The cure for anything is salt water

The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears or the sea.

(Isak Dinesen 1885-1962)

The Cure For Anything

There’s something about the sea that captivates my soul. I don’t need to go into the water to be drawn into its embrace. Just sitting on the beach The Cure For Anythingin the shade, hearing the crash of the waves, smelling the salty air and feeling the sand between my fingers. No matter how much pressure I’m under at the moment, a tranquil hour near the water rejuvenates my soul and empties my mind of all the junk that’s frantically spinning around inside.

I just returned from a short trip to the beach of Netania. What make the spot special is that there’s separate bathing times for men and woman. There were dozens of men and boys, many with long Payis and beards, enjoying a few hours of relaxation with Halakhic approval. Enjoyable, healthy and Kosher too.

The Cure For Anything
Kiryat Sanz Beach, Natania

I sat there for an hour on the sand engaged in my favorite pastime of reading another book on my Kindle.

Without side tracking too much by singing praises of the Kindle e-book reader, as an avid life-long reader, it makes me wonder how people enjoyed reading before the Kindle was invented. 🙂

Living By The Sea

There are studies showing that going to the sea is not only pleasurable, it’s also good for your health.

The age-old wisdom that being near the seaside is good for your health may be true, studies suggest. People often focus on the threats the ocean poses to human health, whether it’s storms and floods, harmful algal blooms or pollution. But research shows that spending time by the ocean has many positive effects on health and well-being.

In one experiment, study participants were shown photographs of ocean views, green fields or cities, and asked how much they were willing to pay for a hotel room with each of those views. People were willing to pay more for the room with an ocean view, the results showed.

When you put a person in a beach environment, “It’s not going to be any great surprise to you that people relax,” said study researcher Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at Exeter. The question, he said, is how many people experience such health effects, and how much they impact people’s health.

The researchers also looked at the effect of moving near a coast. Moving closer to the sea “much improves people’s well-being,” White said — by about a tenth as much as finding a new job. The seaside environment may reduce stress and encourage physical activity, he added.

Source: Living By The Ocean Is Good For Your Health, Expert Says

How does the Jewish Tradition relate to visiting the ocean?

Blessing On Seeing The Ocean

A person should recite a blessing over every sea or lake, provided it contains a lot of water all year round, and is not artificial. In the Land of Israel, therefore, a blessing is recited over four seas: the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), and the Dead Sea.

However, if the lake was created by a man-made dam, even if it is extremely large such as the Aswan Dam, a blessing is not recited, because the blessing was enacted as praise over the work of the Creator, and not over the work of man.

On oceans surrounding continents, the following blessing is recited: “Boruch Atah A-d-o-n-o-I, E-l-o-h-e-i-n-u Melech ha’olam, sh’asah et hayam hagadol” (Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the Universe, Who created the great Sea).

Some authorities, however, think that the great sea is the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, in the opinion of many Poskim (Jewish law arbiters), the blessing “sh’asah et hayam hagadol” should be recited only over oceans, while the blessing for the Mediterranean is “oseh ma’aseh bereshit”, and this is the generally accepted custom.

Source: Travel Guide: Blessings for Special Sights – Judaism – Arutz Sheva

Tashlikh

The Cure For AnythingTashlikh is a Jewish tradition, performed on the afternoon usually of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, in which the participants symbolically cast off their sins by gathering along the banks of a river, stream, or the like and reciting prayers of repentance.

Source: Tashlikh | Define Tashlikh at Dictionary.com

Tzitzit & Tkhelet

The Cure For Anything
Tekhelet

We are commanded to place a thread of blue on our Tzitzit. There are many reasons for the commandment (beyond the mere fact that it’s biblical).  It was taught in the Talmud in the name of Rabbi Meir – why is Tekhelet singled out from all the colors? Because Tekhelet is similar to the sea, and the sea is similar to the firmament, and the firmament is similar to the Throne of Glory etc.

Here we have three different spiritual perspectives on oceans and seas.

  • As a place to express our appreciation and awe of God’s creation.
  • As a place to symbolically get rid of our spiritual errors.
  • As a reminder that everything comes from above.

I guess that the cure for many things really is salt water, both for body and soul.

Shabbat Shalom,

David

8 thoughts on “The cure for anything is salt water

    1. According to what I read (Lonely Planet Italy) Venice has had it’s share of destruction both human and “natural”.

  1. Davkah, living close to the sea has become like building your house on ice. Many more people live closer to the sea now than ever before and that is why there are more victims of tsunamis now. Besides that, the polar ice is melting, and many famous seaside towns and cities will becomes underwater resorts.

    No doubt, Israeli engineers will close off the Straights of Gibraltar and the toll from the lock will go to our coffers. The Mediterranean will so become an inland sea and the Israeli coast will be clear of flooding dangers.

    Visit Orleans, New York, Amsterdam and Venice before it can only be done with diving gear!

    1. My friend, I see the salt water post is really effective. You’ve given me quite a few responses… 🙂
      Thanks.

  2. And now we learned that sun lotion kills off coral riffs…

    Reb Shlomo (Carlebach) says that water heals anything because it is from before Creation. It is beyond space – it keeps flowing.

    All our mistakes (sins) come from disconnecting ourselves from what was before creation. By emerging ourselves we reconnect to what is beyond time and space.

    Put two apples on each other and that is what you have. Put two drops of water on each other and you have one drop. Water comes from before there was duality. Water comes from this deep place of one-ness.

    One of the ways that Eve was going to rectify eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was by emerging herself. Thinking that we know everything closes us off. Water is the most open thing in the world that can correct this.

    Gut Shabbos!

    1. Hello my friend. My apologies for the long delay in responding. I’ve been busy elsewhere.
      Although excessive sun can cause skin cancer, that doesn’t mean one can’t ever go to the beach. There’s sun lotion available and in fact I enjoy walking along the beach fully clothed and just watching the water and hearing the waves.
      Everything taken to excess can be dangerous, but as Maimonides said about taking the middle way…therefore I’d like to be able to enjoy the world that G-d gave us and the ocean is part of that world.
      Shabbat Shalom!

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