Tuesday, 17 Elul, 5782
  |  September 13, 2022

The Real Pandemic: Let’s Not Misdiagnose

Op-Ed response by Rabbi Pinny Super: "I recently read an article on COLlive by Shmarya Richler where he calls us to pay attention to 'The pandemic no one is talking about.' Let's not misdiagnose." Full Story

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Totally agree
June 16, 2022 10:18 pm

We have a ‘humans suffering in pain’ pandemic in our communities….
Especially under 30 years old generation….and no one is planning to stop this pandemic…. and thus the pain is escalating…till it explodes in one way or the next… it never turns, it only gets worser… may heaven help us all!

Reply to  Totally agree
June 16, 2022 11:46 pm

Sad and very true. May Hashem have mercy on us all, inlcuding myself….

Pleasantly surprised
June 16, 2022 10:39 pm

When I saw the title of this op-ed I said to myself, “nobody cares what u think.” I was still gonna read it tho, obviously. And I am glad I did. I was very pleasantly surprised. Your op-ed is very important and I am glad u said something. This is not really in criticism of the previous post, just an important omission on his part.

June 16, 2022 11:00 pm

The response shows a deeper consideration of human behavior. Sometimes things are not as black and white as “don’t do this, do that”.

We live in the World of Action
Reply to  True
June 17, 2022 9:48 am

Things generally are as black and white as “don’t do this, do that”. If you buy into the theory that bad actions can be justified by life’s bad breaks, i.e. social justice, then you buy out of Torah’s teachings that we should pursue justice, discounting people’s station in life, life experiences, and so on.
Don’t fall into the trap of “poor me. I’ve had such a hard life. I can’t exercise and need to overeat.” Such an attitude will lead to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and a miserable life.

Not "justifying"
Reply to  We live in the World of Action
June 17, 2022 11:00 am

Nobody is saying that because you’re in pain it’s therefore ok to overeat. Everyone agrees overeating is not the solution and will lead to further problems. But addressing the emotions behind overeating or other problems will be more helpful in the long run. The focus of Chassidus is how to learn to coexist with your nefesh habahamis and not fall into atzvius because you’re not perfect.

aylu v'aylu
June 16, 2022 11:21 pm

Who’s misdiagnosing? Some people have a food addiction. Some people have a lack of discipline. Some people have bad examples that molded their standards. Some people have abnormal metabolism. Some people don’t muster the motivation to exercise. Some people were mis-taught that focusing on optimal body is not chassidish. There are a LOT of reasons why people have less than ideal bodies. If you think a healthy body is important, and you think that includes minimal body fat and well developed posture and muscle groups and primed cardiovascular systems, I wish for you the motivation and strength to do the… Read more »

Reply to  aylu v'aylu
June 17, 2022 10:04 am

Sometimes all the motivation and strength won’t get you there yet society will condemn you as lazy

I used to think …
June 17, 2022 12:17 am

I used to think my overeating was simply a matter of lack of self control. Until one time I had to go on medication that had the side affect of reduced appetite. Well, let me tell you: I did not even THINK about eating during those few weeks. I didn’t put in a single bit of effort or exert even a drop of willpower and I still lost so much weight. Now I have completely changed my mind and realise that at least for some people, overeating is simply about brain chemistry and NOTHING to do with self control. However… Read more »

People eat because it's pleasurable.
June 17, 2022 12:28 am

Iskafia and Ishapcha they are nice terms and hard to do.

main issue
June 17, 2022 5:54 am

Shimon russell And shais have a speech together how the main issue in our generation is trauma and it brings to addiction etc.

Listen to their class on coach Menachem show.

June 17, 2022 6:08 am

Thank you Pinny and Shmarya for the awareness. You’re both right. Some people need better eating habits, others are struggling with an addiction. There’s diagnostic criteria for addiction that goes beyond the emotional triggers for unhealthy eating habits, and not everyone who eats more when they’re nervous suffers from a food addiction.

Hopefully everyone gets the support they need. We can all live healthier, whether we are addicts, people with unhealthy eating patterns, and people who have relatively healthy eating habits. Let’s grow (emotionally) and let others grow, everyone has their own journey.

My 2¢
Reply to  Dovber
June 17, 2022 10:31 am

That’s wonderful that she is so strong and able to overcome the challenges. The problem is many of us do this out of shame, guilt, and denial of our humanity and the challenges that come with it. And when the outward “shining strength” comes through the sacrifice of the inner human soul which is hidden and beaten down, often in the name of Yiddishkait and chassidishkeit, I don’t see this as laudable I see it as unfortunate. People have challenges. On all levels. And they are not to be ashamed of, ignored, denied, repressed, in the name of “being strong”,… Read more »

Wow! Really impressed
Reply to  My 2¢
June 17, 2022 11:04 am

Consider making an article just from your comment. So true and to the point. So many teens and young adults can relate and will appreciate!

