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Wheatgrass inWilliamsburg

Malkie Schulman

In a small corner of Brooklyn, a group of chassidish women are at the forefront of a health revolution. Instead of sweet kugels and fatty cholent, they’re pushing raw food in their communities. What sparked their interest in holistic health — and the unlikely person teaching them.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

wheat grass In a hotel conference room in the heart ofWilliamsburg,Brooklyn, a course on naturopathy is about to begin. Instead of walking in with steaming mugs of black coffee or foamy lattes, the attendees enter with cups of wheatgrass juice or pick up a pineapple-mango smoothie from a tray as they make their way to their seats.

The students aren’t the type you’d expect to gather at an alternative medicine event. There are no long flowery hippy skirts or multi-colored bangles wound up their arms. Instead, the approximately 30, mostly chassidish women are tzniyusdigly dressed, with double head coverings. One woman has an infant in tow. There’s even a mechitzah for the two male students. 

Standing at the head of the conference room is Dr. Chris Limoges, a French Canadian fromMontrealwho flies in twice a month to teach the course. He’s a teacher with 30 years of experience in the field of naturopathy, the study of how to help the body heal itself naturally. “G-d created the body to function perfectly,” says Dr. Limoges. “It’s good when there is distress or pain because it’s the body’s way of saying, ‘Look at me. There is a problem here that needs to be fixed.’ ”

The women in the class aren’t just scribbling notes in order to pass a test that will certify them as naturopaths. They’re living what they’re learning. When they registered for the course, they agreed to live the lifestyle — eating healthy, thinking healthy, and exercising.

“We all look forward to this class,” says Leah Schreiber, a Lakewoodattendee. “In the unlikely guise of someone not of our faith, we are being taught that Hashem doesn’t make mistakes, that everything He creates is with chachmah. It’s a Torah perspective on the perfection of the human body.”


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