The God of Second Chances
KOSHER SUTRA 'If you walk…listen…do..I will give…give…give' (Lev 26:3-4)
BODY BENEFITS Get energy flowing, get yourself moving.

We all have our personal restrictions: unhelpful behaviours that we’ve been repeating for years, relationships that are stuck in a negative cycle, or a situation that we just wish was different. Today marks a quietly-known festival Pesach Sheni, a subtle Biblical event which allowed people a second chance to bring the Passover offering if they missed it the first time. No questions were asked about why they missed it the first time around, a month earlier. The Hasidic masters teach that this comes to remind us that we always have a second chance in life, no matter how bleak things may seem.

Yoga allows us to change our bodies, retrain our mind and reprogramme our destiny. Such an undertaking isn’t easy. The Yoga Sutras teach that ‘for those who practice with ardent intensity, Samadhi (eternal bliss) is near’ (1:21). The commentator Vyasa added that whoever practices with true intensity will not only enjoy Samadhi, but also ‘its fruit, which is liberation’*. Nothing less than absolute freedom. Just because we’ve always done something, it doesn’t mean that we always will. The past does not equal the future.

And so, our Kosher Sutra: ‘If you will walk in My laws, listen to My commandments and do them, I will give your rains in their time, the Land will yield its produce, and the tree of the field will give forth its fruit’ (Lev 26:3-4). The structure of the second verse mirrors the first: if you walk…listen…do, I will give…give…give’. Rabbi Elimelech of Lizensk taught an astonishing explanation of this. He explained that the words ‘walking in my laws’ refers to righteous people who have the ability to become partners with God, annul negative decrees and actually change the future**.

A lazy new-age approach teaches us that it’s all about a positive attitude but this is only halfway correct. It is about action. Hamlet didn’t sit back and just think happy thoughts when he wanted to fix a problem in the family, but did something about it when he uttered ‘the play’s the thing/wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king’(Act 2 Sc.2). We need to do something, we need to engage, we need to get involved. Pick your prize, and go for it. Turn and face the change….

Be well,