The Longing of Tisha B'Av Afternoon

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As we move into the afternoon hours of this sad day our strength grows. With space to breathe, we consider the Eternal longing for intimacy and closeness and with that thought we reconnect with our own.   We begin to acknowledge our own loneliness and desire for closeness with God, our spouse, our parents, our children, our siblings, our neighbor.   We ask - "What's holding…

The Genesis of Couples Therapy

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The Torah uses very few words to say an awful lot. It's view on marriage is famously condensed into one brief verse: עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזָב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד׃ "Therefore, a man should leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, so that they…

The Genesis of Couples Therapy - Part 2

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Last post we were left with a question but first a little background. Genesis tells us that the goal of marriage is for a man to leave his mother and father and attach himself to his wife. I proposed that Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT), of which I am a strong proponent, finds its primary theoretical roots in this biblical source. Imago assumes that our subconscious is on a mission to find an intimate…

Cover Up and...Connect?

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“And she lifted her eyes and saw Isaac....she descended from the camel….took the scarf and covered herself.” (Genesis 24:64-65) To understand the Torah’s approach to any given topic, the place to start is by analyzing the first instance that topic appears. So, Isaac and Rebecca, which is the Torah’s first description of a meeting between husband and wife can help us understand the Torah’s…

One Matzah, One Process

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Matzah, fills you up and keeps you satisfied. Jews ate a lot of it as slaves in Egypt.  Strangely enough, God instructed the Jews to eat that very same food on the night before their long awaited redemption. One matzah, two experiences; slavery and freedom. But is it really? Can you experience victory without the pain of loss? Can you appreciate the sweetness of sunshine without the numbing of darkness.…

Of Hooves, Paws and the Play of Forms

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A ongoing question I ask myself: "Am I losing myself in everyday events and circumstances? Am I too immersed, too bound to the "forms" that never cease to occupy the space of my existence?" When situations hook me into emotional experiences that narrow my perspective and overwhelm my available resources, I know the balance is off. Looking for an appropriate lens to moderate this experience, I recently…

24 Hours of Presence.

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Jon Kabat-Zinn describing mindfulness... "...This is what stopping can do. There is nothing passive about it. And when you decide to go, it's a different kind of going because you stopped. The stopping actually makes the going more vivid, richer, more textured. It helps keep all the things we worry about and feel inadequate about in perspective. It gives us guidance." But he could have been describing…

10 Suggestions for Encouraging a Jewish “Growth” Mindset in (ourselves and) Our Children:

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EMPATHIZE AND MODEL   1. Be open with them regarding your own past struggles and share the work and the process that led you to overcome the challenge. 2. Admit that there are (many) things that you still struggle with every day, haven’t yet mastered, and continue to work on and improve in. NORMALIZE AND EMPOWER 3. Normalize the struggle by explaining that God created us with “competing…

The Next Moses?

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I recently witnessed a well meaning rabbi communicate to a room full of elementary school age Torah students: “The next gadol hador (leading Torah scholar of the generation) may be sitting in this room!” I wonder if this message unintentionally does more harm than good. Surely, it is meant to inspire, but isn’t our goal to encourage each child to deepen and strengthen his/her unique connection…

Love Your Critics!

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  Who’s keeping you small? Who’s convinced you to hide? Along the way we were shot down, criticized or even laughed at and we internalized that experience. We ingested that voice and eventually, it took root in our psyche.  Now, it echoes in our head every time we think about putting ourselves out there, making a splash, and having an impact.  Think about how much beauty and how much greatness…