NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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Showing Results 1 - 10 (583 total)
Taanis 21 Earner-Learner or Full-Time Kollel? Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
December 2nd, 2021

Our Gemara on this daf relates two incidents about people who work for a living, which actually represent contradictory ideas.  On Amud Aleph we learned of two sages, Rabbi Yochanan and Ilfa. They both were in extreme poverty, and at a crisis point, pondered leaving torah study in order to engage in business. Ilfa decides to leave, while Rabbi Yochanan continues to engage in Torah study, obviously with great sacrifice. Years later, we find o …
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Taanis 20 Flexibility is Fundamental for Mental Health Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
December 1st, 2021

Our Gemara in Amud Aleph extols the virtue of flexibility: A person should always be soft like a reed, and he should not be stiff like a cedar. What does psychology have to say about this important quality? According to researcher Todd Kashdan: “Psychological flexibility spans a wide range of human abilities to: recognize and adapt to various situational demands; shift mindsets or behavioral repertoires when these strategies compromise pers …
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Taanis 19 Child’s Pray Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 30th, 2021

 Our Gemara on Amud Aleph records Shimon ben Shetach’s bemused reaction to the famous Choni HaMeagel’s antics in prayer.  We are all familiar with Choni’s petulant demands of God during a drought, refusing to leave a circle he drew until God made it rain, according to his specific requirements.  Shimon ben Shetach said,  שָׁלַח לוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן שָׁטַח: אִלְמָלֵא חוֹנ …
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Taanis 18 Successful at Failure Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 26th, 2021

Our Gemara on Amud Beis tells us the evil Turyanus who taunted Papus and Lulyanus, saying “Why doesn’t your God save you like he saved Chananya, Mishael and Azariah in the time of Nebuchadnezzer?” They replied, Chananya, Mishael and Azariah were fully righteous and furthermore, Nebuchadnezzer was a legitimate king, worthy of witnessing such a miracle. Despite being a cruel despot, there is no question that Nebuchadnezzar was a m …
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Taanis 17 A Prayer Connoisseur Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 28th, 2021

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph mentions two forms of prayer, צעקה cries, and תפילה prayer. These terms are difficult to translate and actually Devarim Rabbah (2) mentions ten different forms of prayer, and I’ll do my best to translate them with their etymological roots: שַׁוְעָה, צְעָקָה, נְאָקָה, רִנָּה, פְּגִיעָה, בִּצּוּר, קְרִיאָה, נִפּוּל, וּפִלּוּל, וְתַחֲנ …
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Taanis 16 Nothing Personal...But Actually It IS Personal Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 26th, 2021

Our Gemara on the top of Amud Aleph makes the following observation about human nature: it is less embarrassing to voluntarily shame oneself than when another shames you. In our Gemara’s scenario, because the goal is to induce public reflection and repentance, the strategy is to have others place ashes on the Nasi’s head to maximize his shame, as representative of the community. This principle is used elsewhere in Shas, sometimes to m …
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Taanis 15 No Atheists in Foxholes Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 26th, 2021

In our Gemara and Mishna on Amud Aleph tells us whom we should choose to lead the prayers during a drought: The congregation appoints an elder, who is experienced in leading prayer, to descend before the ark as communal prayer leader. And this prayer leader must have children and must have an empty house, i.e., he must be poor, so that his heart will be fully concentrated on the prayer for the needs of his community. The Shalah שלה עשרת ה …
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Taanis 14 Tear It All Up Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 25th, 2021

Our Gemara on Amud Beis tells us about the quality of prayer that Moshe and Aharon had in comparison to Yehoshua. Moshe and Aharon “fell on their faces”, while Yehoshua tore his clothes. Rashi explains that some people are able to have their prayers answered merely by falling on their face in prayer like Moshe and Aharon did, while others need to also rend their clothes like Yehoshua did.  Torah Temimah (Bamidbar 14:5) elaborates …
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Taanis 13 Look Attractive, Not Attracting Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 24th, 2021

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses various leniencies we grant to a young woman of marriageable age who is also an Aveila. At first the Gemara considers that she is allowed to bathe, but ultimately concludes she may use makeup and style her hair. It is important to note that the sages had a healthy respect for the natural patterns of behavior and life. I recently heard a Shiur from a rav lambasting the girls’ seminary credo of “Look at …
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Taanis 12 Not so Fast Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 23rd, 2021

The Gemara on amud Beis tells us that though one should fast for a troubling dream, even on Shabbos, he still needs additional forgiveness for fasting on Shabbos. Therefore, he must fast an additional fast in order to obtain forgiveness for having fasted on Shabbos. What does this mean and how can we understand the idea of deliberately doing something in order to achieve forgiveness, and then needing forgiveness for the act itself? Tzidkas Hatzad …
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