Soveya in Hebrew means 'satisfied'. Put differently, Soveya is your new Fressers Anonymous. It is THE place where you can learn about losing weight whilst nourishing your soul with Jewish new-age crap. It is a clever niche in the frum (mental) health market.
Founders are Rabbi Eli (or Louis presumably before he joined Aish haTorah) and Rebbetzen Zakah Glaser, a happy kiruv couple that were seriously overweight and found out that, by losing a 100 pounds or so, managed to get a hold on their food addiction. And promptly turned it into a
They even have their own website (www.soveya.com) where you can find product information, read testimonials, book speakers and read the story of their lives. Eli and Zakah Glaser used to be 'Kiruv Professionals' (sales reps for the oldest monotheistic religion).
Eli knew he was not 'tocho kebar'o' (the same person on the outside as he was on the inside):
My credibility suffered. Here I was, an outreach Rabbi teaching fellow Jews the wisdom and beauty of Torah, encouraging them to incorporate Judaism as the primary focus of their lives, and I couldn’t get a handle on my hamburgers. “Rabbi,” they’d say, “I don’t understand. You keep kosher, pray three times a day, have all this structure in your life and still . . .”
As the Rabbis tell us, the question is often better than the answer - especially when I simply didn’t have one.Zakah's statement is even more revealing:
I was walking through life in a food fog - lethargic and fatigued, confused and frustrated. I put on a happy face, but I was aching within. Outwardly religious, inside I felt spiritually barren. Every bite was a brick in the wall between me and G-d. Instead of turning to G-d during times of need, I turned to food. I used food to escape from uncomfortable feelings and situations.Luckily, they got a handle on their kishkas and are marketing their new product very well: they have a Facebook group, endorsements by Rabbi Horowitz, articles on the Aish website and even a news item on CNN. Or so it looks like. iReport is a place within the CNN domain where people can publish their own 'news messages' without being reviewed by any editor. Who cares? It looks credible.
I can definitely see the potential of this organization. Many people like us (and I confess to being addicted to food as well) eat whenever they are nervous, because food is a drug. And being Jewish brings along a ferking LOT of anxiety: a myriad of guilt feelings, expectations to live up to, shidduchim, communal pressure, large families that need to be fed, thought control and unhealthy long Shabbos and Yom Tov meals with lots of challah and fatty food.
Living halachically is one big obsessive compulsive experience and since the outlets can usually not be sexual or anti-authoritarian, overweight one is considered to be an innocent issue.
So although I hope that the Glasers will be successful in being mekareving people to a healthy way of life, my advise would be: let's instead throw off the yoke of 'heaven' and let's get all sane: let's do away with the unnecessary guilt feelings, the Shabbos and Yom Tov meals, let's make people really free and more aware about the way they look and give them a healthy relationship to their bodies and, by extension, their sexuality.
How about 'Dayeinu, Inc.'?