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Showing Results 1 - 40 (2179 total)
Self Injurious Instinct Yevamos 119 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
July 4th, 2022

As we mentioned on the last daf, our Gemaras have been discussing various self destructive impulses. On the last daf we examined self-destructiveness that hurts others simultaneously. On today’s daf we still discuss self-destructive urges that are directed at self instead of others. According to researchers Tiffany B. Brown and Thomas Kimball, there a number of misconceptions about self-harm behaviors as well as functions that should be und …
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The Psychology of Murder-Suicide Yevamos 118 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
July 3rd, 2022

  The next two dappim of the Gemara will discuss various situations of self-injury and self-destruction.  The Gemara references Shimshon’s ”Kamikaze” act upon the Philistines.  At the end of his life, deprived of his miraculous strength, he was tied up and mocked in a public stadium.  He prayed that God grant him one last strength, so that he “May die with the Philistines.”  Thus, he was able …
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I Didn’t Really Mean It! Yevamos 116 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
July 1st, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses circumstances where there is suspicion of bias in testimony from a woman that her husband is deceased.  One such situation is, “when there is a marital discord.” The Gemara seeks to define the term more precisely: קְטָטָה בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינָהּ וְכוּ׳. הֵיכִי דָּמֵי קְטָטָה בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינָהּ, אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר …
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Decoding Mother in Law Hatred Yevamos 117 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
July 1st, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph and Beis discusses various halakhic ramifications of mother in law to daughter in law hatred.  What does psycholgy and contemporary social research say about trends and comments of mothers in law? Researchers Christine E. Rittenou and Jody Koenig Kellas surveyed prior research and itemized and described various forms of hurtful content within Mother-in-Law (MIL) communication: (Rittenour, Christine E. and Koenig Kell …
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Facts Do Not Care About Feelings, But We Do Yevamos 115 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 30th, 2022

Ben Shapiro is famous for saying, “Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings”.  While he may be right, there is more to this than meets the eye. Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses halachos about when we assume a captive to have been certainly killed or possibly just held hostage. One line of reasoning considered is that women may be different than men in this regard. A woman might be able to survive in captivity longer than a ma …
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Rabbi Meir and the Hooligans Yevamos 114 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 29th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph refers to the verse in Vayikra (21:1) that discusses the Priestly code of conduct, but uses an unusually verbose phrase: “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: None shall become impure for the dead souls among his people” (Leviticus 21:1). What does “speak to them”, and then “say to them” come to include? להזהיר גדולים על הקטנים That the adults ar …
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Sexual Torture Yevamos 113 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 28th, 2022

  As we saw on Psychology of the Daf 107, the Talmud believes there are gender differences in attitudes and wishes to get married, in that women want to marry more than men. We also saw that modern social research shows a similar trend, in that women want to marry at a younger age than men do, and it seems to be universal, the world over. Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us: יוֹתֵר מִשֶּׁהָאִישׁ רוֹצֶה לִישָּׂא …
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Marriage Made in Heaven but Repaired Down to Earth Yevamos 112 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 27th, 2022

Does the Talmud believe in romance? Our Gemara on amud aleph discusses a woman who has a substantial complaint regarding her husband’s fitness, which in and of itself is subject to several different interpretations: A woman who says: Heaven is between me and you, the court deals with the matter by way of a request. This complaint, “Heaven is between me and you”, has the appearance of a euphemism, as otherwise why would she not e …
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Can You Force Someone to Do You a Favor? Yevamos 111 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 26th, 2022

What are the bounds and limits for helping another person out, and to what extent is there a legal halachic obligation?  Our Gemara on amud beis describes a situation where a man is not obligated personally to perform chalitzah, as according to his account he is not bound by yibum and she was not able to furnish objective proof as to her status.  However, the woman, according to her subjective account, is bound by her own admission.&nbs …
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Peace at Any Price Yevamos 109 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 24th, 2022

Arguments and quarrels are ubiquitous in human nature, but also destructive and corrosive.  Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us: A person should always cling to three things and distance himself from three things. He should cling to three things: To ḥalitza rather than levirate marriage, to bringing about peace, and to the nullification of vows. And he should distance himself from three things: From refusal (miyun performed to nullify certai …
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Compatibility Factors in Marriage Yevamos 110 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 24th, 2022

