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Showing Results 1 - 40 (2291 total)
Without Safety There is No Intimacy Kesuvos 88 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
October 2nd, 2022

What are some of the psychological functions of the kesuba?  We saw earlier in Psychology of the Daf (Kesuvos 82) that financial security is important for the woman to feel safe in the marriage. Our Gemara on Amud Aleph considers that a special allowance is made for a widow in that she can collect payment of her kesuba from her husband’s possessions even if he is not present. Or as discussed on 84a, the ability of the widow to collect …
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Honest Intentions and Responsible Actions Kesuvos 86 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 30th, 2022

Are honest intentions the same as honesty?  If a person fully commits to something but later is unable to fulfill his pledge due to an unforeseen and legitimate change in circumstance, is that considered dishonest? Our Gemara on amud aleph discusses the idea of perias baal chov mitzvah, that there is a specific Torah directive to repay a loan.  But what is the scriptural source? Rashi uses the derasha found in Bava Metzi’a (49a): …
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Honest to God Kesuvos 87 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 30th, 2022

When a person rationalizes his sins, the personal dishonesty might causes additional distortion beyond the original sins, with even more toxic effects.  Our Gemara on Amud Beis quotes a verse (Devarim 19:15) that is used to describe the powers and limitations of a singe witness versus a pair: לֹֽא־יָקוּם֩ עֵ֨ד אֶחָ֜ד בְּאִ֗ישׁ לְכׇל־עָוֺן֙ וּלְכׇל־חַטָּ֔את בְּכׇל־חֵ֖טְא …
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Is Pain the Elephant in the Room?
Author: Miriam Ribiat
September 29th, 2022

What is it like to name a baby after a deceased parent? If the deceased went by an English name, should the child be called that name even though it isn’t typical or accepted in some circles today? What is it like to bury a loved one? How do I know they’re not cold, wet or lonely? What if I feel happy at a simchah and everyone else feels so sad that the deceased isn’t here? Should I also be feeling sad? What should I say to peop …
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My Spouse's Therapist is Getting The Wrong Picture
Author: Chaim Neuhoff, Ph.D.
September 28th, 2022

Question: Here is a question I've been troubled by for a while. Many times, people will send their kid or spouse to therapy, but the kid or spouse is somewhat in denial or confused. They may see reality in a twisted way or be somewhat lying to themself or only see their side of the picture due to their emotional/mental health issue. When they sit and talk to the therapist, they are only giving over that twisted picture of real …
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A Cucumber in Hand is Worth Two in the Bush Kesuvos 83 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 28th, 2022

What is more motivating? A cheap reward that comes quickly or a significant reward that takes much longer to obtain? Our Gemara on Amud Beis references an adage, “בוצינא טב מקרא”.  Rashi translates botzina as a small gourd and Kara as a large gourd. The idea is the same as, “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” That is, a person would prefer a small gourd, which he can eat right now, instead of waitin …
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Public Vs Public Confession Kesuvos 84 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 28th, 2022

Does repentance halakhically depend on a verbal itemization in confession, or is it sufficient to simply confess that one has sinned? This is subject to a debate in Yoma (86b) between Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava and Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva holds that it is sufficient to confess sin in general, without specifying each trespass.  Our Gemara on Amud Beis states a general rule regarding halakha and Rabbi Akiva. The halakha is in accordance with Rabbi …
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Callings
Author: Jay Yitzi Horowitz, Mr.
September 25th, 2022

Once, the Yetzer Horah swapped clothing with God. "God" became the force of restriction, inhibition, & self-annihilation. "Yetzer Hora" became the force of exuberance, expression, & self-development.  Our generation is in the process of returning the appropriate clothing to the Yetzer Hora and reclaiming God’s clothing for Himself.  And for us…   Rav Kook writes (Orot HaTeshuva 5:21), “The attempt to dest …
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Don’t Fight, Get Divorced Kesuvos 81 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 25th, 2022

There are times where ambiguity and uncertainty is more painful than direct confrontation, even if the confrontation is objectively more damaging than the pending-but-not-certain-to-be-realized event.  Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses an interesting psychological phenomenon, but to understand it in context we need to learn the sugya for a bit. If a man does Yibum he inherits the kesuba from his deceased brother which becomes re-activated fo …
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Taking Trauma Personally Kesuvos 82 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 25th, 2022

Who wants to get married more, a man or a woman? Elsewhere in Psychology of the Daf (Yevamos 107) we discussed social research on gender attitudes toward marriage and various rabbinic assumptions. Today we will look at a different angle of willingness versus reluctance to marry.  Our Gemara on Amud Beis reports at first they would write the kesuba, but set aside the funds instead of having the husband’s entire estate subject to a lien. …
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A Token of Appreciation Kesuvos 79 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 23rd, 2022

