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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 July 9, 2004 / 20 Tamuz, 5764

Mastery over oneself


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By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski


The secret of effective leadership


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | The dialogue between Moses and G-d is noteworthy. Moses asked for his successor to be selfless and totally devoted to the people .


“Let G-d, L-rd of all spirits, appoint a person over the congregation” (Numbers 27:16) which the foremost commentator, Rashi, explains to mean ''a person who can understand and relate to each individual.'' G-d responded, ''Take to yourself Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom there is spirit'' (27:18)


In what way does Joshua's being ''a man in whom there is spirit'' satisfy the qualifications Moses requested?


The Alter (Elder) of Novaradok explains this well. The human being is comprised of a body and a spirit. The body produces all the cravings that stimulate pursuit of self-gratification. The spirit is the force that directs the person away from self-gratification, to be devoted to a higher goal in life. These two components are engaged in a struggle for mastery over the person. To the degree that bodily drives prevail, to that degree the person is self-centered. To the degree that the spirit prevails, to that degree a person can look away from his own needs and be dedicated to his mission.


A person who is preoccupied with his own needs cannot empathize fully with others. In "Not Just Stories" , (Sales of this book help fund JWR) I related an incident of my great-grandfather, Rebbe Mordechai Dov of Hornosteipel, who underwent an excruciatingly painful medical treatment without uttering a sound.


At the doctor's astonishment of such stoicism, Rebbe Mordechai Dov responded, ''If I can withstand the pain I experience when someone comes to me for help with a problem and I am unable to help him, I can certainly withstand this pain.''


The ability to relate to and understand every individual requires extraordinary empathy. Such empathy is possible only in a person who has no self-gratifying drives, who has subjugated them to the spirit. The ability to be a shepherd who cares for his flock rather than for his personal interests must be devoid of bodily drives. Only such a person can be self-sacrificing and absolutely fair to everyone.


G-d's response to Moses' request for a leader with such qualifications was, therefore, appropriate. ''Take to yourself Joshua, son of Nun, man in whom there is spirit.'' Joshua had succeeded in achieving self-mastery, of vanquishing the bodily drives for gratification and making the spirit dominant (Madregas HaAdam vol. 1 p. 58).


Every person is engaged in the life-long struggle between the two opposing forces. Perhaps the extreme elimination of all self-gratification required of the leader is not achievable by everyone. However, let us remember that the physical component of the human being is essentially no different than that of lower forms of life.


''The superiority of man over animal is naught, except for the pure soul'' (Morning service, Nusach Sefard). Our dignity as human beings is directly proportional to the degree that we achieve self-mastery and dominance of the spirit.

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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 30 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.

© 2004, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.