Shmirat Ha’Guf (Care of the Body)

Mitzvah of the Week
Shmirat Ha’Guf (Care of the Body)
(sh’mee-RAHT ha’GOOF)

“For in God’s image – b’tzelem Elohim – did God make humankind.” (Genesis 9:6)

To be conscious that the Holy One created humanity in God’s own image adds a special sanctity to our lives. The Talmud describes God using a mold to create each of us, and therefore we should all be “stamped” the same. Yet each of us is quite different and unique, one from the other.

Being made in the image of God places on us a special responsibility to treat oneself with kindness and care. We must eat right, exercise (yes, I am listening to myself and am committed to doing better!), get enough rest, nurture our souls, and create loving relationships with others. We must check our homes to be sure they are safe (when’s the last time you checked the batteries in your fire alarms?). Are you prepared for a natural emergency – have you made a plan? Do you text and drive?

This week, pay close attention to how you are taking care of yourself, and resolve to make changes to improve your health and welfare. This is not a New Year’s goal; this is a mitzvah!