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Showing Results 1 - 10 (23 total)
Transgender Persons, Halakhic and Psychological Perspectives
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
August 6th, 2019
A prominent member of the community, born as an Orthodox male, with a wife and several married and unmarried children, announces to his family and friends that he no longer can live as a man. He tells his community that he has felt all along to be a woman, and finds it unbearable to continue with this charade. He has begun hormonal and surgical treatments, and is now dressing like a woman.   His children, advisors, friends, are stupefied. Th …
Unconditional Love?
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
July 21st, 2019
Joseph was one of those impossible teenagers. He was sullen, absorbed in computer games and social media. He refused to have even a slightly pleasant or respectful conversation with his parents. His grades in school were awful and any time his parents tried to talk to him about it, the discussion would degrade into shouting and cursing. The fighting sometimes became frighteningly aggressive, especially between Joseph and his dad.   Joseph&rs …
Anger Problem? Anger Solution!
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
June 23rd, 2019
Marc considers himself an overall decent guy, he cares for his wife and children and is a hard worker.  Once in a while, when people really push his buttons he loses his temper -- he can say abusive statements such as name-calling and also physically punches the wall.  His wife says it is unbearable and frightening to her and the kids and he needs help. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal to him, but he must concede that his fath …
When Torah and Your Emotional Needs Conflict
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
May 2nd, 2019
When Torah and Your Emotional Needs Don’t Feel Compatible   Persons who go through therapy and find access to their deeper feelings can become aware of conflicts that others may not be consciously aware of. For example, unfortunately there are a number of people who habitually talk in Shul. Some may get serious, develop self control, begin to appreciate the value of prayer and solemnity, and stop this behavior. Others may continue for …
Jung's Greatest Hits
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
April 28th, 2019
Carl Jung was a student of Sigmund Freud.  Unlike Freud, he had a deep and positive interest in spirituality, religion, and mysticism.  His psychological theories were still what we would call psychodynamic, in a sense that they involve understanding the ways that unconscious conflicts affect and determine functional or dysfunctional behavior.  However, his understanding of the inner drives and conflicts were more universal and rel …
An Analysis of Halachos of Kneeling for Persons in Twelve Step Recovery
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
March 24th, 2019
There are some people in the course of their 12 step work who find connecting to G-d via kneeling to be an important part of their recovery.  There is a degree of cultural inhibition regarding kneeling for Jewish people, as this is not our customary form of worship. Below is an analysis of the pertinent halachic issues. The verse states in Vayikra 26:1 “…and a Maskis stone shall not be placed in your land to bow upon it.” …
A Bird and a Fish can Fall in Love...
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
February 17th, 2019
  In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye exclaims in frustration to his daughter who is considering a marriage outside of the faith, “A bird and a fish can fall in love, but where would they build their home?” Today, many couples find themselves in a position of religious disparity. Whether they started out in the same religious position and one turned more religious and the other less, or they married under this circumstance, it challeng …
Adar and Goldilocks
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
February 10th, 2019
This year is a Jewish leap year.  The Jewish calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar inputs; specifically, the months follow the Moon, however the seasons follow the Sun. Since 12 lunar months only add up to 354 days, it is approximately 11 days short of a solar year.  The rabbis understood from the Biblical directive to guard the month of spring, that they needed to add in a leap month (Adar II) approximately every 3 year …
Get Curious Instead of Furious
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
November 4th, 2018
Curiosity is a powerful relationship tool. We think we know someone else, we think we understand their motives, and we would like to believe we are right and know better. Yet, if we maintain a more curious attitude, especially when we feel frustrated or angry instead of becoming judgmental and indignant, we can turn difficult moments into learning and growth.   After Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, the scripture tells us they hi …
Halakha Vs. Common Sense
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R
October 24th, 2018
Ideally, there never should be an instance of Halakha versus common sense. As we shall soon see, while the Torah may not always be provable through deductive reasoning alone, it should never ask us to believe something that is patently unreasonable. I feel compelled to a write this in response to fundamentalist trends that seem to make virtue out of blind acceptance. Granted there is a certain logic to such a position, perhaps considering that G- …