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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 23, 2011 / 24 Elul, 5771

Why man is greater than the angels

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski






In Judaism, ‘bad’ urges and ideas are not flaws that must be banished


“For this commandment that I command you today — it is not hidden and it is not distant. It is not in heaven . . . Rather it is very near to you — in your mouth and your heart to perform it.”

                        —   Deut. 30:11-14


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | In psychology we find discussion of ''the disowned self;'' i.e., there are facets of an individual's personality which one may deny having. There may be a feeling that is so repulsive to us, that we cannot admit, even to ourselves, that we are capable of having anything so abhorrent. Ideas and feelings such as these may be repressed; i.e., they are buried in the subconscious part of the mind, hopefully never to come to one's awareness.


An idea buried in the subconscious does not just remain dormant. Rather, it seeks to break into consciousness. A person must exert energy in order to keep the idea repressed, and sometimes one may develop one or more defenses to reinforce the repression. These defenses are often the cause of psychological symptoms.


There is a much more efficient way of managing unacceptable ideas and feelings. A person should realize that a human being is a composite creature, consisting of an essentially animal body and a Divine human spirit. The body has all the desires and impulses of an animal, and the function of the spirit is to master these, and ideally, to channel these energies constructively. Lust can be transformed into desires for spiritual goals, anger can be converted to intolerance of injustice, envy can be directed to wishing to achieve the spiritual heights of tzaddikim (the truly righteous), etc.


Every impulse can be sublimated, but instead of sublimation operating on a subconscious level, it can be a conscious process. As long as an impulse is in the subconscious and a person is not aware of its existence, there is an internal struggle against an unknown enemy. If the idea or feeling can be admitted to consciousness, one is then in a better position to deal with it.


The Midrash says that when Moses ascended to heaven to receive the Torah (Bible), the heavenly angels objected, saying to G-d, ''The Torah is too holy to be given to mortals who will not appreciate it and revere it. Let the Torah remain here, among us.'' G-d told Moses to rebut the angels' argument. Moses said, ''The Torah says 'You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.' Does that apply to you? The Torah says, 'You shall not steal.' Are you capable of stealing anything? The Torah says, 'You shall not murder.' Can you kill one another?'' With this argument, Moses triumphed over the angels and brought the Torah to us.



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The point of this Midrash is that angels are totally spiritual and do not need a Torah. It is precisely because of the animal component in man that we need a Torah. If a person wishes to know what impulses are part of human nature, he need only read the 365 prohibitions of the Torah. Every one of them is a commandment to avoid doing something which our animal body desires! Why, then, should a person disown any feeling as though having it means that one is decadent? There is no reason to disown any thought or feeling. We need only realize that this originated from our animal-like body, and that it is our duty to master it.


Tiferes Yisrael on the Mishnah cites a Midrash that a king who had heard of Moses' greatness sent his artists to the Israelite encampment in the desert to draw a picture of Moses. When they returned, he gave the picture to his physiognomists, the wise men who were capable of describing a person's character by a study of his face. The physiognomists reported that this picture was of a person who was narcissistic, arrogant, lustful and capable of the worst kind of behavior. This was so incongruous with what he had heard about Moses that he decided to see for himself.


Upon meeting Moses, he saw that the picture his artists had drawn was precise to the minutest detail. He asked Moses how his physiognomists could have been so wrong. Moses explained that the physiognomists can describe only the character traits with which a person was born. ''All those things they said of me are innate. I was born with all those traits. However, I transformed them all and channeled them toward positive and desirable goals'' (Tiferes Yisrael, end of Kiddushin).


This is what Moses was telling the Israelites. ''The Torah is not in heaven. It was not intended for angels who have no improper impulses. It is a Torah for mortals, for human beings whose animal bodies can generate desires that a person may wish to disown as being alien. It is not necessary to do so. We have the strength and capacities to be master over our behavior.


''It is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart to perform it.''


Maimonides says that every person can be like Moses. What he means by this is that every person is capable of consciously sublimating all the drives that originate from our physical bodies. There is no need to disown any part of one's self.

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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 62 books to his credit, including "Twerski on Chumash" (Bible), from which this was excerpted (Sales of this book help fund JWR). Comment by clicking here.







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