NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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Zealous Cohanim Eruvin 103 Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 20th, 2020
This Gemara discuses a well known principle of אין שבות במקדש there are no rabbinic restrictions within the Temple.  The basic understanding of why this is true, is because the Cohanim are zealous and thus would be unlikely to make a mistake (רבנו יהונתן ערובין קב א).  In Other words, the priest, especially in the Holy Temple site, do not require extra strength and cease to protect them from inadvertent vi …
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Your Money or Your Life Pesachim 25 Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
December 16th, 2020
  As it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: If it is stated: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,” why is it stated: “And with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5)? And if it is stated: “With all your might,” why is it stated: “With all your soul”? One of these statements appears to be superfluous. תַנְיָא, רַבִּי אֱלִיע …
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You are WHEN You Eat Eruvin 85 Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
November 2nd, 2020
Mishna   הַנּוֹתֵן אֶת עֵרוּבוֹ בְּבֵית שַׁעַר, אַכְסַדְרָה וּמִרְפֶּסֶת, אֵינוֹ עֵרוּב. וְהַדָּר שָׁם, אֵינוֹ אוֹסֵר עָלָיו. בְּבֵית הַתֶּבֶן וּבְבֵית הַבָּקָר וּבְבֵית הָעֵצִים וּבְבֵית הָאוֹצָרוֹת, הֲרֵי זֶה עֵרוּב. וְהַדָּר שָׁם, אוֹסֵר עָלָ …
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Yoma Daf 6 Sexual Satisfaction vs. Psychological Security
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
April 16th, 2021
The Gemara on Amud Aleph questions why the Cohen Godol should be sequestered from his wife seven days before the Yom Kippur service? The Gemara answers that since there is only one Cohen Godol (and one back-up), we worry his wife might show signs of having become niddah right after intercourse. There would then be concern that perhaps she was niddah during intercourse. When such a situation occurs and there was sexual relations, there is an impur …
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Yoma 5 You Cannot Learn Character on the Job Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
April 16th, 2021
Our Gemara on amud aleph quotes the verse that describes the inauguration and succession plan of the Cohen Gadol.  Rashi on this verse (Vayikra 16:32) quotes a Sifra that states that the verse indicates that we appoint the Cohen’s son to be his successor so long as he follows in his father’s footsteps. Let us discuss the ethics of succession in Judaism: In secular philosophy, there is no legal or moral right for any leader to app …
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Yoma 29 When the Addictive Behavior IS the Addiction Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 9th, 2021
Our Gemara on the top of Amud Aleph states a powerful idea: Thoughts of transgression are worse than transgression itself, הִרְהוּרֵי עֲבֵירָה קָשׁוּ מֵעֲבֵירָה Of course, literally and logically sin in action, is much worse. Is it worse to brood for 10 years about killing someone than actually killing someone? Obviously not. So what did our Sages intend? Let us try to understand this from a psychological perspec …
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Yoma 4 What’s in a Name? Psychology of the Daf
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
April 15th, 2021
Our Gemara tells us that it is proper etiquette to call out to a person before speaking with him or her. We see from the fact that many verses begin with, “G-d called to Moses and said to him“, this implies that before one speaks, one should engage the person, get their attention, and see if they are interested in what you have to say. Maharsha here states that one should call by name explicitly. Mizrachi (VaYikra 1:1) implies the nam …
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Yoma 34 The Road to Nowhere is Paved with Vague Intentions Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 14th, 2021
Our Gemara on Amud Beis references the famous machlokes of Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Shimon regarding an unintentional act. If one performs an activity whose primary intent is permitted but along with it may come a forbidden act, according to Rabbi Yehuda it is forbidden and according to Rabbi Shimon it is permitted.  Our Gemara discussed the case of a hot iron bar placed in the Mikvah to warm it for the Cohen Godol. The primary intention is si …
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Yoma 17 The “Right” Way to Do Things Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
April 27th, 2021
Our Gemara again discusses the preference of right over left. On Daf 15 we investigated this concept metaphysically. I just wanted to add some more thoughts on this matter:   What happens when we want to know what the weather is? Do we look out the window, or do we look at an app on our phone? What about if you want to know what time sunset is in order to pray? Do we look out the window or do we look at the Myzmanim app our phone? The point …
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Yoma 27 The Gift of Service Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 7th, 2021
  Our Gemara cites a verse in Bamidbar (18:7): וְאַתָּ֣ה וּבָנֶ֣יךָ אִ֠תְּךָ תִּשְׁמְר֨וּ אֶת־כְּהֻנַּתְכֶ֜ם לְכָל־דְּבַ֧ר הַמִּזְבֵּ֛חַ וּלְמִבֵּ֥ית לַפָּרֹ֖כֶת וַעֲבַדְתֶּ֑ם עֲבֹדַ֣ת מַתָּנָ֗ה אֶתֵּן֙ אֶת־כְּהֻנַּתְכֶ֔ם וְהַזָּ֥ר הַקָּרֵ֖ב יוּמָֽת׃ (ס) &n …
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