August 15, 2022 2:30 am at 2:30 am #2115147
Syag, you could explain what rabbi twerskys opinions were, instead of just saying that i don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re right, but do you really think I’ll listen by just being told that what i said isn’t true? Maybe quote him or at least say what you heard from him if you don’t want to look up what he wrote.August 15, 2022 3:10 am at 3:10 am #2115153
Do I think you’ll listen? Good shaila. When someone tells me I am wrong on my understanding of something I usually go back to it to find out. I have, in the past tried explaining to you things I thought you were misunderstanding or misinterpreting and you never seemed willing to consider it. So it’s easier to tell you, as someone who read almost every one of his books, listened to many lectures, spoke to him about some questions I had while working in a psych unit, and generally a groupie,that you are not understanding his belief/philosophy.August 15, 2022 7:51 am at 7:51 am #2115185anonymous JewParticipant
avira, Im always fascinated when people speak of mesora in the singular. In your case, I assume you’re talking about Eastern European mesora, not Yemenite, Sephardic, etc. Even within Eastern Europe, chassidish mesorah only goes back 250 yearsAugust 15, 2022 8:30 am at 8:30 am #2115191
Avira, what was Ralbag’s error?August 15, 2022 11:34 am at 11:34 am #2115295
Ujm, it’s pretty accepted that the ralbag was wrong about yesh m’ayin, even though he didn’t mean it at face valueAugust 15, 2022 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #2115328
Rav Nachman from Breslov also writes as an example of how tzadikim can err, that there were Italian mekubalim who held that in chutz la’aretz, one should not have a beard, because of its kedushah. Rav Nachman writes that the world makes two mistakes about tzadikim; that they can’t make a mistake, and that if they do, that they’re not tzadikim.
Obviously it’s not our place to judge who made mistakes, but the gedolim tell us things like the above examples, which we are supposed to listen to. It’s extremely rare and not something that helps our emunah to dwell on, because the entire Torah is based on mesorah; we have emunah shlaima that the mesorah is authentic and that people who learned torah lishma were guided min hashomayim to transmit the truth to us. There are these couple of exceptions, but the exception proves the rule. 99.9% of the time we say it’s a machlokes and move on without saying one is right or wrong.
Syag; I believe I’ve made it clear in the past that if someone shows me sources that prove me wrong, I yield. The only time I wouldn’t is on things that I have been mekabel directly from my rebbeim as a mesorah; including zionism.August 15, 2022 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #2115329
Anon; *sigh* here we go again. There are many mesoros that are valid. What makes you think I’m referring to my own litvishe/drop of chasidus mesorah?
Also most, if not all ideas in chasidus are found in rishonim and kisvei arizal; they’re not innovative. Rav Nachman (why do I keep quoting him in this thread…I barely know anything about breslov) writes that he’s teaching a new way that’s in fact very old.August 15, 2022 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #2115452
Avira- you have floated far from shore. I told you you are misquoted rabbi twerski and are mistaken about what you think he said. Period. I don’t need to give you sources or have a mussar lesson with you. I am telling you you are saying he erred based on things he didn’t say. And SEPERATELY, even if a talmid chochom does err, you don’t qualify as to call him out.
You think he erred based on poor research
It’s not a hashkofa issue, it’s your lack of knowledge on the topicAugust 15, 2022 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm #2115455
Avira, thanks for explaining details of how exact you are in your judgment of Talmidei Chachamim. I have to assume that they did some aveira in their life to deserve this din veheshbon in addition to the Big One. Maybe they did not say birkat hamazon with full kavanah, or forgot a blatt before bar mitzva .. As Syag is saying, if you are confronted with T’Ch having an opinion, especially in his area of expertise and you would like to disagree, you could read at least his 3-page article, or maybe 3 200-page books …
Note that R Twersky was asking Steipler Gaon regarding his plans to study medicine, so I would presume he was asking him later also. Steipler passed away when R Twersky was 55, so one could presume that he ran his major ideas by him.August 15, 2022 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm #2115458
Avira, to be more specific:
I gave a reference and quotes that should show you that R Twersky sees AA in its core are matching up with Jewish ideas, rather than trying to see how to “mold” a foreign approach. This is my humble understanding, not being a psychologist or AA bokeh. What seems to bother you (trying to emulate R Twersky as he often sees middos behind “intellectual” arguments) that he is so bold in associating with a foreign movement, instead of building a pure Torahdic approach from scratch. As one (Chabad) Talmid Chacham summarized Rambam’s shitah on Muslim and other philosophy and science to me “He is not afraid to modeh emes regardless of the source”.August 15, 2022 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #2115493
I don’t understand this argument. Rabbi Dr. Twerski was a psychiatrist and a Talmid Chochom but not a Rov or a Posek.August 16, 2022 1:06 am at 1:06 am #2115518
Rabbi twersky was close (and related) to many gedolei torah. His rebbeim encouraged him to go into psychiatry, and for good reason – he saved many lives and was a profoundly good influence on people.
