NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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Showing Results 1 - 10 (586 total)
Taanis 24 (W)Holy Cruel Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
December 5th, 2021

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us of some unusually difficult behaviors committed by the sage, Rabbi Yosei from Yokrat. ⁦Rav Ashi said to him: And didn’t the Master sit before and frequent the study hall of Rabbi Yosei from Yokrat? Rabbi Yosei bar Avin said to him: Yes. Rav Ashi said to him: And what is the reason that the Master left him and came here? Rabbi Yosei bar Avin said to him: He is a man who has no mercy on his own son, and no …
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Taanis 23 Sleeper Story Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
December 3rd, 2021

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us the story of Choni Hameagel, who fell asleep for seventy years. We find this story with small differences in the Yerushalmi and Midrash Tehilim on Psalm 126. In those versions, it is actually the grandson of Choni. Another distinction in these other versions is that Choni (or his grandson) went into a cave, and we will note more about this later on.  The motif of a person falling asleep for numerous years is …
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Taanis 22 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
December 3rd, 2021

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the importance of not inflicting excessive fasting and suffering, despite the importance of repentance and abstention when circumstances call for it: ⁦Rabbi Yosei says: An individual is not permitted to afflict himself by fasting, lest he become too weak to work and be beholden to other people, and those people may not have mercy on him. Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: What is the reason of Rabbi Yosei? It is as …
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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 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 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 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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