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logoParsha
Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
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'LogoParsha' is a series of articles on finding meaning in the Parsha. The term Logo is borrowed from logotherapy, a school of psychology founded by Dr. Viktor Frankl, author of 'Man's Search For Meaning'.
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Showing Results 1 - 10 (146 total)
Permanent Temporariness, Part II – Parshat Bereishit
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
October 11th, 2017
Permanent Temporariness, Part II – Parshat Bereishit Very. A modifying word. It comes from the latin veritas, meaning truth.1 Aside from the Sesame Street song about the letter 'V' where the word 'very' is used umpteen times,2 we use it to describe adjectives. How big is it? Very big. How far is it? Very far. I found a fascinating discussion in the Midrash about the use of the word 'very' in this week's parsha, Parshat Bereishit. At the en …
3 comments
Permanent Temporariness – Sukkot
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
October 4th, 2017
Permanent Temporariness – Sukkot Huh? Could you say that again? Well, I actually almost called this piece temporary permanence. Or both. Oxymoron city! But this seems to be the most accurate variation to represent the thought. As the late Rabbi Joseph Lookstein once said in a sermon, "the only thing that’s permanent in life is change."1 (Maybe next year we can discuss temporary permanence.) This theme is alluded to in the mitzvah of S …
2 comments
Knock, Knock - Yom Kippur
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
September 27th, 2017
Knock, Knock - Yom Kippur No, this is not a knock, knock joke, though I wish I had one for the occasion. (I am open to suggestions.) We have many customs which we don’t always notice though they have been passed down over the years. There is, for instance, a custom to tap (knock) lightly on our chest as we mention a list of actions we've done wrong in the past.1 It is a soft tapping that accompanies the Ashamnu2 (prayer of admission of guil …
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Seize the Day; Seize the Year! - Parshat Haazinu
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
September 19th, 2017
Seize the Day; Seize the Year! – Parshat Haazinu There are some phrases that are so out of place that they demand some kind of explanation. The veritable 'elephant in the room' is crying out to be noticed. We find this at the end of this week's parsha, Parshat Haazinu. After Moshe's swan song, God calls to Moshe in the 'height of the day'.1 Dozens of times God calls to Moshe but never until this instance, almost the very end of the Torah, i …
3 comments
Who's to Blame? – Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
September 12th, 2017
Who's to Blame? – Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech I hate the blame game. I hate assigning blame to others and I hate when others assign blame to others…or to me. There is actually one situation when I would agree that it is legitimate and even appropriate. That is when I assign blame to myself. Taking responsibility for what I do is not just an admission of guilt. It is a pronouncement that I have free choice and that I am willing to take …
4 comments
The 'Mitzva' to Fist Pump – Parshat Ki Tavo
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
September 5th, 2017
The 'Mitzva' to Fist Pump – Parshat Ki Tavo I have often wondered why we make parties when we accomplish something major. After all, it is simply an accomplishment. Why the fist pump? Why invite others to join? I am still not 100% sure I understand why it is psychologically sound and healthy to celebrate but I know intuitively that it is important. I read something about the  Perhaps davka, specifically, on a noetic level I can unders …
2 comments
Sanctions with Dignity – Parshat Ki Teitzei
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
August 30th, 2017
Sanctions with Dignity– Parshat Ki Teitzei When someone wrongs us, there is often an emotional reaction that includes a need to punish or revenge the wrong. It can be based on anger, frustration, disappointment or a host of other emotions. The reaction may even be appropriate. Someone cut us off while driving. They acted dangerously imperiling others and me. Anger may be the most appropriate response. Is there a limit to that anger or to wh …
4 comments
Violence towards 'Things' - Parshat Shofetim
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
August 23rd, 2017
Violence towards Things – Parshat Shofetim Things don’t feel. We know that. "And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries," wrote Paul Simon.1 It is one of those truths that we live with. So who cares how we treat it? If we want to take inanimate objects and 'mistreat' them or abuse them that should be ok. Right? How about a child who mistreats his toys or breaks them – is that okay? Do we say "it's just things"? Do we g …
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Alone in Suffering? – Parshat Reeh
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
August 17th, 2017
Alone in Suffering? – Parshat Reeh One of the most unusual side effects of going through any kind of emotional distress is the sense that others don’t understand what you're going through and the ensuing sense of loneliness. That sense of loneliness is very profound and can often be even greater than the original distress itself. This concept is noted in this week's parsha, Parshat Reeh. After discussing different kinds of crimes …
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Is Gratitude all that it's Cranked up to Be? – Parshat Ekev
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
August 7th, 2017
Is Gratitude all that it's Cranked up to Be? – Parshat Ekev As little kids most of us were taught the "magic" words – please, thank you and excuse me. We were taught that these words helped us somehow. Mostly we knew it got us what we wanted – the toy, a smile, good grace. Beyond that, there was no value to these words. Yet, in this week's parsha, Parshat Ekev, we find the Torah actually commanding us to bless God after each me …
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