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Showing Results 1 - 10 (1440 total)
Fake It Till You Become It
Author: Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman
January 19th, 2021
Sometimes a task seems too difficult, daunting, or incongruent with our personality that we elect to be passive.  We may garner some motivation for action from phrases such as “fake it till you make it,” but still feel resistant because we feel inauthentic or disingenuous to make it by faking it.   In one of the most popular Ted Talks and in her bestselling book “Presence: Bringing your Boldest Self to your …
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Pesachim 56 Is the Cure Worse than the Disease? Psych of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
January 15th, 2021
The Mishna toward the top of amud aleph mentions that King Chizkyahu hid the Book of Remedies. Most of the commentaries such as Rashi understood Chizkiyahu’s deed as follows: There existed a book of cures, herbs and the like amongst the Jewish people, passed down as an ancient tradition from Solomon. Almost every ancient indigenous culture had oral and written traditions of various herbal remedies, many of them being rediscovered today as e …
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Pesachim 55 The Heart and the Mind Must Work Together Psych of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
January 15th, 2021
The Mishna (55b) describes several irregular practices of the people of Jericho, some that the sages specifically objected to, while others tolerated. One custom was that they would “fold Krias Shema”, which according to some explanations, meant they would say the first sentence “Hear O Israel etc”, and the second sentence “And you shall love Hashem etc”, consecutively without inserting “Boruch Shem kvod …
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Talking About Marital Consent and Rape with Bracha Bard Wigdor
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
January 14th, 2021
  Confronting the Less Popular Sexual Sins: A Shovavim Plea   Sexual sins are possibly the most interesting of sins. There are few transgressions more titillating, more shamed, and more taboo than those having to do with succumbing to desires of the flesh. During this time of the Jewish calendar, some communities have a custom to focus on atoning for sins in the realm of sexual immorality. Some examples I’ve heard are reviewing th …
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Pesachim 54 The Essence of Psychotherapy Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
January 14th, 2021
The Gemara quotes one of my favorite pesukim of all time. It is found in Mishle (20:5): מַ֣יִם עֲ֭מֻקִּים עֵצָ֣ה בְלֶב־אִ֑ישׁ וְאִ֖ישׁ תְּבוּנָ֣ה יִדְלֶֽנָּה׃ The designs in a man’s mind are deep waters,  But a man of understanding can draw them out. Many commentaries such as Ibn Ezra, Alshich and Malbim note the process described in this verse. The ideas and wisdom in one …
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Deep Breaths
Author: Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman
January 13th, 2021
One of the first and most central interventions to help manage difficult emotions is deep breathing. When we feel intense emotions, such as anxiety, depression, or anger, our bodies tend to react physiologically by taking shorter and shallower breaths. By counteracting those quick and narrow breaths with a deeper breath, we increase the supply of oxygen to our brains, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, and signaling to our bodies tha …
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Pesachim 53 Customized Judaism Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
January 13th, 2021
The Gemara notes two competing customs on Yom Kippur, those who light candles and those who do not. Both customs are derived from the same purpose, which is either by omission or commission of light to remind couples that marital relations are forbidden on Yom Kippur. The Ishbitzer in his Mei HaShiloach commentary (see Devarim 13 and Bereishis 7) quotes this Gemara to make philosophical point about the intentions and fulfillment of the mitzvos. T …
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Pesachim 52 The Power of Imagination Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
January 12th, 2021
The Gemara quotes a verse in Hoshea (4:12) that criticizes the Jews for taking counsel from a staff and rod. What does this mean ? Rashi (Devarim 18:10) says that people would hold a stick and somehow see which way it tended to point, offering magical guidance of which road to take. A kind of Bronze Age GPS system. This must be something similar to the ancient practice of dowsing, where Y shaped wooden branch was used to search for water or preci …
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Pesachim 51 The Danger of Panic Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
January 11th, 2021
The Gemara quotes the verse (Vayikra 25:20) referring to the Shemittah year: וְכִ֣י תֹאמְר֔וּ מַה־נֹּאכַ֤֖ל בַּשָּׁנָ֣ה הַשְּׁבִיעִ֑ת הֵ֚ן לֹ֣א נִזְרָ֔ע וְלֹ֥א נֶאֱסֹ֖ף אֶת־תְּבוּאָתֵֽנוּ׃ And should you ask, “What are we to eat in the seventh year, if we may neither sow nor gather in our crops?” There are some basic textual problems: …
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Pesachim 50 Phenomenology for Dummies Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
January 10th, 2021
The Gemara quotes a verse in Zecharia 14:6 which alludes to a special light that will manifest itself in the post messianic era. What is the nature of this light?  The Mey HaShiloah offers an interesting explanation: Light in the material world is only meaningful by contrast with darkness. After all, we would be just as blind in a world filled with light and no darkness as we would be in a dark world. In fact, the opening of Maseches Pesachi …
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