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Thought for the Day: Lengthening the Days and Years of Your Life

Type in "long life" to your favorite search engine and you'll get lots of advice about how to live a long life.  Advice includes one glass of wine each day, exercise, vitamins, consume antioxidants, reduce stress, etc.  None of these, of course, offer a guarantee, just "common sense".  Of course, what's common sense today is not common sense tomorrow.  Had you typed "long life" into your favorite search engine 20 years ago, you would have gotten a completely different list.  (40 years ago, of course, you wouldn't have gotten anything....)

On the other hand we have a Chazal that does give a guarantee for long life, takes only a few minutes a day, and is low impact: shnai'yim mikra v'echad targum.  Always read the entire text of each parsha twice in the original and once in the aramaic translation of Onkelos each week; for everyone who does so extends his days and years.  (Brachos 8a/8b).  The Shulchan (Orach Chaim 285:2) says you can substitute Rashi for Onkelos.  The Mishna Brura there says you still need to read the targum Onkelos for verses that don't have Rashi and for real extra credit do both Rashi and Onkelos.

On second thought, this prescription is not low impact at all.  Knowing the parsha each week makes a huge impact.  Quality and quantity; even available on your iPhone.  That's a hard deal to pass up.


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