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LogoParsha
Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
Click here to view my clinical profile
'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 - 40 (255 total)
The Right Way – Parshat Vaeira
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
January 15th, 2021

The Right Way – Parshat Vaeira   We find ourselves in a moral dilemma at times when we have two moral values that conflict. Is there always a correct course to choose? When there is enough money left at the end of the month for either a special treatment for an elderly parent or a tutor for a child with ADD, how do you choose? Can I allow for the perception of "how others view me" to become a consideration? I was actually surprised in …
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Be a Mensch! – Parshat Shemot
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
January 8th, 2021

Be a Mensch! – Parshat Shemot Without being sexist, this phrase simply implores the individual to be an upright, responsible individual with civility and humility – no matter male or female  - who doesn’t stand idly by while others suffer. Although I did consider using "Be a Man", I decided that the title itself might keep people away. In addition, the word Mensch implies infinitely more than the word "man". (I add a tip of …
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Don’t Be Yourself – Parshat Miketz
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
December 18th, 2020

Don’t Be Yourself – Parshat Miketz Isn’t that backwards? Don’t you mean "be yourself"? Well, kinda. You're right, too. We are always talking about being your authentic YOU. As Kierkegaard said: “Don’t despair at wanting to become your authentic self.”1 So make up my mind…be yourself…don’t be yourself. What to do? And what do you mean anyway "don’t be yourself"? When Yosef was ca …
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Here I Am! – Parshat Vayeshev
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
December 11th, 2020

Here I Am! – Parshat Vayeshev Let's do this! What a bold statement! People who are aware of the import of what is about to happen, can feel pumped by the anticipation of what they are doing. They can also be filled with fear and trepidation. How do we then find clarity?  This is highlighted by a difficulty in Rashi pointed out by the great teacher, Prof. Nechama Leibowitz, z"l. Yosef was just asked to visit his brothers and see how the …
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The Struggle's the Thing – Parshat Vayishlach
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
December 4th, 2020

The Struggle's the Thing – Parshat Vayishlach Nobody likes struggling. Well, maybe not "nobody" but many of us anyway. It's nice to just view a sunset, have your morning coffee or spend time with friends. Struggle is unpleasant, frustrating and simply not my favorite word. In this week's parsha, Yaakov finds himself struggling against a mysterious stranger.1 There are numerous questions regarding this story, ranging from why Yaakov was alon …
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Is Life Really Empty? – Parshat Haazinu
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
September 25th, 2020

Is Life Really Empty? – Parshat Haazinu We've gone through the past seven months of COVID-19 at times asking ourselves the question of meaning. Some people have lost their livelihood, some have suffered from lingering aftereffects while others have lost family and friends. Is there meaning behind all this? Is it perhaps all meaningless suffering? Throughout the LogoParsha blog, we talk about logotherapy (literally: healing through meaning) …
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Tags: mental health, logotherapy, parsha, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, viktor frankl, life task, assignment, purpose, haazinu, emptiness, existential vacuum
A Truly Happy Year - Rosh Hashanah
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
September 22nd, 2020

A Truly Happy Year – Rosh Hashanah  What a year it has been. Sadness, anger, rioting, mourning, politics, division, wildfires and more. Oh, yes….and Corona. To be fair, there have also been weddings, births, promotions and other good things that have happened this year. Rosh Hashanah is considered the yearly Day of Judgment and we pray that the judgment for the coming year will be favorable based on the good things that we and o …
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Tags: logotherapy, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, viktor frankl, happy, happiness, corona, rosh hashana
Responsible or "Response-able" – Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
September 11th, 2020

Responsible or "Response-able" – Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech I love word games. "Dad jokes" are funny – okay, maybe not, but at least witty. "How do you call a bee that can’t easily make up its mind? A maybe."1 (is that a groan I hear?) I'm lucky, as well, to be interested in a school of human ontology/psychology/existentialism/motivation whose founder liked word play as well. We can even use it in this week's parsha. There may b …
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Tags: mental health, logotherapy, parsha, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, viktor frankl, purpose, nitzavim, respnsibility, response-ability
Happy by Choice – Parshat Ki Tavo
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
September 7th, 2020

Happy by Choice – Parshat Ki Tavo We all want to be happy. You know how I know? From all the ads for programs on how to be happy. And many of them are quite successful. Even the American Declaration of Independence, proclaims the right to pursue happiness as an inalienable right of all humanity. I know I want to be happy. In a negative sense, the Torah describes the importance of happiness. This week's parsha, seems to say that "The Rebuke" …
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Tags: logotherapy, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, choice, ki tavo, ki savo, happy, happiness, imrei emmes
Faithful to Yourself – Parshat Shofetim
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
August 26th, 2020

