Are My Sprains, Breaks, and Injuries Sending Me a Message?

I was reading your book “Business Secrets from the Bible” and really like it! You mention how activities such as business and marriage and warfare can be greatly aided by The Bible because they are specifically addressed in the Bible. I do not mean to completely flatter you (well kinda ;)), but my knowledge of The Bible pales in comparison to yours and the knowledge I hear you impart on your podcast regularly — so I was wondering if you provide any answers or shed any light on the main question that has been troubling me…. Which is how do you think your FAITH (anything spiritual is something that cannot be defined in a laboratory… I’ve been listening closely;) effects bodily healing from a Biblical Perspective?

Are there any helpful Biblical Teachings or secrets of Ancient Jewish wisdom which could help a 17-year-old aspiring Happy Warrior to manage the countless injuries (5+ broken bones, sprains you name it) I have encountered in the past three years?

Thanks for your help,

Noah

Dear Noah,

There are a few reasons we are delighted to hear from you, and only one of them is that we are as susceptible to flattery as the next person. (We hope that is read as a joke.) The biggest reason is that so often people tell us, “If only I had read/heard what you teach when I was younger.” The good news is that you are younger! That means that you are being proactive in directing your life’s path. You will still, of course, hit challenges and make mistakes, but you have a better chance of avoiding some major pitfalls and charting your course in alignment with a Godly path and in accordance with how the world REALLY works.

We suspect that your question isn’t so much how to manage your injuries, but rather whether there is a spiritual nature to your injuries. We assume that you would not ask this question if you were participating in extreme sports or being reckless, so we will postulate that you are describing yourself as accident prone.

We have two different suggestions, one from the physical realm and the other on the spiritual side. From your email address (which we do not share) we assume that you are an eager baseball player. So, you are probably taking care of your body. We don’t know you at all, but you are clearly a thoughtful man. We’re guessing that you take the time to exercise and eat well. Are you comfortable in your body? Are your eyes in a book or on a phone screen so that as you walk you stumble over obstructions? Any number of sprained ankles can be avoided by strengthening the ankles, feet, and legs. We didn’t want to neglect the thought that yours might be a physical rather than a spiritual problem.

However, we suspect that you will probably dismiss the above paragraph as not applying to your life so we can move onto the spiritual dimension.


We have many people who appear to be accident-prone. They experience a disproportionate number of accidents that hurt their bodies. One possible, and quite common explanation for this is that they are individuals who are actually subconsciously trying to punish themselves. Invariably they feel undeserving of some good fortune, or else they know they have earned some censure or punishment for something they have done (or not done.) Subconsciously, they inflict the deserved punishment upon themselves in the form of bumps and bruises, breaks and sprains.

We have seen young children, so-to-speak, giving themselves the punishment that they know they deserve when their parents side with them rather than backing up their justifiably acting teachers or coaches when there is a problem. It has been uncanny as we have listened to these parents explain why the authority figure in question is unjust or mistaken and then hear that they visited the emergency room within the next few days.

At your age, we wonder if subconsciously, you are perhaps being too hard on yourself. You clearly have high standards, which is wonderful, but as a young man, you cannot reasonably expect yourself to attain, today and tomorrow, the heights that you wish to reach further ahead. Could you be channeling disappointment in yourself into your body’s performance?

Not knowing you, we can’t be sure, but we hope that either of these approaches proves helpful to you. We commend you for trying to connect the dots and look forward to seeing you grow as a Happy Warrior.

Best wishes,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

This Ask the Rabbi is dedicated in memory of Sharona Harel, age 40, who was murdered by Hamas terrorists as she attended a music festival on October 6, 2023. She is survived by her parents, siblings, husband and two children. On what would have been the couple’s 11th anniversary, her husband wrote, “My beautiful [wife], thank you for the two treasures you left me, [Rom and Alma], who will know every day what a wonderful mother they had.”

And with prayers for the safe release of the remaining hostages, and among them Idan Shtivi, age 28. Idan had volunteered to photograph the Supernova music festival on October 6, 2023, and was identified as having been taken hostage after trying to escape with friends. Their car was found riddled with bullet holes.


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