It is important to show gratitude.  Sometimes gratitude does not involve much effort or expenditure, so long as it is sincere. Our Mishna on Amud Beis teaches us: הַמּוֹצִיא הוֹצָאוֹת עַל נִכְסֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ הוֹצִיא הַרְבֵּה וְאָכַל קִימְעָא קִימְעָא וְאָכַל הַרְבֵּה מַה שֶּׁהוֹצִיא הוֹצִיא וּמַה שֶּׁאָכַל אָכַל ה …
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Charitable Investments, Trust! Kesuvos 80 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 23rd, 2022

Our Gemara engages in a complex legal discussion involving situations where a person provides an unsolicited service of value to another.  Say, for example, you enter into another person’s field and plow and plant it.  While he did not ask for this, the owner will receive some benefit for this, and therefore the halacha is that he must pay for the service nonetheless.  The amount is subject to adjustment though, and depends o …
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States of Doubt and Transition Kesuvos 78 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 22nd, 2022

In psychology of the Daf (Kesuvos 70) we discussed the importance of liminal states. Whenever a person is in transition from one state to another, it is symbolic of rebirth. Psychologically speaking, many people regress or reactivate past traumas and attachment patterns when they pass from one life stage to another, such as a graduation or marriage. Rashi on Amud Aleph (Eimar) uses cryptic language to describe a woman when she is betrothed (arusa …
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Beauty May be More than Skin Deep, But he Gets Under My Skin Kesuvos 77 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 21st, 2022

As we saw in Psychology of the Daf Kesuvos 75, the Gemara identifies a feminine quality of being able to find a husband attractive and even noble, despite glaring external and personal flaws.  Yet it also is important to realize that this does not happen in a vacuum; she may be looking to find his good side but he also must endeavor to bring it out (see the Ben Yehoyada we quoted.) Our Gemara on Amud Aleph quotes the Mishna that describes ce …
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Mum’s the Word Kesuvos 76 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 20th, 2022

As religions go, Judaism tends to be practical and avoids extreme asceticism, at least for the uninitiated. Even though marriage is not only about physical and sexual gratification, Judaism does not ignore the basic sensual and physical needs necessary to form and maintain a loving bond.  Amud Beis discusses marrying and then later discovering a deal breaking blemish. While we are on this topic, Akeidas Yitschok (Chayei Sarah 16) asks a seri …
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Rolling with the Punches with the Rolling Rabbi
Author: Miriam Ribiat
September 19th, 2022

  When tragedy strikes, we all feel it.  We feel the horror, and we likely feel the family's anguish as well.  We think: what would happen if we were in their shoes?  How will the family go on now?  How can they carry on under such tragic circumstances? Of course, we feel for them and worry about how they will go on.  Depending on how empathetic we are, this person or family might frequently be on our minds. I was th …
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Tags: grief, Grief Support, Grief Understanding
Anti-Hero Kesuvos 75 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 19th, 2022

How far does loyalty go?  Can you be married to a scoundrel but still see the good in him or her? Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses a feminine tendency to make peace with, and even appreciate the qualities of a husband, in spite of him not appearing objectively to be a good catch. אַבָּיֵי אָמַר: דְּשׁוּמְשְׁמָנָא גַּבְרָא כּוּרְסְיַהּ בֵּי חָרָאתָא רָמֵי לַהּ. Abaye sai …
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The Importance of Honesty in Maintaining Civilization Kesuvos 74 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 17th, 2022

Our Gemara at the end of Amud Beis tells us that Rabbi Yehuda holds that an oath made in public cannot be annulled . His proof is from the Gibeonites, who fooled Yehoshua into thinking they were foreigners and refugees from a distant land, leading them to make an oath and treaty with them (see Yehoshua chapter 9). Even though it was done under false pretenses, at least according to Rabbi Yehuda, the main reason why Yehoshua honored the oath is th …
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Immersed in a State of Fear Kesuvos 72 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 16th, 2022

Our Gemara and Mishna on Amud Aleph discusses certain breaches in the marriage that forfeits the woman’s right to her kesuba.  One of these breaches are if the woman falsely pretended to not be a niddah, when in fact she was, leading to them having relations during a forbidden time. This phenomenon happens more often than people would like to believe.  I have no statistics, but having the privilege of working with couples for 28 y …
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A Chinuch Lacking in Promise Kesuvos 73 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 16th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the situation of a man marrying a woman and then discovering that she had many oaths which has an impact on their personal life. This may invalidate the marriage, as he can say,  ‎אי אפשי באשה נדרנית I did not want to marry a woman who is a serial oath maker. Aside from the basic burden of being liable for too many restrictions, Maor Vashemesh (Matos 8) suggests a more characterological p …
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Self Deprecatory Comments Kesuvos 71 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 15th, 2022

