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Vitamins and Minerals

Rabbi Raymond Beyda

Rabbi Abraham Twersky says, "Just as the body cannot function optimally unless it receives its vital nutrients, neither can the neshamah [soul] be in optimal condition unless it receives its vital nutrients." There is a difference, however, between a deficiency in physical nutrients and a spiritual deficiency. When the body lacks one of the "foods" it needs to function the deficiency manifests itself in a symptom characteristic to that vitamin or mineral. The treatment is to fill the need for that component of bodily balance. You can't fill the need for vitamin C with mega doses of vitamin B-- but the right dose of C will cure the problem and erase the symptom. When it comes to the spirit, however, the manifestation of a deficiency is not so clear. A shortage of Torah learning, respect for elders and parents, acts of kindness or any of the Misvot that the soul needs to be healthy and satisfied is not clearly demonstrated. Instead a person may feel depressed, or generally unhappy without being able to pinpoint the cause.

One thing is certain. One cannot compensate for a shortage of spiritual vitamins with physical remedies. Money, food, drugs and alcohol won't eliminate the malady.

Today, should you feel a tinge of sadness, general dissatisfaction or unhappiness--stop! Don't try and fill the need with a physical fix. Instead think--"What area of my Misvah performance or Torah learning can I increase." Even if you don't pinpoint it exactly, unlike the physical, an increased dose of any spiritual nutrient will go a long way to restoring your spiritual balance. It only takes a minute but it will assist in restoring your mental "health" and good "spirit."


The person who goes up to the Torah when it is being read publicly in the Synagogue must read quietly along with the reader--he cannot fulfill his obligation by merely standing silently and listening to the reader.

[Source Yalkut Yosef siman 141:20]

Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



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