Torah Insights Into How We Tick
By Rabbi Ephraim D. Becker, Ph.D.
Mankind has always struggled with the question, “what makes us tick?” This effort endures over thousands of years. The field of psychology is only one of the recent attempts to grasp the workings of the human mind. The Jewish approach to the issue begins with the teaching that G-d created the entire universe and, as such, G-d understands us best. He can be considered the “ultimate psychologist”. Judaism also teaches that G-d provided us with an “instruction manual” – the blueprint that He used to create the world, including, primarilly, the human psyche. This blueprint is the Torah.
From a Torah-perspective, a human being is comprised of tremendous depth and complexity. We are affected by psychological, spiritual, social and physical factors. The subtle nuances can be lost on the casual observer of human nature. The Rabbis spent centuries unearthing Torah insights into our essential nature and into how we are motivated to learn new responses. The moderator of this group, a rabbi and therapist, attempts to uncover some of these insights and to offer them to the readers for analysis and discussion.
Rabbi Becker lectures in Israel and abroad, and maintains a counseling practice in Jerusalem. You can find more of his writings at mussar-psych.org. For any comments or questions, please contact Rabbi Becker.
- The Ability to Say No; or, Setting Divine Limits
- What Makes Shrinks Tick; or, Why Do Rabbis Go Tock Tick?
- What is Mussar?
- What Torah Does For The Person
- Some Responses From Readers and Some Comments Re Issue No. 3: What Makes Shrinks Tick; or, Why Do Rabbis Go Tick Tock
- To Say Thank You; Perchance To Feel Gratitude
- The Realm of Free Choice or; How Can Free Choice Coexist with Religous Norms?
- Loyalty to People; Allegience to Law
- Male/Female Dichotomy: Some Responses from Some Readers and Some Comments
- Suppression and Repression – Ways of Dealing with Stress
- A Special Series on Self Esteem #1
- A Special Series on Self Esteem #2
- A Special Series on Self Esteem #3
- Introduction to Mussar – the Real, the Ideal and the Process
- Intro to Prayer
- On the Road to Bitachon
- Mussar and the Force of Gravity
- Home Runs and Torah Do Not Meet
- The Difference between Mussar and Self-Improvement
- The Ingredients of Mussar : Critical Thinking, Self-Help, and Torah
- A Chanukah Gift