Faithful to Yourself – Parshat Shofetim   I love reviewing the parsha. I would like to believe that even if there were no requirement to read it every week, I would still do it, but I can't believe that I would. So, I am thankful that Chazal expects us to review the parsha weekly. It also gives me a chance to notice new ways of looking at the content, some of which have quite opened my eyes. A few years back, I wrote about this verse f …
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Tags: logotherapy, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, shofetim, self, authentic
Potential – Parshat Ekev
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
August 7th, 2020

Potential – Parshat Ekev Some people notice everything that goes on around them. Others have a tendency to be so wrapped up in what's going on, they notice less about what is going on. I am somewhere in the middle though with a tendency to notice more than less. So, when I see the following idea expressed by the Netziv, I wonder how come I never saw it before.  The Torah has three mitzvot that include loving - loving God, loving your …
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Frustration – Parshat Vaetchanan
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
July 31st, 2020

Frustration – Parshat Vaetchanan We all want to feel good all the time. We also know that stuff happens and our sense of stability is threatened. We often try to ignore this knowledge and live our lives "as if". We make plans, we invest time, energy and money based on dreams of how we wish to see our future. There are business plans and personal development programs that encourage us to see a few years down the line and build our present l …
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Tags: logotherapy, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, viktor frankl, vaetchanan, vaeschanan, frustration
Untitled – Parshat Devarim
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
July 24th, 2020

Untitled – Parshat Devarim Just a short idea and can't decide on a title. What I've come up with so far, just isn’t quite right. (if you get any ideas, please let me know) The judges, whose appointment is discussed in this week's parsha, are reminded that they should be good, honest and fair judges for, after all, the judgment belongs to God.1 Well, isn’t that kind of obvious? If these judges are dealing with Jewish law, do they …
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Tags: mental health, logotherapy, parsha, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, viktor frankl, devarim, life task, assignment, purpose
42 – Parshat Matot-Masei
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
July 18th, 2020

42 – Parshat Matot-Masei No, this is not a blog on "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".1 Imagine - there are other times that the number 42 appears. For instance, the only uniform number that is permanently retired in Major League Baseball is the number 42, the number that Jackie Robinson wore. It is also the atomic number of the element Molybdenum. Even so, with a tip of the hat to all Douglas Adams fans, I would like to touch on t …
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Tags: logotherapy, parsha, logoparsha, frankl, 42, tolle, yes to Life, masei
Dilemmas – Parshat Pinchas
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
July 10th, 2020

Dilemmas – Parshat Pinchas Sometimes I just hate dilemmas. They force me to choose between different options. And some of them aren’t so pleasant. You must have heard of the phrase 'between a rock and a hard place'. Some options are really unpleasant. And when you have two unpleasant options, then you're really going to suffer the choice. Rashi in this week's parsha, Parshat Pinchas alludes to this. Back when the sun and moon were cr …
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Tags: mindfulness, logotherapy, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, pinchas, dilemmas, choices
Search for Simple Answers – Parshat Chukat
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
June 26th, 2020

Search for Simple Answers – Parshat Chukat Wouldn’t it be great if life had simple answers to even the most complex questions? It would be easier to bear the burdens of suffering and anguish. After all, if Despair is, according to Doctor Viktor Frankl, Suffering without Meaning (D=S-M), then if we could assign meaning to our suffering, we would be spared all that despair and anguish.1 We know that stuff happens. Our question is always …
3 comments
Tags: logotherapy, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, chukat, suffering, viktor
Feeling Ignored – Parshat Behaalotecha
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
June 5th, 2020

Feeling Ignored – Parshat Behaalotecha We all want to feel part. Even as a kid, I remember when we were choosing teams, I always wanted to be chosen. I also remember what it was like NOT to be on the team – either team. My parents tried to make sure that my needs weren’t ignored either. But sometimes certain groups are chosen. And others are left behind. Or it could even be being passed over for a promotion at work. It can be a …
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Tags: mindfulness, logotherapy, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, behaalotecha, behaloscha, ignored, viktor frankl
Mindfulness and Mindful - Parshat Naso*
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
May 28th, 2020

Mindfulness and Mindful – Parshat Naso* Mindfulness is one of the big buzz words nowadays. Learning to hear our own selves and our own voices, emotions and wishes is an important part of growth. But has this direction pushed out the concept of being mindful? Has being aware of one's self cancelled the ability to be mindful of others and their needs? How sensitive do we need to be to others in the face of our own needs? The reading of t …
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Tags: mindfulness, logotherapy, naso, meaning, logoparsha, frankl
You can Always Dance – Parshat Bamidbar
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
May 22nd, 2020