There are times that the people we love say self-deprecating and critical remarks: “I am such an idiot”. What is the respectful thing to do?  On the one hand, people do not like to be corrected and also want to be validated.  On the other hand, it is risky to be quiet because the person may feel insulted, thinking, “So you agree that I am a fool.”  And then, of course, sometimes the person really did somethi …
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Episode 43: "How can You do this to me, G-d": Infertility, Pregnancy loss, and Relationships
Author: Talli Yehuda Rosenbaum
September 14th, 2022

The liturgy we recite on Rosh Hashana includes references to fertility and childbirth. G-d remembers Sarah, Rachel and Chana by answerIng their prayers for a child. The poem “Hayom harat olam,” the ‘birth day’ of the world, evokes images of pregnancy. For individuals and couples struggling with infertility or pregnancy loss, this can be triggering, painful and isolating. In the first of two episodes on infertility and preg …
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Dying for Reassurance Kesuvos 70 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 14th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses the principal of Mitzvah Lekayyem Divrei Hames, it is a mitzvah to follow he instructions and fulfill the wishes of the deceased. What is the reason for this principle?  We might consider that it is for practical reasons, in order to effectuate the legal transfer of assets without complex kinyanim or contracts, since a person who is about to die may not have the time or tools to execute a proper will and te …
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Reading the Torah that is in Between the Lines Kesuvos 69 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 13th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph relates that Rav recorded a halakhic question in a letter of greeting, by inserting it between the lines or margins.  Some commentaries explain that he did this because he wanted to limit the degree of permanence vested in the halakhic note, as he was reluctant to write down Oral Torah.  (See Rashi and Maharam Schiff.) From early childhood, we are taught that the Torah comes in two forms: The Written Torah and t …
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God’s Long Hand for the Handicapped Kesuvos 68 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 12th, 2022

Sometimes it’s frustrating when you encounter a beggar who claims to be suffering from various mishaps illnesses and misfortunes, but you wonder if he or she might be faking. It is a Torah violation to turn down a beggar (Devarim 15:7, Shulkhan Arukh YD 247:1), yet sometimes your gut tells you, “This is a scam”. Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses the situation of the beggar who fakes his illness in order to inspire more generosi …
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Grandiose Charity Kesuvos 67 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 11th, 2022

When is it permitted to have ulterior motives along with a mitzvah?  Our Gemara on amud aleph discusses the tragic ending of Nakdimon Ben Gurion who was immensely wealthy, but became impoverished.  The Gemara wonders what could he gave done to suffer such a fate when he gave abundantly to tzeddakah? One answer given is that he did the mitzvah in order to aggrandize himself.   Maharsha asks, did we not learn in Rosh Hashanah (4 …
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Loosening Up Kesuvos 65 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 9th, 2022

I want to address a sensitive topic regarding sexual challenges that can affect couples of all ages, especially but not exclusively, the newly married. A person may have a degree of misplaced piety and be overly scrupulous about sexuality, or just plain feel uncomfortable with sexual feelings and sensuality. Sometimes, being overscrupulous in the area of intimacy and halakha can be the result of naiveté and/or anxiety. After all, if a reli …
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Mixed Motives Kesuvos 66 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 9th, 2022

There are times where we must do distasteful things. The overall good or needs of the moment may override certain moral or ethical sensitivities. What should be your mindset so the experience is less corrupting? Mei HaShiloach (Lech Lecha 7) darshens our Gemara to elaborate on this theme. Avraham finds himself in a position where he was victorious in the war to win back his nephew, Lot. He is offered the spoils yet declines to take them because ( …
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Suffering in Silent Desperation Kesuvos 64 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 8th, 2022

While conventional wisdom holds that men suffer from sexual deprivation more than women, the Talmudic perspective is more nuanced. The Gemara on Amud Beis tells us: אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר יוֹסֵף לִשְׁמוּאֵל: מָה בֵּין מוֹרֵד לְמוֹרֶדֶת? אֲמַר לֵיהּ: צֵא וּלְמַד מִשּׁוּק שֶׁל זוֹנוֹת, מִי שׂוֹכֵר אֶת מִי? דָּבָר …
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Don’t Come Home Late Kesuvos 62 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 6th, 2022

How important is it to keep your word, even about the small things? I believe that trust, not just the literal kind, but the deep emotional kind, is built on consistent and reliable connection. If you say you’ll be home by a certain time, or will complete a certain task, keep your word. If you can’t, send an update. Our Gemara on Amud Beis tells as tragic story of a righteous man who was unable to keep his word, which highlights the d …
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Religiously Based Rape and its Devastating Repercussions
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
September 5th, 2022

