We all know the basics of health 101: eat your veggies, go to the gym and get proper rest. But how many of us know that social connection is as important?
There are numerous studies that highlight how social connection improves physical health as well as psychological well-being.
Social connection strengthens our immune system, helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life.
Today’s social psychologists back the ancient wisdom of Maimonides, who, in his “Guide for the Perplexed,” declared man as a social being, “who by virtue of his nature, seeks to form community”.
Brene Brown, who is a well known author and Professor of Social Work, specializing in social connection, writes how “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”
There is not only physical and emotional benefit, but spiritually too we are nourished from connection.
The Talmud says that “G-d’s presence hovers over every gathering of ten Jews”.
Imagine that! It isn’t even a mitzvah or a prayer that brought you this spiritual nurture, but rather simply connecting and being amongst others!
Over the past year, we have been pushed to the opposite extreme. The word “quarantine” is the antonym to “community”. To bring us back to a balanced middle path, we must each set goals for ourselves (in whichever ways possible, while still maintaining safety guidelines) to gather, to connect, and to reunite with community.
Prioritize it, because your health depends on it.
Our children too (even though they can not yet express it, as they are still not consciously aware) have this same basic human need- to connect and to belong.
Teach them while they are young, how being part of a community is the greatest way to satisfy that need.
On a very practical level, we have a Lag Ba’omer community festival scheduled (weather permitting),for Friday, May 30th. I hope this email inspires a record turnout!
Your community is here and waiting to see you.
Our health depends on it!
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom.