From my Jewish friends, as well as from their faith, I have learned many things that I try to apply to my life, especially in business. Here I want to talk to you about FASTING as a tool for SELF-CONTROL and PERSEVERANCE. Fasting is a countercultural act in a world full of immediacy and indulgence. Instead of satisfying our most immediate impulses, fasting invites us to moderate them and practice abstinence. By abstaining from food or other pleasures for a specific period, we can develop our ability to resist instant gratification and learn to appreciate what truly matters in life.
Fasting also offers us the opportunity to pause and reflect.
In a world where we are constantly moving forward, the act of pausing and taking a moment for introspection can be deeply transformative. During fasting, we can examine our actions, thoughts, and emotions and find a sense of clarity and purpose amidst the daily turmoil.
Moreover, fasting holds spiritual significance in many religious traditions. In the case of the mentioned Jewish fasting days, such as the 17th of Tamuz and Tishá BeAv in Judaism, these days are moments of commemoration and reflection on historical tragedies. Fasting becomes a way to connect with history and remember the importance of preserving the values and wisdom passed down through the centuries.
In summary, the countercultural act of fasting teaches us to moderate our most immediate impulses and find meaning in patience and introspection. It helps us resist instant gratification and appreciate the transcendental aspects of life. In a world dominated by immediacy and indulgence, fasting becomes a powerful tool for cultivating moderation and finding a deeper balance.
When we practice fasting, we draw closer to the Divine. We learn to reject our most primal inclinations and moderate and control our earthly tendencies.
It is interesting to note that our pursuit of immediacy and inclination towards indulgence are key elements in the Jewish fasting days. In the case of the 17th of Tamuz, the Jewish people recall the occasion when Moses broke the Tablets of the Law on Mount Sinai. After spending weeks at the top of the mountain, Moses descended with the most valuable gift for humanity. However, due to his prolonged absence, the Israelites became impatient. Instead of waiting for Moses to return with the Torah, they built a golden calf. They longed for what was promised to them and wanted it immediately.
When they did not get what they desired, they tried to fill their spiritual void with flashy and shiny things, instead of seeking what would truly be more fulfilling.
In fact, the Book of Lamentations read on Tisha BeAv and the Talmud suggest that the destruction of Jerusalem had similar reasons. The Jewish people weakened and degraded themselves due to their inclination towards indulgence. Unrestrained idol worship, lack of restrictions in adultery, and rampant greed harmed them.
When the Jews faced tragedies, they responded by highlighting the importance of patience. The Book of Lamentations reminds us again and again that «Hashem is good to those who wait for Him» and urges us to «wait quietly for redemption.»
True meaning requires persistence and patience. Instant indulgence is not enough.
From now on, when we fast, we must remember all the trials that the Jews have faced throughout history. While we abstain from eating and drinking, we should appreciate the radicality of our act.
In the midst of a society that promotes instant gratification and rampant consumerism, fasting teaches us the benefits of self-control and the virtue of patience and perseverance. True fulfillment and satisfaction will not come to those who seek to receive what they want immediately, but to those who, calmly and patiently, seek not the greatest quantity of goods, but the holiest goods in the world.
Indeed, the practice of fasting is a very important tool for our daily lives, especially for those of us who seek success. Before seeking it, we must define it. If you do not know the meaning of Success for you, how will you find it? Take advantage of fasting to reflect on that, to find answers to the questions that trouble you, but above all, make your effort and leave the outcome to God. Your action will be rewarded.
By: Aldo ‘The Network Wolf’ López, CEO of BNEFIT and a 15-year veteran in the referral marketing industry.