“My kallah teacher thinks I have childhood trauma, but I really can’t think of one,” Chanshi begins. “My husband is a very nice person. My parents are too. My life isn’t perfect, but I don’t understand why this is so crazy for me.” What Chanshi means by “this” and “so crazy” is the state of her sexual relationship. She and her husband Izzy have an otherwise “nice” relat …
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Can Eliyahu Hanavi Come and Visit? Kesuvos 61 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 5th, 2022

A fixture of Jewish lore is Giluy Eliyahu, that is a revelation of Eliyahu the Prophet. What is this experience and how does it compare to prophecy and Ruach Hakodesh? Is it something that can still be experienced today? The Gemara (Sotah 48b) speaks of a cessation of the ability to experience prophecy and ruach Hakodesh in successive generations but notably never ruled out a final mode of divine revelation, the bas kol. (Elsewhere in Psychology …
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Enmeshment: Momma’s Boys and Daddy’s Girls Kesuvos 60 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 4th, 2022

Our Gemara mentions a problematic pattern of behavior that can, according to the Gemara, even affect a woman’s likelihood of conceiving:  Redufa leylech el beis aviha, When there is contention in the marriage and the woman tends to return back to her father’s home.There is a normal human pattern for young women to connect to and seek guidance from their mothers, as we saw by Rivkah (Bereishis 24:28): וַתָּ֙רׇץ֙ הַֽנ …
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A Parent’s Guide for Responding to the Transgender-Identifying Child; Book Review of Desist, Detrans and Detox by Maria Keffler
Author: Michael Milgraum
September 2nd, 2022

For the past year, a certain idea has been percolating in my head: There really needs to be a guidebook for the rapidly expanding numbers of parents whose adolescent or preadolescent child suddenly, and out of the blue, announces that they are transgender. I was aware that there already was good material out there distinguishing the extremely rare psychiatric condition of gender dysphoria from the social tidal wave of young people adopting a tran …
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Don’t Suppress Feminine Instinct Kesuvos 59 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 2nd, 2022

  Elsewhere in Psychology of the Daf (Moed Kattan 9, Ta’anis 13, and Yevamos 34) we discussed the importance of beauty. It is a natural feminine instinct to want to appear attractive, and like any instinct, the Torah approach is to respect it and work with it without overindulgence or excessive asceticism. (See Rambam Deos, chapters 1-2.) Our Gemara on Amud Beis brings up this idea as well, however I think it may be misinterpreted by o …
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Do Not Rush Development Kesuvos 57 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
September 1st, 2022

It is an important psychological principle that once a developmental window closes, it is much harder to re-open it.  For example, there is an optimum time for toilet training, when the 2-3 year old shows interest in mastery over his or her body.  If parents encourage this collaboratively, the child will enjoy meeting one of the first challenges in life — to renunciate instincts in favor of social status and competency.  If t …
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How and why community safety matters
Author: Rabbi Yehuda Krohn, Psy.D.
August 31st, 2022

Dear Readers   Welcome to the August edition of Mind Body & Soul, themed Safe families; safe communities. In this issue we consider the various opportunities that present themselves, to create safety within ourselves, our families and our communities.     In particular, Menachem Hojda advises the larger community how to aim for security, especially when some of its members are at risk. Chana Mark guides individuals toward …
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Dealing With Anger, The Advanced Course
Author: Chana Mark, LCSW
August 31st, 2022

Does feeling angry at someone always have to end in angry words, sore feelings and helpless frustration?  Maybe not. In Pirkei Avos 5:11 we learn, “A person who seldom gets angry and is quick to be mollified is a tzaddik.” Tosfos Yom Tov and Rabbeinu Yona both point out that the Mishna is telling us that it is not humanly expectable to never get angry. Rabbeinu Yona notes that there are times when Kavod Shamayim requires it. Anot …
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Safety or Security?
Author: Menachem Hojda LMSW
August 31st, 2022

Like so many others, I watched the videos of the police response in Uvalde, Texas with shock and disappointment. The scene brought me back to the afternoon just months earlier when a shooter attacked Oxford High School just 30 miles north of my home. As President of my local public-school board, and a mental health professional on the county’s crisis response team, I found myself at the intersection of school governance and community respon …
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Years and Tears Later: The Price of Deception in Shidduchim
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R, DHL
August 31st, 2022

(Simcha Feuerman maintains a private practice specializing in high conflict and couples . His practice is in Brooklyn, Queens and Boca Raton.) The following ideas are based on his daily blog, Psychology of the Daf.   The Gemara in Kesuvos dappim 12-13 deal extensively with the halakhic consequences and nuances  of misrepresentation of facts in Shidduchim. How much exaggeration is normal when describing a Shidduch? How much should the pe …
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