As far as i know, he did not submit all of his opinions and writings to daas Torah. He wrote in his sefer on chumash that he’s not a daas torah, and that one can only reach that level of torah by learning day and night exclusively, without being involved in other things. He would not shy away from legitimate criticism.
I’m not saying anything revolutionary. He has a chiddush in how to approach the yatzer hora which is not the way baalei mussar and chasidus teach. He’s not saying apikorsus or anything horribly bad. It’s just a mistake that came from his line of work. and if people do less aveiros, or work on their middos from it… it’s a net positive But it’s not the mesorah.August 16, 2022 1:21 am at 1:21 am #2115520
Again , I don’t believe that you are correctly understanding the childish you are criticizing. I don’t believe that what you are calling an error was ever what he said. And you are absolutely unqualified to call him out on it anyway. At best you could say that you have heard rav x disagrees or that ‘if you understand correctly than you disagree’.. you are not in a position to judge him in your own right. Humility is also a midda.August 16, 2022 1:40 am at 1:40 am #2115523
Syag, may I respectfully ask why is a layman unqualified to express his thought that Rabbi Dr. Twerski was mistaken in a certain halachic thought? (I’m not arguing with your point about if the person arguing misunderstood him in the first place. Just your point about needing to be qualified to disagree halachicly/hashkaficly with someone in his position.) I don’t think he was recognized as a rabbinic authority.August 16, 2022 11:51 am at 11:51 am #2115619
Syag, please explain what I’m missing. I read one of his short books and that’s the takeaway i had.August 16, 2022 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #2115732ParticipantParticipant
“He has a chiddush in how to approach the yatzer hora which is not the way baalei mussar and chasidus teach. ”
R’ Twersky finished all pri megadim before studying any psychology and once remarked that all the psychology books he wrote doesn’t give him as much nachas as one pri megadim.August 16, 2022 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #2115769
Avira, you won’t be able to learn this way. You reject a serious expert in the field because of your nebulous feeling that this is not proper without having any serious argument. This is circular logic where you reinforce your biases. And every time you convince yourself in that, you become even more reassured.
There is nothing wrong to use your gut feeling as the initial position. So you suspect that r Twersky is making a mistake. Shoyn. So then it’s the time to go and verify that with T Ch who understand the issue, read more of the Ravs books, analyze medical literature etc This way you’ll eventually know how well your gut feeling actually worksAugust 17, 2022 9:32 am at 9:32 am #2115911lakewhutParticipant
Avirah I know psychology is a relatively new field in medicine but you’re out of your element in this topic and should stop talking. Would you go to R Malkiel Kotler to get surgery?August 17, 2022 10:05 am at 10:05 am #2115916
The Chazon Ish drew a surgical diagram to give the doctors to follow.August 17, 2022 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm #2115974
Who’s talking about psychology? I am saying that rabbi twersky’s application of his psychology to mussar and milchemes hayetzer is not mesorah-based, and incorrect. I’m not disagreeing with him from a psychologist stance – on the contrary, he’s the one who is taking psychology and using it to form a derech in mussar and milchemes hayetzer. What works for addicts is psychology and yes, above my pay grade.August 17, 2022 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #21160741Participant
What approach to psychology is mesorah-based?August 17, 2022 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #2116104
there’s a lot of psychology in chazal. umdenos, chazakos, maamarim about human nature (one who has 100 wants 200, hundreds more) Hashkofa and mussar seforim from rishonim and achronim are full of insights into psychology. Rav Nachman of Breslov mentions a treatment for OCD that was hundreds of years ahead of its time…because it’s from his torah, which is timeless.
