Post 410: I’m making myself a Pot Luck today (most every day) Come and join me! Review the Principles of health by the Holy Rambam- Martin and Lefcourt’s Situational Humor Response Questionnaire (SHRQ) Examine food balancing according to the Rambam and Macrobiotics Ying and Yang. Many activities at Mizmor L’David- Fundraiser for Lone Women’s Soldier Center-Artcle about a Journalist’s about face on the Israel – Arab Israeli situation – Links to articles and Purim events- A view from the Front of the front lines: How A Pro Palestinian Journalist changed his views on Israel and the Conflict

 This post has been growing, germinating and now much too long. Did the holy Rambam, Maimonides have a sense of humor? If he were a physician today would he have developed a humor scale like Martin and Lefcourt’s Situational Humor Response Questionnaire (SHRQ) and Coping Humor Scale (CHS) described by Elizabeth S. Bast and Elliot M. Berry, M.D.

People were starving in his day but perhaps he witnessed  over-eating .

The following excerpts are from : Laugh Away the Fat? Therapeutic Humor in the Control of Stress-induced Emotional Eating

Elizabeth S. Bast, A.B.1 and Elliot M. Berry, M.D., F.R.C.P.2,*

1University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States and

2Department of Human Nutrition & Metabolism, Braun School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

Humor has certainly helped me get over many hurdles. Since my arrival in Israel my sense of humor has been called upon many times during the day, in many varying situations. For example, I will enter a shop and make a request in Hebrew to return a paint supply, that I just bought, but see a problem with it and I don’t have the receipt and I request my 16 sheckels back..

It’s like a boxing match. One has to throw a punch that’s not expected. I look the owner in the eye. His clerk starts to send me away. I stand there surrounded by customers. I don’t move. Everyone stops and looks at me. I’m not yelling.

I got my refund.

From the Journal Article, Laugh Away the Fat? Therapeutic Humor in the Control of Stress-induced Emotional Eating, cited above.

A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns to wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.

(P.J. O’Rourke (1947–): The Bachelor Home Companion; 1987)

Positive emotions may result in a greater tendency to consume healthier foods.

Now read that again. You can’t get any more Jewish because one must be in a positive mood to say a bracha, a blessing of thanks to our creator, Hashem for our food in the correct way. I look at it this way. Positive emotions come from feelings of adequateness. I prepared that food on my plate with the intention of feeling satiated after consuming it.

When one is alone more food will be consumed. Try not to eat by yourself.

Similarly, there are the effects of negative emotions and stress as they relate to over eating and obesity. You don’t need to be a researcher to know that foods high in fats and carbs are comforting.

Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.

(Fran Lebowitz (1946–): Metropolitan Life; 1978)


The psychology of humor and the beginning of earnest scientific investigation into its therapeutic potential is often attributed to Norman Cousins, author of Anatomy of an Illness. He credited his “miraculous” recovery from ankylosing spondylitis to a self-prescribed treatment of large doses of vitamin C and deep belly laughter; he famously claimed that 10 minutes of belly laughter gave him two hours pain-free sleep. Subsequent research has shown evidence for positive effects of humor and laughter on the cardiovascular system, as an analgesic, and to boost the immune system—in addition to being an effective stress reduction coping mechanism.

A popular theory for understanding humor includes its evolution as a relief of nervous energy, potentially making it an ideal antidote for stressful situations. This is supported by the empiric observation that mirthful laughter decreases serum levels of cortisol, epinephrine, growth hormone, and 3,4-dihydrophenylacetic acid (a major dopamine catabolite), indicating a reversal of the “stress response.”“Emotional eaters” who rely on food for mood stabilization develop a maladaptive coping response.

The researchers propose that humor may be tried as a new tool in the therapeutic arsenal for those who are dependent on food to manage their moods, or who have pathologic eating habits such as binge eating disorder.

“At the outset it should be noted that “humor” is difficult to define and even more difficult to measure.”

Two of the most widely used instruments are Martin and Lefcourt’s Situational Humor Response Questionnaire (SHRQ) and Coping Humor Scale (CHS); their usage was reviewed after 10 years by one of the authors, Martin. The SHRQ was created in 1984 to assess the stress-moderating effects of “sense of humor,” in other words humor as a “trait” in one’s personality.

Martin noted that at that time, the only self-report scales in existence were those of humor appreciation. In the process of creating the SHRQ, he stated: “we defined sense of humor as the frequency with which a person smiles, laughs, and otherwise displays mirth in a wide variety of life situations.