You Can Always Dance – Parshat Bamidbar  Much has been written about the challenges facing the human race during this corona episode. We are slowly and hesitatingly coming out of lockdown and seeing if we will be able to retain the lowering of the curve. I certainly join with those praying for the welfare of the entire human race in stemming the outbreak of this virus. These challenges relate to us no matter our socio-economic status, …
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Regaining Lost Worth – Parshat Behar-Bechukotai
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
May 15th, 2020

Regaining Lost Worth – Parshat Behar-Bechukotai No matter how long the first 8 innings of a baseball game last, or what the score is, there is always a sense of anticipation entering the ninth inning. Will the losing team make a comeback? After all, there have been teams who scored 7 runs in the bottom of the ninth to win a game. There is always a buildup to the end. As Yogi Berra was quoted as saying, "it aint over til its over." The end o …
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So What is Logotherapy? Parshat Emor
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
May 8th, 2020

So What is Logotherapy? Parshat Emor I have been writing this blog for about 5 years always succeeding (sometime more sometimes less) to find a passuk which sheds light on our own particular paths to meaning. Each blog has a thought, idea, revelation from the weekly parsha which also resonates closely with the work of Doctor Viktor Frankl and logotherapy. Yet I just realized that I have never put forth even a basic explanation of the fundamental …
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Routinely Changing Routine - Parshat Shemini
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
April 17th, 2020

 Routinely Changing Routine - Parshat Shemini It's just a flu. It's also a lot more. The coronavirus has challenged many assumptions – societal, personal, political, economic and more. It has challenged people who have experienced social distancing in so many ways. Some people have lost their livelihood and at this point no one can say when it will return. Due to this, some have for the first time in their lives had to ask for financia …
2 comments
Cleaning House - Pesach
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
April 7th, 2020

Cleaning House - Pesach I'm trying to write this blog without discussing the corona virus. I've already failed. I have been surprised by how much this virus has imposed itself not only on our physical health but on our mental health, our financial health and our societal health. Life goes on. We are preparing for Pesach while trying to maintain our sanity and mental health as well (which is enough of a challenge during a regular year). There are …
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Learning from Isolation – Parshat Tzav
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
April 1st, 2020

Learning from Isolation – Parshat Tzav Many are bemoaning the government-imposed isolation during these days of COVID-19. "It isn’t fair. It won't help. It's too hard. How will I manage with the kids? In White Russia they're not doing it." There is so much conversation, confusion and convoluted conspiracy theories flying around that it is hard to make sense and get answers to the real questions and concerns we have. Isolation is perha …
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Corona's Creative Calling – Parshat Vayikra
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
March 27th, 2020

Corona's Creative Calling – Parshat Vayikra OR Yes I'm Writing About Corona When we want to start a conversation with someone, we usually call them first to get their attention. We call their name, we ring their telephone, we send an email or any other of a now-myriad of methods to contact someone. When we get the person's attention, then we can start talking whether to deliver a message, get some information or simply to connect with someo …
1 comments
Tags: logotherapy, meaning, logoparsha, frankl, vayikra, corona, covid
From Social Isolation to Togetherness - Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
March 19th, 2020

From Social Isolation to Togetherness – Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei It would be an understatement to say that these are trying times. A tiny virus measured in nanometers has created a pandemic. People around the world are in self-quarantine. People around the world have gotten sick. And, yes, people around the world have died from this virus. It is a somber time. We live with a sense of uncertainty as to our fate, the fate of our communit …
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A Corona Wedding – Parshat Ki Tissa
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
March 13th, 2020

A Corona Wedding – Parshat Ki Tissa Or Sports as a Corona Metaphor The current outbreak of COVID–19, better known as coronavirus, has caused a lot of concern, anxiety and uncertainty. This virus has become the main topic of conversation – even outperforming sports and politics. How we behave on a personal level during this outbreak says more about us than it does about how the governments are handling the crisis. After all, as s …
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Upside-down Shaatnez – Parshat Tetzaveh
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
March 6th, 2020

Upside-down Shaatnez – Parshat Tetzaveh Have you ever had a time where what you thought about a topic turned out to be the opposite of what you thought? Like when Pluto stopped being a planet or when you found out that a baseball team was caught cheating. Or in a positive direction, you may have thought that all cancer couldn’t be cured and found out that there are cancers which react well to treatment. I had that kind of experience w …
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Can Humans be Divine? - Parshat Terumah
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
February 28th, 2020

Can Humans be Divine? - Parshat Terumah (Shemot 25:1-27:19) Some concepts I just don’t understand. The idea of God fitting himself into a Mishkan is beyond my ability to understand. And I'm actually okay with that. I know that there are things which I don’t understand. Im not talking about calculus either, although maybe even that. This concept is much higher. But it is really okay (mostly). So what’s the deal with the Mishkan? …
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Conformity. Good or Bad? – Parshat Mishpatim
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
February 21st, 2020