Our gemara on amud beis discusses the idea that certain people may have preference in marriage for someone similar to them, such as a deaf person may prefer to marry a deaf person. If compatibility and similarity in interests are important in marriage, to what extent and what domains can be identified?  Doing this can help couples work on enhancing them together, and also help people who are dating identify these areas as priorities.  R …
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Am I Supposed to be a Mind Reader? Yevamos 108 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 23rd, 2022

One of the modern marriage and therapy tropes is that no one can be a mind-reader, and people must take responsibility to express and communicate their needs.  While this is common sense, it can be taken as diminishing the value of intuitive understanding of one’s spouse.  I emphatically state to the contrary! Understanding of non-verbal cues and bids is absolutely an important relationship asset. Our Gemara on Amud Beis speaks of …
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Gender Differences in Desire for Marriage Yevamos 107 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 22nd, 2022

  Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses the various pros and cons that might run through the mind of a person contemplating a marriage that can be annulled through the process known as miyun.  Without us getting into the complex halakhic details, the Gemara discusses why a person might risk entering a marriage that could later be dissolved. One such rationale is: תַּרְוַיְיהוּ נִיחָא לְהוּ, כְּדֵי דְּלִי …
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Selling Umbrellas in the Rain Yevamos 106 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 21st, 2022

What is the Torah ethical position on charging a fee for necessary services, and what about charging excessive fees during times of peak demand? Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us  “הֲרֵי שֶׁהָיָה בּוֹרֵחַ מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִין, וְהָיְתָה מַעְבּוֹרֶת לְפָנָיו, וַאֲמַר לֵיהּ: טוֹל דִּינָר וְהַעֲבִירֵנִי — אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּ …
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Repairing the Damage Yevamos 105 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 20th, 2022

  Are certain attitudes we develop so ingrained that we cannot easily change them? What steps can be taken to overcome our personal biases and blind spots? Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us about the curse and fate of the sons of Eli the Cohen: כִּדְרַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי. דְּאָמַר רַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹנָתָן: מִנַּיִן לִגְזַר ד …
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It Hurts to Speak Yevamos 104 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 19th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the halakhic status of a mute person: אָמַר רָבָא: אִלֵּם וְאִלֶּמֶת בְּנֵי דֵעָה נִינְהוּ, וּפוּמַּיְיהוּ הוּא דְּכָאֵיב לְהוּ. A mute man and woman do have intellectual capacity. Rather, it is their mouth that hurts them. Mute individuals have full intellectual capacity; they merely lack a means of expression.  This Gemara is poss …
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Even a Broken Home is Still a Home Yevamos 102 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 17th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis relates an encounter between Rabbi Gamliel and a heretic: A certain heretic said to Rabban Gamliel: You, the children of Israel, are a nation whose Master removed [ḥalatz] Himself from them, for God has left you in much the same way in which a yavam would perform chalitzah with his yevama, as it is written: “With their flocks and with their herds they shall go to seek the Lord, but they shall not find Him. He has r …
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Stray Thoughts During Prayer Yevamos 103 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 17th, 2022

Our Gemara Amud Aleph to Beis makes an assertion: כׇּל טוֹבָתָן שֶׁל רְשָׁעִים רָעָה הִיא אֵצֶל צַדִּיקִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תְּדַבֵּר עִם יַעֲקֹב מִטּוֹב עַד רָע״, בִּשְׁלָמָא רַע — לְחַיֵּי, אֶלָּא טוֹב אַמַּאי לָא? אֶלָּא שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ: טוֹבָת …
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Duration of Therapy
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
June 16th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I don't know if this is a fair question, and I am sure it varies greatly depending on the situation, but can you please give your opinion as to what the average length of time in therapy should be for someone? In my case specifically I am not referring to trauma or a serious mood disorder rather social and generalized anxiety (though please feel free to address other disorders as well). When I called around, I got very varied answ …
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Balancing Childrens' Needs
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
June 16th, 2022

Dear Therapist: ​ Our 9-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. This has been very difficult adjustment for her and she is having a very hard time sticking to the diet and medication regimen that she has been prescribed. She also has been complaining a lot of the unfairness of it all. We have a large family and this has also caused some friction between her and her siblings and we are struggling to maintain the balance …
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Having Your Psychological Cake and Eating it Too Yevamos 101 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 16th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis quotes a verse in Shir Hashirim (4:7): כֻּלָּ֤ךְ יָפָה֙ רַעְיָתִ֔י וּמ֖וּם אֵ֥ין בָּֽך      Every part of you is fair, my darling, There is no blemish in you. There is a Midrash (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 4:7) on this verse which elaborates on the idea of no blemishes. The verse is referring to the Jewish people at the time of the giving of the Torah: באותה …
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Zealots and Instinct Yevamos 100 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 15th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis teaches us that a cohen must have precise knowledge of his lineage in order to serve in the Temple. This applies even if he is sure that he is a cohen. So long as he does not know his exact father, then he is invalid. The derivation comes from the verse: ״וְהָיְתָה לּוֹ וּלְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו״, בָּעֵינַן זַרְעוֹ מְיוּחָס אַחֲרָיו. “And it shall be to him …
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Quantum Torah Theory Yevamos 99 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 14th, 2022

  Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the famous principle: הַשְׁתָּא בְּהֶמְתָּן שֶׁל צַדִּיקִים אֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מֵבִיא תַּקָּלָה עַל יָדָן, צַדִּיקִים עַצְמָן לֹא כׇּל שֶׁכֵּן Now consider: If, even through the animals of the righteous, the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not bring about a stumbling block, then throug …
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Stubborn People Might Be Prophets Yevamos 98 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 13th, 2022

  Our Gemara on Amud Aleph quotes Rabbi Akiva who observed that the prophet Yonah lost his prophecy as a result of his disobedience. He refused to deliver God’s message to the people of Nineveh. Our understanding of Yonah’s behavior is that he was afraid that the people of Nineveh would do Teshuva and this would reflect poorly on the Jewish people. The Midrash sees this as impudent in that he advocated for the honor of the &ldquo …
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Immortal Teachings Yevamos 97 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 12th, 2022

The Gemara on 96b and 97a deals with Rabbi Yochanan’s strong concern that his Torah be quoted and attributed to him.  The Gemara explains this as stemming from the following idea and verse: Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: With regard to any Torah scholar in whose name a matter of halakha is said in this world, his lips mouth the words in the grave, as though he is talking. Rabbi Yitzḥak ben Ze’eira …
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All You Need to do is Try
Author: Michael Milgraum
June 10th, 2022

I write this essay on the afternoon before Rosh Hashanah.  Rosh Hashanah is the day that Hashem scrutinizes all our deeds and judges what our reward or, God forbid, punishment will be in the upcoming year.  Sometimes Hashem sends you reminders of where you stand and what He wants from you.  I think I have been receiving these hints over the past two days.   Two days ago, my brother emailed me a short video.  It told a sto …
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Taking Mitzvos “Light”ly Yevamos 95 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 10th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud aleph refers to Adultery as an Issur Kal, a relatively light prohibition, which Rashi (“makom”) explains is because the prohibition is not permanent, i.e. it lifts after divorce or death.  Presumably, the Gemara does not equate the severity of the transgression and the punishment (death), with the technical aspects of the mitzvah that make it considered less severe than other forms of forbidden relations that r …
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Was Pharaoh a Lamdan? Yevamos 96 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 10th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis states that a halachic male minor who is nine years and one day old can perform the mitzvah of Yibum.  However, the status of this marriage is not complete until he consummates as a bar mitzvah, and if he dies before doing so, and now his wife falls to yibum to another brother, she must have chalitza and not yibum.  There is some discussion amongst the Rishonim about whether the marriage is valid according to Tor …
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Are Adolescents and Young Adults Extreme?
Author: Chaim Neuhoff, Ph.D.
June 9th, 2022

Question: Our 20-year-old son recently returned home from a year learning in Israel. He is boy who struggled a lot in his teens both academically and religiously. Baruch Hashem, he seems to have had an excellent year of growth, he likes his Rabbiem and has learned a lot about being a mentsch , though he still has a way to go. He is very proud of his year and some new concepts and ideas he has learned. The yeshiva has an emphasis on emotional heal …
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The Sage who Overplayed his Hand Yevamos 94 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 9th, 2022

Rashi on amud beis (“v’es achas”) discusses a hermeneutical principle which is occasionally used in Shas.  A word from a different language, often Greek and often the numeral one, is read into the text. For example, the Hebrew word “Hen”, is reinterpreted in the verse to mean “one”.  Some good examples of this are Shabbos (31b) Moed Kattan (28a) and Sanhedrin (76b). Although I do not have a well …
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Uplink to the Heavenly Cloud Yevamos 93 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 8th, 2022