The SHRQ describes 18 pleasant and unpleasant situations to which respondents are asked about their response (Smile? Laugh?). (aggressive and self-defeating humor).

Parsley / is gharsley.

(Ogden Nash (1902–1971): Further Reflections on Parsley; 1942)

Hypothesis: The Humor Diet?

Combining these two seemingly disparate fields, it is hypothesized in the article: that because both emotional eating and humor are intricately related to stress, they may affect each other. Figure 1 provides a diagram demonstrating a simplified mechanism of the hypothesized relationships between these fields, including a model of humor as an alternate pathway to reducing stress. Also included in this figure is the hypothetical relationship between emotional eating and obesity; however, it should be noted that obesity is clearly a multi factorial epidemic, and emotional eating represents only one of a multitude of possible causative pathways.

Figure 1.

Figure 1.

For example those at risk may choose to keep a

“tool-kit,” for example a CD or podcast of a favorite comedian, a book of favorite jokes, or favorite YouTube videos that make them laugh. Participants would use the items in their tool-kit when tempted to snack in a situation recognized as “emotional eating.”

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.

(Mark Twain (1835–1910): Pudd’nhead Wilson; 1894)

One of the fun and surprise elements of a pot luck get together with friends is the element of surprise.

It isn’t every day that one sees an old friend, and shares a tasty meal.

The disadvantages are: Timing may not be suitable and dishes may be scanty.

The one advantage beyond friendship is that the meal will be in balance, according to the Macrobiotic definition of balance.

For your benefit and my own, I’ll be describing my dishes.

They are very plain, stewed lentils, steamed tofu,  and sushi keep me satisfied and not subject to cravings. Leek soup, Spinach soup offers soothing carbs.

I will be trying to undo the damage of going overboard overeating sweets a week ago. I guess that would be Ying. I am not really a devoted macrobiotic enthusiast. However, I find the list below interesting.

In view of all the information on the Humor Diet, I have to admit that raving about macrobiotics can be the least humorous of conversation. I just can’t get excited about any of the Ying and Yang of food, like others at the macro pot luck meals. That itself makes the meal anything but pleasant. But I am not a compulsive over-eater.

I consulted an article on the Rambam:

An 800-year-old nutrition plan could become Israel’s next fad diet. Read the above article for more details. One of his well-known quotes is: “No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.”

What are the fundamentals? — nutrition, physical exercise and balanced mental state. “If you practice physical activity but neglect your nutrition, or eat healthy but do not exercise, or suffer from depression, then eventually your health will suffer.”

A few of the more practical directives that Shachar shares with audiences are: Don’t eat three hours before bedtime; wait one hour after rising to eat; don’t drink milk; avoid meat (if you must eat animal flesh, choose chicken); eat small fish, such as the sardine, instead of big fish, like the tuna; choose wheat bread over white; don’t drink as you eat, since it slows digestion, and, the most obvious one, don’t overeat. Sima Borkovski is a freelance journalist living in Israel. She contributes to WIZO Review as well as various other publications in Israel, Europe and America.

Yin Yang Food Chart- Could very well be the Rambam’s list except eggs. I don’t know if he recommended them. Also, I find it puzzling: Today the weather was cool and then it switched to warm and now it’s back to cool? Guess it’s a free day-everyday in Israel is a free day!

Raw Table Salt, Drugs such as Downers, Barbiturates, Steroids, Sedatives, Pork, Beef, Eggs, Hard Salty Cheeses Poultry, Amphibians, Shellfish, Red Meat Fish such as Tuna, Salmon, Swordfish

 The above food chart  is quite general: Getting down to specifics:

Yin and Yang Qualities of Foods

You can use the chart below to help you understand the yin and yang qualities of foods.

 Yin Yang of Food

Yin Qualities
Farther away from the equator

Texture and Shape
Light and soft
Less dense/Loose structure

Plant Growth
Above ground
Rapid (less time to grow)
Thrive in hot weather

Taste and Nutrients
Higher in potassium
Lower in sodium

Greens and whites

Season and Cooking Style
Raw Foods

Yang Qualities
Compact or small
Nearer to the equator

Texture and Shape
Dark and hard
More dense/Tight structure

Plant Growth
Below ground
Slow (more time to grow)
Thrive in cold weather

Taste and Nutrients
Lower in potassium
Higher in sodium

Reds and oranges

Season and Cooking Style
Cooked Foods
Nishime (stew)/bake/deep-fry/BBQ

When you learn to identify the yin and yang characteristics of foods you, it can help you choose foods that best support your genetic disposition, existing constitution, and lifestyle. This includes the location you live. For example, if you live in a cold temperate region, it is best to go easy on coconut oil, which is more suited for the tropics or warmer climates.

