good is a perfect figure or 21" biceps if you suffer from anxiety and depression?

In my years of athletic experience, training in all different types of sports from running to weight training to wrestling and combat arts, I went through a vicious cycle of approaching what I thought was my peak fitness, then suffering a big setback of an injury or flu. I was repeatedly burning myself out rather than building myself up. Even while learning to become a fitness trainer and health coach, most of my teachers were teaching me the same methods that didn't lead to the results I was looking for.

With Hashem's help, I came to the conclusion that true fitness is the optimum state of body-soul well-being, when physical and emotional ills disappear and a person functions at his or her best. This is opposed to the person who wins the marathon, then spends the next two weeks recuperating in the hospital. With emuna fitness, your goal is not to run the 42 kilometers, to build the massive triceps or to become the aerobic-dance queen who is so carbo-starved after her workout that she eats twice the carbs that she burned. Your goal is to feel good so that you can serve Hashem more efficiently and happily...

I came to the conclusion that emuna fitness is functional fitness. Functional fitness means that you function effectively: despite your age, you can run, walk, climb and lift as you need to. It also means that your body is free of disease and your soul and emotions are free of their diseases - worry, anger, anxiety, worry, depression, jealousy and other negative emotions.

Emuna fitness, which addresses diet, disease prevention, exercise and lifestyle, is therefore the epitome of fitness, the true holistic balance of a healthy body in perfect harmony with a healthy soul.

Enjoy this 90-second video explanation:


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Mr. Cohen


Mr. Cohen


“Reb Zecharia, like so many of his contemporaries, worked for a time in a sweatshop.

The shop he worked in, making pocketbooks, was located in a building just east of Washington Square, site of the ill-fated Triangle Shirtwaist Company. On the Saturday of the great fire in 1911 that engulfed the building and killed 145 workers, Reb Zecharia was at home. It was the Jewish Sabbath.

He learned two lessons from this:

he vowed that his children would never become factory workers and he vowed that they would never work on the Sabbath.”

Zecharia Derschowitz moved from Galicia to the USA in 1888 CE.
He was the great-grandfather of Alan M. Dershowitz.

SOURCE: Chutzpah by Alan M. Dershowitz (chapter 1, page 26) published in year 1991 by Little Brown and Company ISBN: 9780316181372 ISBN: 0316181374


Rav Brody, your emuna fitness lessons are very valuable. i thank you for them & wish more people would appreciate that their body is a vessel given to them by Hashem to perform mitzvot. It's the home of their neshama. In the same way that we shouldn't poison our neshamot with filth and heresy, we shouldn't poison our bodies with junk food, obesity, lack of physical activity. Thank you.

Rachel F

Rabbi Brody,
I am indebted to Rav Arush for changing my whole perspective on living with emunah.
That being said,
Some ladies in my neighborhood and I get together and learn garden of gratitude on shabbos. We came to the section that Rav Arush discusses mental illness and seems to state that increased emunah and gratitude can cure mental illness. Many of us found this difficult to swallow. As if to say if I have enough emunah I can stop wearing eyeglasses tomorrow!
Some were very disturbed by this notion presented. I believe that Rav Arush meant well but I would like you to please elucidate this point so that our group can understand what he means. Someone with schizophrenia needs to work on ego?!
I hope you can help me understand what his real life take and advice would be in this area and I can help our group understand as well.

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