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Preparing for redemption: Breathe deeply

ילד פורש ידיים ונושם לרווחה

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

"It's cheap, accessible, and definitely worth it," Dr. Miri Avneri, a psychologist, began her message to me. "If only we could understand the importance of this resource and how much it could improve our quality of life."

I was curious to know to what Miri referred and continued to read as follows: "At the beginning of this week's Torah portion, the nation of Israel does not show enthusiasm for Moshe Rabbeinu's announcement that God is going to take them out of Egypt. 'But they did not hearken to Moses because of their shortness of breath and hard labor.' From where does this apathy come? What kind of slave does not ultimately want to go free?

Rashi explains that they did not hear Moses simply because they did not breathe properly. 'Whoever is under stress, his wind and his breath are short, and he cannot take a deep breath.'

We imagine that to solve our problems we need to address the mind and the emotions, yet from my counseling experience I have found that breathing properly is the foundation for all growth and development. A person cannot absorb any message regarding freedom or healing if they are under stress and suffer from 'shortness of breath' or improper breathing technique.

If only they would teach us how to breathe at school and begin the day with exact instructions as to the correct way of breathing in and out. Remember: The best time to breathe deeply is precisely when we feel we have no time for it. You are invited to try it, even at this moment. In our own lives, may we not miss announcements heralding redemption from shortness of breath."


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