To determine if a food is more yin or more yang, there are four important factors to consider:

Where it grows: Does it grow near the equator or in a cool temperate climate?
How it grows: Does it grow fast or slowly? What direction does it grow in?
Sodium and potassium content: How much sodium does it have compared to the amount of potassium? Yin foods have more potassium, Yang foods have more sodium.
Warming and cooling: What effect does it have on the body? Does it warm or cool the body?

Yin foods have a cooling effect. They are larger, have more potassium, and grow above and away from the ground. Yang foods have a warming effect, are more compact and smaller, have more sodium, and grow beneath the ground.

It is important to remember that the dietary needs and requirements of different people living in different parts of the world will be different based on climate. So wherever you live, consider eating foods that were eaten by the traditional societies and communities who lived there.

Also, whenever possible, choose foods that are wholesome, not irradiated, genetically modified, or contaminated with chemicals or pesticides. Buy organic, locally grown, and in-season foods to maximize your nourishment.


How to Balance

According to ancient Taoist philosophy, good health is a state in which the opposing and interconnected forces of yin and yang are balanced in the body. So, if you are naturally more yin, you should eat more yang foods, and when you become more yang, you can eat more yin foods.

Most people need to eat both yin and yang foods to achieve balance. When your yin and yang energies are balanced, you will feel calm, and your moods wont bounce up and down like a yo-yo.

If you, eat a lot of fruits and green leafy salads, which are all foods grown above and away from the ground, you may become yin, cold, unfocused, and have trouble completing tasks. Simply eating more root vegetables, whole grains, and fish and less cold salads, sugar, and fruits will help you to regain balance.

And if you eat too much yang food, you may feel uptight, stressed, overly focused, and unable to relax. To correct this imbalance, it is better to eat foods toward the center of the Yin and Yang Food-Balance Chart. This includes whole grains, vegetables, and locally grown fruits.

Likewise, it is important to match different cooking methods with different seasons. Do more light cooking in summer and on warmer days, and more baking, pressure-cooking, stewing, and nishime dishes.which are cooked slowly at a low temperature, with root vegetables in winter and on colder days.

During summer or if you live near the equator, it is fine to eat tropical fruits, such as watermelons and coconuts, which are more yin. If you live in the tropics, eating too much meat and other yang foods may make you feel contracted and uptight. However, for those living in cold climates, like the Inuit, eating mostly yang foods, such as meats, helps the body to stay warm.

Understanding the yin and yang energies of foods will help you to understand how to use food as natural medicine. You will know that it is better to have warm miso soup (yang) than to have cold tropical juice or fruit if you have an inflamed throat or swollen glands, which generally indicate a yin condition.

chart – Cold to Hot. What if you like everything?

A Balanced Diet Cuts Cravings

Chemicals, alcohol, and sugar are on the extreme yin end of the fulcrum. Salt, eggs, and red meats are on the extreme yang.

Whole grains, various kinds of vegetables, nuts, and white-fleshed fish are in the middle of the spectrum. When we crave foods, it’s usually the foods at either ends of the spectrum be it chocolates or salty snacks.

Cravings are a way your body talks to you. It is the body’s natural way of seeking balance. If you eat more foods on one end of the spectrum, you will crave foods on the other end of the chart. For instance, if you eat a lot of salty yang foods, your body will crave sweets and sugar to balance itself.

Traditional meals often have a good yin-yang balance. For example, meats (yang) are traditionally served with wine (yin), and tempura or fried foods (yang) are served with a dainty dish of grated daikon (yin). So the next time you eat something extremely yang, remember to balance it with something yin.

The key is moderation and choosing foods that maintain balance.

Taking Care of Ourselves

Most of us work and study hard and find it is easy to neglect caring for ourselves.

We often do not give ourselves adequate time to relax, eat wholesome meals, and do the things that truly recharge us. The longer we live an unbalanced lifestyle, the more difficult it is to regain our equilibrium.

Fortunately, the human body is resilient and can bounce back from the stresses and challenging life situations. Choosing to eat foods that help to restore our health and vitality can greatly support recovery, improve our lifestyle, and bring balance into all aspects of our lives.

