Home - NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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The International Network
of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals

Message from Dr. Barry Holzer, President, Nefesh International

and Rabbi Binyamin Hammer, Executive Director, Nefesh International

The av beis din that opened the case responded to Walder’s death, stating that “we heard in pain about Chaim Walder’s death. It is unfortunate that he chose this path, we suggested to him to fix what he had ruined and ask forgiveness from the victims, change his ways and ensure that no more people would be hurt. He could have taught many people how to do Teshuva. It is a shame he chose to harm himself. I wish to strengthen the many victims at this time, their life comes before his.”

We find his message poignant and appropriate; our hearts go out to all victims of abuse. As therapists, we must deal with our own and our client’s reactions both to the trauma of sexual abuse as well as the trauma of suicide.

Unfortunately, abuse has impacted too many members of our community. Supporting victims and helping them heal is an important goal of therapy and our mesorah. Helping therapists hold their pain is an important mission as well, one in which we all need to share and help one another.

The trauma of suicide can also be triggering for many who have experienced it in their family or in their community. We, as Torah Jews, believe in the sanctity of every human being and every life.

Here at Nefesh, we are Imo Anochi B’tzara, the conversation has been painful, we are with you. Let us continue to dedicate our life’s work to help, to heal, to enable and foster shalva for Klal Yisrael. Our actions as Torah observing mental health professionals can bring true nechama.

Dr. Barry Holzer Rabbi Binyamin Hammer
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