he calendars all have scales on them. Our children’s school projects have two scales. Wherever you look this time of the year you see scales. This makes me think about my most un-favorite of topics: my own problem with scales and weight.

How nice it would be to be able to ignore this “weighty topic” but alas it is not to be — how can I hide that which is obvious to all and how I can conceal that which can never be concealed? I’ve lost hundreds of pounds over the last 40 years; the only problem is that I’ve gained them all back and then some. It would be easy not to talk about it but the facts speak for themselves.

For those who have struggled with weight I know you’ll keep reading.

And for those of you who have no weight issues I hope you’ll also read until the end.

But if you think I’m about to offer you some secret rabbinic weight-management formula you’ll be utterly disappointed.

I have no secrets and I doubt such a formula exists.

So what words of wisdom can I offer?

Most people — including myself — who struggle with weight and with obesity (there I said it!) cannot stand being overweight.

The pain is constant and not at all like feeling upset because you didn’t daven well this morning. It’s much much more. You are always surrounded by your body and everyone you know sees you too; there’s no escape.

I know what you’re thinking that I have no one to blame but myself and it’s true. Yet even so please keep reading.

A May 2016 New York Times article reported: “Most people know how hard it is to keep the weight off; many blame themselves when the pounds come back. But what obesity research has consistently shown is that dieters are at the mercy of their own bodies which muster hormones and an altered metabolic rate to pull them back to their old weights whether that is hundreds of pounds more or that extra 10 or 15 that many people are trying to keep off.”

I am not at all suggesting that your bulky buddy from shul should just throw his hands up and eat away; of course not.

I am also not offering excuses for us over-indulgers.

What I am suggesting though is that as we approach the time of the year when we want and need Hashem to cut us some extra slack why not start with cutting some extra slack for the heavy person in your life?

When you see me (or any other person who used to be thinner) please don’t tell me “What happened to you? You used to be thin! Why did you gain it all back?” Unless you want to place a knife in my heart please never say that. What do you think? That I haven’t noticed my unintended expansion? Do you honestly believe I haven’t realized my clothes are tight?

Weight gain is highly dangerous; we all know that. It’s also highly painful. Many non-heavy people have no idea of the pain.

Your well-meaning suggestion of the perfect diet your sister-in-law lost 99 pounds on is probably well known to your bovine brother. Your best friend’s eating plan has more often than not been attempted numerous times by your husky husband. Weight is painful enough; why add to someone’s agony? Almost all heavy people nowadays “know how” to lose weight; the problem of course is doing it.

This year include in your Rosh Hashanah resolutions not to cause more pain to the elephantine Jew in your life; believe me I already have more than enough.