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Shoftim: Wholeheartedly Mindful

The last few decades have seen a surge in one particular area of mental health and wellness known as mindfulness. Mindfulness has made its way into evidence-based treatments for all sorts of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, suicidality, and trauma. Mindfulness has catapulted activities like yoga and hiking and objects such as singing bowls and scented candles into unparalleled popularity. Mindfulness is even being taught in elementary school classrooms, and is incorporated into the self-care plans of CEOs, neurosurgeons, and top financiers. While some popular phenomena in Western culture have no basis in or relationship to Torah Judaism, oftentimes society and science tap into ancient Torah wisdom and find a kernel of wonder and truth that they then grow into an entire field of study and activity. Mindfulness is one such gem.