Wednesday, 25 August 2010

T'shuvah -Dr. Atkins Style

The Rambam and Rabbenu Yonah have elaborate details on how to do T'shuvah. Compare this to the following:

I was talking to a dieter recently and I told him the late Dr. Robert Atkins advice. It goes something like this:

«I don't understand why dieters who "cheat" need to feel guilty and completely blow their diets away. The best thing to do is to get up the next morning with a fresh start, stick to the diet and forget about the "cheating". Humans inevitably will deviate over the long run anyway. Why beat yourself up? Just get back to it.»

A very different approach than Rambam or Rabbenu Yonah, perhaps more North American than Jewish.

Yet the Talmud In Qiddushin 49b states

«He who betroth es on the condition that "I'm a tzaddiq" even if he is a rasha gamur is m'qudeshes - [why?] Shema hirheir t'shuva b'da'ato»

Thus instant T'shuva - unlike instant coffee - is not strictly an North American creature after all

How can the Talmud require so little T'shuvah whilst Rambam and Rabbenu Yonah reuqire so much more? More later on that, BE"H.

Meanwhile, the simple approach of Dr. Atkins is quite enlightening. One can "cheat" or deviate and then immediately commit oneself to getting right back on the wagon the very next morning and be a successful dieter in the long run.

Something to ponder for those who are intimidated by the arduous process of doing T'shuvah. (Speaking of this process, have you responded to our latest poll yet?)


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