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Parenting With Rabbi Ackerman
Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
Click here to view my clinical profile
When a parent tells me that she is overwhelmed, I usually say "That sounds very difficult. What do you do when you're overwhelmed?"
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Showing Results 1 - 10 (251 total)
Let Me Reword That
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
October 29th, 2020
Hocheiach tochiach es amisecho (Vayikra 19:17) It would have been more logical to say hocheiach tochiach l’amisecho, give reproof to your fellow [because hocheiach tochiach es amisecho implies “with your fellow” rather than “to your fellow”].  However, our Torah haKedosha is a treasury of mussar, interpersonal life skills. It has embedded a life lesson in these words.  The plain meaning is to give reproof.& …
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The Tyranny of Choice
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
September 17th, 2020
In 1830, Alexis de Tocqueville commented that, In America I have seen the freest and best educated of men in circumstances the happiest to be found in the world; yet it seemed to me that a cloud habitually hung on their brow, and they seemed serious and almost sad even in their pleasures. (Democracy in America, Harper & Row, 1969, page 536)   Sound familiar?  What makes life so difficult?  Why do so many walk around in our worl …
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Raising Your Children, The Bell Epoque
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
September 13th, 2020
You probably recognize the words, “the jury will disregard.”  It is the instruction judges give jurors to ignore inadmissible testimony after it has already been offered in open court. Of course the jury, composed of human beings, cannot forget what it has already heard — even if they try. The integrity of the proceedings have [sic] already been damaged. (Stephen Stromberg, The Washington Post, November 6, 2016)   It m …
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When Someone Cries
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
September 6th, 2020
Sweetheart, you’re crying.  Why are you feeling lachrymose?  How often have you said that to your child?  Probably never.   But you may have asked, “why are you sad?”   Wasn’t Moshe Rabeinu sad when he saw the Egel HaZahav?  Why didn’t he cry then the way he cried when the Yidden sinned with the Moabites at Shittim?   When the people made the Golden Calf, Moses argued, Why, O L-rd, …
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The Agile Family Meeting
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
August 31st, 2020
Tovim ha-shnayim min-ha'echod, two are better than one.  (Koheles 4:9) What about more than two? According to the Vilna Gaon’s understanding of a Mishna in Avos, the more, the better.  This includes children together with adults.   The Mishna says: Marbeh Yeshiva, Marbeh Chachma (Avos 2:7),   The Gra on this Mishna says it alludes to this statement in the Gemara: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Much Torah have I learned from m …
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A Failed Syllogism
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
August 24th, 2020
The Gemara (Yevamos 79a) tells us that Yidden have three characteristics: we are rachamanim, merciful; baishanim; and gomlei chasadim, kind to others. The Mishna (Avos 2:5) tells us that a baishan cannot learn. This leads us to the following syllogism: Yidden are baishanim. Baishanim cannot learn. Therefore Yidden cannot learn. We seem to have a problem here.  Our syllogism has brought us to a false conclusion.  Obviously, BH, Yidden c …
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The Endowment Effect
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
August 2nd, 2020
A thing which you have enjoyed and used as your own for a long time, whether property or an opinion, takes root in your being and cannot be torn away without your resenting the act and trying to defend yourself, however you came by it. The law can ask no better justification than the deepest instincts of man.  (The Path of the Law, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., #10 Harvard Law Review 457, 1897)   Justice Holmes may not have realized it, b …
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Stick To It Part 2
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
July 19th, 2020
He [Rabban Yohanan ben Zakai] said [to his disciples]: go out [of the bais hamedrash] and see which is the good way to which a man should cleave?  (Avos 2:13 in the The Lehmann-Prins edition) Why did Rabban Yohanan ben Zakai ask his talmidim to identify one middah to which one should adhere?  Why didn’t he urge them to work on all of their middos? This question comes into sharp focus when we learn from the hakdama of Orchos Tzadik …
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Stick To It Part 1
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
June 28th, 2020
He [Rabban Yohanan ben Zakai] said to [his disciples]: go out [of the bais hamedrash] and see which is the good way to which a man should cleave?  (Avos 2:9)   Two questions come to mind:   First, why go out of the bais hamedrash?  Isn’t the bais hamedrash the best place to think about one’s middos and to choose the one that is most important to you?   The Magid Rabi Yisrael m’Koznitz answered this quest …
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Oppositional Compliant
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
June 22nd, 2020
Vayomer Hashem Elokim, lo tov heyos ho'odom l’vado; e'eseh lo ezer k’negdo.   It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a compatible helper for him. (Braishis 2:18, translation from The Living Torah, Rav Aryeh Kaplan, Z”L)   The verb l’nagad means “to oppose, to contradict.”  This implies that the preposition neged means “opposite” in the sense of “in opposition to.& …
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