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    Shule is good for you – B’ha’alot’cha

    By an extension of meaning, the title of this week’s reading can be rendered, “When you elevate yourself”.

    It fits in with a well attested notion that elevating yourself spiritually through prayer and synagogue attendance can extend your life.

    Decades ago the Israel Ischemic Heart Disease Project concluded that that among people who go to synagogue daily, only 29 in 1000 suffer heart attacks, as against double this number among those who don’t go to shule.

    Presumably recent years have further refined this research and confirmed that prayer and going to synagogue are good for you.

    They could of course be part of a broader situation in which people who pray tend to lead quieter lives and have good marital and family relationships, as well as not smoking so much or at all.

    Exercise too is a positive factor, which in this context endorses the observance of Shabbat by walking and not travelling one day a week.

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