This misses the mark
June 17, 2022 7:29 am

In Tanya we’re taught that what Hashem wants is for us to behave ourselves. Our “garments” of thought, speech, and action are all behavioral. Humans are often wounded and often have scars from life. However, as the Alter Rebbe writes, we shouldn’t occupy ourselves with sublimation of the emotions. While I agree that therapy is important for those in need, lack thereof shouldn’t be a crutch to justify our bad behavior. To take an extreme example, survivors of the holocaust had every right to curl up in a ball and say that they needed therapy and couldn’t function in the… Read more »

My 2¢
Reply to  This misses the mark
June 17, 2022 10:32 am

Sorry, meant to reply to this

Reply to  This misses the mark
June 17, 2022 6:19 pm

Woah!!! What strength kah!!! May she have long healthy life. What an inspiration!! They’re made of a diff dough. We can’t keep up

June 17, 2022 8:08 am

For *most* people, you overeat because it tastes good and you like that good feeling that it comes with.

Some people have debilitating pain that is handled by all sorts of bad behavior, but that’s a simplistic view on why most Americans are overweight specifically

I think Richler’s article is fine
June 17, 2022 8:18 am

I agree that in some cases it could be a caused by sadness. But not all bad habits come from sadness But I think Richler’s point is that today over eating has become a habit and not necessarily caused by sadness at all. It may be just caused by usual daily stress. A simple bad habit of over eating, especially when one is enticed by all the ‘goodies’ like Sushi and cakes we see at all the parties we’re invited to, especially in Crown Heights and other big communities where there is a simcha nearly every day. In Richler’s case… Read more »

June 17, 2022 10:42 am

You may not like it it but st Is statistically most people need to be shamed/scarred into living a healthy lifestyle amd lose weight. Patting somone on the back and saying good job ain’t gonna do it…grow up and put the effort in.
It’s embarrassing how many of our rabbis and leaders are overweight and can’t fit in their clothes. It’s shameful.

Reply to  Shaming
June 17, 2022 2:26 pm

Ah yes shaming people about their size and health is going to help then be healthy??
All this results in is people feeling worse. And I’d like to see this “statistic”

Why do some people have to ruin EVERYTHING??
June 17, 2022 11:17 am

Why was it necessary for R’ Super to pen his article?? Why couldn’t he just leave ‘good enough’ alone? Why does he have to rain on Mr Richler’s parade?? Mr Richler provided a very readable exposition – an interesting, humourous and informative article about the benefits of exercise and portion-control. Was his article intended to be an in-depth psychological analysis of over-eating? Was it intended to be a peer-reviewed article, awaiting to be published in a medical journal? Was it meant to conduct a thorough survey and investigation into the psychology of human nature relating to food and exercise?? NO,… Read more »

Excuse you
Reply to  Why do some people have to ruin EVERYTHING??
June 17, 2022 1:40 pm

I disagreed with mr richlers approach but agreed with mr super. There was a beis hillel AND beis shammai – grow up!

If The Shoe Were On The Other Foot
June 17, 2022 2:22 pm

Imagine telling someone with Anorexia “you just need to eat more” or “you’re skeletal, have some self control and stop exercising”. It’s not always a self-control matter, and it can spiral very quickly to beyond control.

Good point
Reply to  If The Shoe Were On The Other Foot
June 17, 2022 3:56 pm

Good point. Didn’t think of it that way. I would hope that no one tells a person suffering from anorexia to just “eat more, stop the nonsense, etc “! So why, indeed, the lack of understanding for overeating? Interesting….

June 17, 2022 4:26 pm

I think Richler article was to the point The problem we have is that there are many counselors Psychologist psychiatrist all are needed and maybe more and they should blessed with the holy work Yet they have to understand that they should not look at all people like a hammer looks at everything we are not all ill a perek Tanya helps more then you can imagine A motivational article is great it helps a lot Unfortunately there are intellectuals in our community who only see there value when they can point out a problem Let’s start being positive and… Read more »

June 20, 2022 11:19 am

Obesity us a medical issue, and there are many components to this issue. I maintain that those of us who are not medical specialists are not qualified to offer advice or explanations that they THINK are the answer. A little humility guess a long way.

June 20, 2022 7:58 pm

This article is amazing in every way