On amud beis we find Rav Yannai troubled by a dream that he had, of a splintered reed. He the dream to mean that he made a halakhic mistake, by relying on a weak proof. Rav Chiyyah comforted him, by reading the dream as the opposite, implying a broken reed is humble and therefore merits to see the truth: How did the Gemara treat dreams?  Are they prophetic, or to be ignored as the result of random images and impulses firing during the night? …
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Pearls of Wisdom Yevamos 92 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 7th, 2022

Our Gemara on amud beis quotes an interesting idiom: Rabbi Yannai said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: Had I not lifted the earthenware shard for you, would you have discovered the pearl [marganita] beneath it? Rabbi Yannai was referring to the fact that his teaching inspired Rabbi Yochanan to notice a Mishna that was “hiding in plain sight” which really made the same point as his teaching. Tosafos (Bava Metzia 17b, “Iy Lav”) explains …
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Is the Rabbinate Inherited? Yevamos 91 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 6th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis quotes a Mishna in Gittin (8:5) If he wrote the date on the bill of divorce using a calendrical system that counts years in the name of a kingdom that is not legitimate…in all these case, the bill of divorce is not valid.  According to Rashi on our daf, the definition of “a kingdom that is not legitimate” is the Roman government. Rashi references a Gemara in Avoda Zara (10a) that denigrates the legi …
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Greatness is Earned, not Given Yevamos 88 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 3rd, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis brings the verse that directs us to treat cohanim with extra honor, and in fact directs the Beis Din to enforce the priestly marriage restrictions. The Mei HaShiloach Parashas Emor discusses the nature of the distinction of the Cohanim, and even the nature of the distinction of Jews in general: His first point is based on the Gemara’s interpretation (Chulin 57a) of a verse in Zecharia (10:4). Though Cohanim are obvio …
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All Relationships Are Permanent Yevamos 89 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 3rd, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses the principle behind the financial obligation of the Kesubah, שלא תהא קלא בעיניו להוציאה that divorcing a wife should not be a light matter. Since upon divorce, the husband will have to pay out a large sum, he naturally will think twice about divorce. The Rashbah in Bava Kama (89a) elaborates on this and explains that should a woman feel that the marriage can be dismissed lightly, her gener …
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Direct Consequences Yevamos 90 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 3rd, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the power of the prophet to temporarily supersede a Torah law. That is, even though no prophet after Moshe can change the Torah on a permanent basis, for a particular need of the moment and through prophetic sanction, a law can be suspended or enacted. A lesser known idea related to this is a principle from the Sefer Haikkarim (III:18).  This idea only applies to Torah laws from Moshe, however the portion of …
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Finding the Balance
Author: Rabbi Yehuda Krohn, Psy.D.,
June 2nd, 2022

Dear Readers   Welcome to the May edition of Mind Body & Soul, themed “Finding the Balance”.  For some of us, balance is as easy as riding a bike; for others, balance can be elusive. This is particularly the case for those of us whose lives encompass extremes. We may be up, we may be down. We may love some politicians and commentators; we may hate others.   Some of us might even experience our religious lives in ext …
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Achieving Balance: The Dialectic as Found in Jewish Sources
Author: by Yitzchok Kahn LMSW, CASAC-T
June 2nd, 2022

When it comes to the topic of balance, therapists often talk about the concept of the dialectic. Popularized by Marsha Linehan, originator of Dialectic Behavioral Therapy or DBT, the dialectic is the ability to hold opposite ideas at one time. In DBT therapy, a person can be doing their best and can have the ability to do better. A person can be angry at someone and still love them. Life can be confusing and people can experience ambivalence. We …
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A Fragile Process
Author: Rabbi Yehuda Krohn, Psy.D.,
June 2nd, 2022

The fast-approaching holiday of Shavuos marks, among other things, the moment we experienced the Aseres Hadibros (Ten Commandments). The Aseres Hadibros set in motion a process that led to Moshe Rabeinu receiving two sets of Luchos (tablets), each of which was ultimately  housed in the Aron (ark). If we pay close attention to the Aron, the Luchos, and the Aseres Hadibros, we can learn a valuable lesson about balance and, in particular, the t …
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A Balanced Look at Aging
Author: Douglas Balin, LMSW, MPA
June 2nd, 2022

Gene D Cohen, a psychologist and author of The Mature Mind; The Positive Power of the Aging Brain, says it best, “Psychology has severely underestimated the positive potential of the second half of life.” Until recently, the fields of psychology, medicine, social work and business have been dominated by Erikson’s theory that older adults are challenged not by growth but by the challenge of integrity versus despair.  That &l …
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