In this issue
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 February 29, 2008 / 23 Adar, 5768


By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

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We usually think of wisdom as solely associated with the mind and brain rather than with the heart. This week's Bible reading — reinforced by the author's decades of practical experience as a therapist — teaches us otherwise. More importantly, why it matters

“ Every wise-hearted person among you shall come and make everything that G-d has commanded.”

                        —   Exodus 35:10

“Every wise-hearted woman spun with her hands.”

                        —   Exodus 35:25

“ He [G-d] filled them with a wise heart to do . . . every craft.”

                        —   Exodus 35:35


“ Bezalel shall carry out — with Oholiab and every wise-hearted man within whom G-d had endowed wisdom and insight to know and to do all the work for the labor of the Sanctuary.”

                        —   Exodus 36:1

“The wise-hearted among those doing the work made the Tabernacle.”

                        —   Exodus 36:8

The repeated references to the trait of ''wise-hearted'' cannot be without significance. On the verse, ''Every man whose heart inspired him came'' (Exodus 35:21), Ramban comments that none of the Israelites had learned the skills necessary for the work of the Sanctuary and the vestments. However, because they were intensely motivated to do the Divine will, they discovered that they were in fact able to do the skilled craftsmanship. This might be interpreted as a miraculous endowment of skills they had not had. However, the words of Ramban indicate that it was not an endowment of something new. Rather, it was a discovery that they had these skills within them.

This is an important lesson. Clinically, I repeatedly encounter people who are not aware of their inherent skills and personality assets. In my writings on selfesteem I point out that not only are many people oblivious of their personality assets and potential, but even when these are pointed out to them, they persist in denying them. One can only wonder why intelligent people are not able to accept such factual information.

It is not uncommon in psychotherapy to repeatedly point out something to a patient, but it does not have the slightest impact upon him. After regularly pointing this out for a year and a half, there is a sudden insight. The patient may then say, ''Doctor, I've been coming here for a year and a half. Why haven't you ever pointed this out to me before?''

During the year and a half of therapy, when the therapist interpreted the patient's symptoms, the patient said, ''I understand everything you've said, but it doesn't make me feel any better.'' I can conclude only that intellect is subordinate to emotion, and that intellectual knowledge that is not accompanied by emotional knowledge is ineffective. If there are emotional factors that do not allow a person to accept something about himself, whether it is something good or something bad, no amount of intellectual information will register.

According to Ramban, this is what happened with the Israelites. Many people did not have an inkling that they had the requisite skills for the intricate work in crafting the vessels, vestments and curtains of the Sanctuary. But their devotion to G-d and their desire to do His will resulted in ''their hearts being elevated in the ways of G-d'' (II Chronicles 17:6). Their spirits soared, and the emotional fervor enabled them to discover the skills within them.

We usually think of wisdom as associated with the mind and brain rather than with the heart. We associate the heart with emotions rather than with wisdom. The Torah repeatedly refers to the ''wise-hearted'' to indicate the overriding influence of emotion over intellect, and that only when one's emotions permit can one implement the powers of the intellect.

We have untouched reserves of both physical and mental abilities. Under conditions of stress, people have been known to perform physical feats that they never thought were within their capacities. There is reason to believe that some geniuses were not of such superior intellect, but rather that their emotional investment allowed them to fully utilize their potential.

This is an important principle in education. If we can stimulate interest and desire for knowledge in children, they are likely to excel in their studies. A good teacher is, therefore, one who can reach the students in a way that they become ''wise-hearted.''

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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).

© 2007, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.