Conformity. Good or Bad? – Parshat Mishpatim      Isn’t conformism another way of saying that majority rules? Is it then really that bad? Our democratic institutions are based on that ideal. But is it always true? How about individualism? Conformism, says Doctor Viktor Frankl,is often an outgrowth of what he calls Existential Vacuum.1 Is that a new concept in physics or an electrical appliance? Obviously not. Let m …
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The Real Plague of Darkness – Parshat Bo
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
January 31st, 2020

The Real Plague of Darkness – Parshat Bo There have been times while writing this blog when I was concerned that perhaps a time would come when I would no longer see new ideas to write about in the parsha. Thankfully, I have been surprised over and over to the point where I feel that I am led to believe that I will never run out of topics from the parsha to share. During the plague of darkness, the Torah tells us that it was soooo dark ( ho …
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Who is This? Really? – Parshat Shemot
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
January 17th, 2020

Who is This? Really? – Parshat Shemot People have personal names, surnames, nicknames, childhood names, pet names, and perhaps more as well. We choose which name to use based on the context of where we are, who we are with, what impression I am trying to make, if at all, when it is and why I am meeting this person. Sometimes names are assigned to us. Or numbers (noting the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp this …
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Need for Control – Parshat Vayechi
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
January 10th, 2020

Need for Control – Parshat Vayechi Famous Viennese psychiatrist, Alfred Adler (1870-1937), declared that the primary motivation of human behavior is the drive for control.1 We grow as children with an inferiority complex, he explained, that we seek to overcome through increased self-confidence and control as we mature. Many people recognize this complex in themselves and can appreciate Adler for his work in sharing this insight with us. Ye …
2 comments
Being In the Moment – Parshat Vayigash
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
January 3rd, 2020

Being In the Moment – Parshat Vayigash I really like New Age ideas. I find them refreshing, or, if not, at least challenging to my way of thinking and believing. Either way it is good. Yet many ideas which seem to be New Age ideas I often find them to have a biblical source. So, too, with the title of this blog – 'being in the moment'. It is a wonderful challenge to be able to put stuff aside and just be. With practice, it becomes eas …
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The Chicken or the Egg or the Chicken…. – Parshat Miketz
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
December 27th, 2019

The Chicken or the Egg or the Chicken…. – Parshat Miketz This age-old question has at times fascinated me and at times bored me. Similar questions about cause and effect also intrigued me as welll as turned me off. So it was with particular interest that I heard a short lecture about the end of Yosef's imprisonment that reminded me of this question. I had until recently understood that due to Paroh's dreams of the cows and the grain …
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To Tell or Not to Tell – Parshat Vayeshev
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
December 20th, 2019

To Tell or Not to Tell – Parshat Vayeshev Some of the readers may remember about 3 years ago  that I spoke of my heart attack (first night of Chanuka to be exact). I am thankful that, b"h, 3 years later I can talk about it and that I started living a better, healthier life. One of the dilemmas I had was about sharing the news with my heart attack with my elderly, frail mother, z"l. Everyone I spoke with seemed to be in agreement that i …
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What's Your Name? – Parshat Vayishlach
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
December 13th, 2019

What's Your Name? – Parshat Vayishlach There is a radio show which asked me to come as a guest to talk about Dr. Viktor Frankl and logotherapy. In preparation, I listened to some of the programs and heard the host asking the guests the question "who are you?" I thought it was a great question but was concerned as to how I would answer it. Thankfully, he didn’t ask me that question but it is now a question I ask myself occasionally. Wh …
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Just Being There – Parshat Vayeitzei
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
December 6th, 2019

Just Being There – Parshat Vayeitzei We often feel that only grandiose actions really have any impact. People all too often will refrain from reaching out to those in need because they feel they cannot possibly give others all that they need. Sometimes, though, all a person needs is  a friend who will just be there. This week's parsha teaches us, among other things of course, that sometimes, just being there has value in and of itself. …
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The Truth about Lies – Parshat Toledot – Part III
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
November 29th, 2019

The Truth about Lies – Part III  - Parshat Toledot Have you ever felt a compulsive need to understand something yet it seems beyond you? Or maybe the topic is so complex that apparently you will never really get a grasp on it? I have been trying to get a handle on lying recently and have found that it seems to be beyond my ability. It can be so frustrating! Lying. Is it ever moral? How about to save your life? Or your livelihood? What …
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The Truth About Lies; Part II Lech Lecha
Author: Avraham (Allan) Friedman, LMSW
November 8th, 2019

The Truth About Lies – Part II* – Parshat Lech Lecha There is a popular saying: "Never meet your idols." Too often you find out that they don’t live up to your expectations of them. When you put them on a pedestal, very often you de-humanize them and in fact take away from their greatness. They are quite fallible and, well, human. The greater they are, the greater the disappointment. What we expect from them is to be metahumans. …
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