|Art by Lizzie Riches|
by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto
The Gra wrote in his holy work Alim L’Trufa the following: Until his last day, a person should afflict himself, but not through fasting and pain, but by harnessing his mouth and desires. This is considered teshuvah, and it is more effective than all the fasting and afflictions in the world.
Likewise, it is written in the sefer Rosh Hagivah that when a person wishes to fast, it is preferable that he should rather accept upon himself to abstain from speaking than to abstain from eating, because in this way he will not cause any harm to his body or his soul, and he will not become weakened by the fast.