If you are looking for inspiration to start your journey, you can read some of the other articles I wrote about how different foods can be used as natural remedies to restore health and balance. To find these articles, simply type my name into the search field at


Chodesh ADAR Boogie Night for Women, with a female DJ,
Monday, February 27, 8 pm in the shul at Mizmor L’ David 

Mizmor LeDavid is located in the Scouts (Tzofim) building, Nachum Shadmi 2, corner of Efrata and Giladi, in Old Talpiot/ Arnona. Mizmor LDavid is dedicated to …

Contact Us

Contact Us. Mizmor L’David is located at the corners of Efrata …

Beer and alcoholic punch will be served, alongside a sweet nosh.
Cost of admission:  40 NIS
All Proceeds will go to Karen Doris and distributing food coupons for Pesach to
the elderly poor of Talpiot/Baka.
Show your support, and loosen up for ADAR!!
Anyone wishing to donate brownies or cookies and any home baked goodies for this
wonderful cause and fun event, please email Sarah Noach at: or call her at 052-602-4453.
Mizmorian Ladies, come one, come all, and let’s get together as a kehila and celebrate
.  Let’sBOOGIE!!!!!!!🎶👭🍷

Support the Establishment of a 
Bayit L’Chayalot
Lone Soldier Home for Female Lone Soldiers

The Lone Soldier Center, in memory of Michael Levin, is sponsoring a benefit concert with Shlomo Katz to establish a Bayit L’Chayalot, a home for female lone soldiers to be opened in Jerusalem. The event is scheduled for

Thursday, February 238pm at the
Bet Shmuel Theater in Jerusalem.

The planned Bayit L’Chayalot, will provide housing in Jerusalem for ten female lone soldiers during their service in the IDF. The Center currently runs and operates four homes for male lone soldiers throughout Israel.

“The planned Jerusalem housing facility will reflect our commitment to support their IDF service, to minimize their hardship, and to express to these young women the gratitude of the Jewish people both here in Israel and throughout the Diaspora,”noted Richard Corman, Vice President of Community Services for the Lone Soldier Center.

Tickets and further information regarding benefactor and patron categories, as well as concert details, can be obtained on the LSC website: or by contacting Lizzie by email or by phone 02 – 502 –  2211.

We are so excited to announce our first 

Torah Yoga in Hiking Boots
Preparation for Pesach trip! 

Leave your flour and hike through the flowers of Northern Israel in the Spring!

When: Monday morning April 3rd – Wednesday evening April 5th

Where: Northern Israel.  We will stay at the Poriyah Youth Hostel overlooking the Kinneret.

Cost: 1600 shekels–Includes everything

Transportation–lodging– food–
Hiking led by Allan Rabinowitz, veteran tour guide and author of The Disciple Scroll– Torah Yoga classes led by Diane Bloomfield,  creator of Torah Yoga and author of Torah Yoga: Experiencing Jewish Wisdom through Classic Postures.

No yoga experience necessary to participate.

Register now.  Space is limited to 18 participants.
Diane and Allan
Please contact Diane by e-mail or phone 052 202-7017 if you have any questions.

The above is a fascinating article about a journalist’s turn-a-round from left winger to a more balanced look at Israel.

ORDINARY DAYS A New Musical Written & Composed by Adam Gwon
Starring:Miri Frankel, Mordechai Buxner, Daniel Fox & Aviella Trapido
A refreshingly honest and funny musical about making real connections in the city that never sleeps (but probably should at some point.) ORDINARY DAYS tells the story of four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. ORDINARY DAYS is an original musical for anyone who’s ever struggled to appreciate the simple things in a complex place. With equal doses of humor and poignancy, come find the beauty in ordinary days.
Directed by: Aviella Trapido, Musical Direction: Haim Tukachinsky SEE
SHOW DATES: FEBRUARY 23, 25, 28MARCH 2, 4, 7 & 9 8PM MARCH7 – 5:30PM MATINEECALL 02-5661181 to order  AACI

AACI-Dr. Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center

37 Pierre Koenig, corner of Poalei Tzedek
Talpiot, Jerusalem
P.O. Box 53349, Jerusalem 91533
Tel: 972-2-5661181   Fax: 972-2-5661186
Phone: 972-2-566-1181
Fax: 972-2-5661186

Above is link to Event at Katomon Konnection Saturday Night February 25th Ages 35-55

About event at Shir Chadash Purim day on Emek Rafaaim:





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