NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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Yoma 64 It is Easy to Turn a Mitzvah into an Aveirah Psychology & the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 13th, 2021
Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses a scenario where it is necessary to slaughter an animal to feed an ill person on Yom Kippur. In this scenario, the Gemara assumes there is no other meat available, and thus the mother goat of the scapegoat needs to be slaughtered for this purpose. This then raises the problem of the scapegoat being מחוסר זמן invalid due to a time dependent disqualification. In this case the prohibition of slaughtering th …
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Yoma 63 Ich Bin Ein Berliner Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 11th, 2021
Our Gemara on amud beis mentions an opinion of a Tannah, Chanan the Egyptian.  This unusual name actually belongs to two different Tannaim.  This one, our Gemara’s Chanan the Egyptian, has only one teaching mentioned in Shas, having to do with the blood of the goat, should the scapegoat die.   In any case, the name is of interest.  What Jew takes on the name, “the Egyptian?”  Was he a convert?  …
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Yoma 62 Evil Twin Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 11th, 2021
Our Gemara and Mishna on Amud Aleph tells that the two goats, the one for the scape and the one for the inner sacrifice should be the same size, the same appearance and bought at the same time for the same price.  What can we find in this symbolism? Peri Tzaddik (Shushan Purim 2) offers an insightful explanation. The two goats, on the outside are indistinguishable, yet on the inside one of them represents absolute and abject sin, while the o …
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Yoma 61 Permanently Broken? Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 10th, 2021
Our gemara on Amud Beis mentions a concept of Tzarich, V’eyn Lo Takana.  That is sometimes a Mishna or Beraisa may note that a certain action is required, yet there is no way that it can be made up.  The obligation stands with no ability to fulfill it. There are times in life where we must face the consequences of deeds that cannot be undone.   It is understandable that a person can feel crushed because of what he or she …
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An ADHD Manifestation in Beis Medrash Study
Author: Rabbi Shmuel Reich
June 9th, 2021
I was quite proud of myself, to be honest. Despite all of the training and experience, sometimes working with people can be quite challenging - especially teenage people. This time, finally, I had managed not to let him get under my skin at all. And he walked away satisfied. Allow me to explain: One of my capacities in the yeshiva in which I teach is that of shoel umaishiv - one who is available to answer questions that students have when studyin …
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Yoma 60 Cloak and Gagger Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 9th, 2021
Our Gemara tells us that though the Cohen Godol wore בגדי לבן on Yom Kippur for services related to the Holy of Holies, which were really the same as the Cohen Hedyot. they would not be recycled for Cohen hedyot use during the year.  On the topic of Bigdei Lavan, we find that one time in history a non-cohen wore the white priestly clothes and performed the service in the inner sanctuary. Moshe served as Cohen Godol during the seven in …
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Yoma 59 Bricks and Martyr Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 8th, 2021
Our Gemara on Amud Aleph references a verse (Shemos 24:10) that describes the vision the Elders had at Sinai. There is a cryptic phrase, which I’ll do my best to translate: וַיִּרְא֕וּ אֵ֖ת אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְתַ֣חַת רַגְלָ֗יו כְּמַעֲשֵׂה֙ לִבְנַ֣ת הַסַּפִּ֔יר וּכְעֶ֥צֶם הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם לָטֹֽהַר׃ ⁦and they saw the God of Israel …
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Yoma 58 Vice Versa, and Verses About Vice Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 7th, 2021
Our Gemara on amud Beis discusses the principle of אין מעבירין על מצות we do not pass over a mitzvah.  This matter has many halackhic implications as how one must behave if he enters into contact with one mitzvah opportunity, despite wanting to stop and do another, even greater mitzvah.  An excellent summary of the halachos can be found in Chayye Odom 68.  However, today I would like to discuss an opposite concept, …
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Yoma 57 Depression is the Mother of Invention Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 6th, 2021
Our Gemara on Amud Aleph records a jibe from Rav Yirmiya regarding the Babylonian scholars: “Foolish Babylonians! Since you live in a dark climate, you offer teachings which are unclear and dim.” There is an intuitive truth to the idea that climate and environment affect mood and function. There is a form of depression, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which seems to be brought on in the dark winter months as a result of los …
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Yoma 56 Rebound Relationship with God Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 4th, 2021
Our Gemara on Amud Beis quotes a verse and idea about God’s presence even during our most impure states: ״הַשּׁוֹכֵן אִתָּם בְּתוֹךְ טוּמְאֹתָם״, אֲפִילּוּ בִּשְׁעַת שֶׁהֵן טְמֵאִים — שְׁכִינָה עִמָּהֶם. “That dwells with them in the midst of their impurity, (VaYikra 16:16)” this teaches that even when the Jewish people are impure, the Div …
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