Not all psychology requires a mesorah, and there is room for professionals like rabbi twersky to use evidence based approaches to deal with mental illness.
But milchemes hayetzer and tikun hamidos is not mental illness. It’s something that we have a mesorah for, a very clear one, too.
I don’t know why most posters here are conflating psychology with yiddishkeit. Not everyone needs a psychologist, not everyone needs therapy, and not everyone needs self-help books. It’s for people who have conditions. Mussar seforim is for everyone else.August 17, 2022 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #2116106
What we have here is a rabbi mixing psychology with mussar, and someone who is criticizing that approach. The responses are “you don’t know enough about psychology to argue,” but in doing so, you’re agreeing with the premise that one should mix psychology with musar! It’s also the argument from authority, which is only convincing if you’re going to appeal to daas torah authority, which he said openly that he does not have. I am not beholden to experts in any field if they make mistakes; I have reasoning and analytic abilities, and if I think I can find mistakes in experts’ work, that doesn’t mean I’m arrogant. For example, insurance companies say that most car accidents happen close to home. To a gemara kup, that’s a dumb statement – most accidents happen close to home…because people are almost always close to home!! Same thing with falls in elderly people. There’s a lot of nonsense that passes for science, and it’s not arrogant to point that out. What rabbi twersky said is not nonsense, but I disagree and I think it is not the approach for the non-addicted/mentally ill.August 17, 2022 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #2116148
“he’s the one who is taking psychology and using it to form a derech in mussar and milchemes hayetzer. What works for addicts is psychology and yes, above my pay grade.“
One can learn a lot of mussar from the 12 stepsAugust 17, 2022 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #2116191
Around and around we go…
This reminds me of a shmuzz from rabbi Bentzion shafier. He gave a speech to women about not fixing their husbands and respecting them for who they are. Afterwards, many women thanked him for the inspiring speech… And asked him “but how do i fix my husband?”
Why are you learning mussar from 12 steps when you can learn it from sifrei kodesh, from tzadikim who are experts in Jewish middos, and the fight against the yatzer hora. Why go to something designed for mentally ill individuals??August 17, 2022 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #2116213
> What we have here is a rabbi mixing psychology with mussar,
I know as much as you do about AA, but in a wider look, R Twersky’s books are thoroughly Jewish. He is not using psychology to invent new type of mussar. To the opposite, he goes thoughtfully through Jewish sources and applies them to modern social and personal events, including those that he encountered in practice, including insights he learned from dealing with his patients and from them … He is not writing only about mental illness, but about psychology of normal people and their middos. For example, he quotes his former patient. Rav heard several years later that this patient found lost money (significant amount) and made an effort to return to the owner. Rav called him up to congratulate. The guy shared this insight: when I was getting high, the high laster for one night. Now, it is 6 months after I did the mitzva, and I still feel good when thinking about it.August 17, 2022 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #2116214
It is an absolute wonder that you can admit that you read a small book and think you have enough knowledge and smarts to call out the author who is known to be extremely learned. But to keep going when people who actually have read his books and know the subject are telling you you didn’t chap a single iota…it’s a madrigal of gaava. Or lack of self awareness?
And now you keep pounding away to the point where you aren’t just making yourself look foolish, but are simultaneously offensive.
Avira, you have no clue what you are talking about. Should I read your posts quoting rav Miller tzl and start pointing out mistakes I see in his approach? No. Because it would be dumb to judge someone bigger than me ESPECIALLY if I didn’t study his works!
Humility. Try it.August 17, 2022 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #2116235
Syag, I just asked for a clear example as to how I’m wrong. Very simple; i saw him use 12 steps in mussar, and i disagree. Please show me why I’m mistaken. Instead im just being told i don’t understand it.
Rav miller wrote seforim and was a gadol batorah; you can follow whichever opinions you want, but his opinion is valid and saying you disagree is arrogant, whether you understand his opinions or not.
But let’s assume for a second that they would be on the same level – if someone said something in the name of rav miller (he is actually misquoted a lot and the pamphlets are not perfect), i would point it out by showing why it was mistaken. I wouldn’t just say that i know better because I’ve learned all of his seforim since i was a teenager. I’ve done that before; just get me the source and I’ll gladly accept it. I have no motivation to think of rabbi twersky as wrong, nor do i have motivation to think he’s right.
But take a look at the responses I’m getting, besides what you’re saying – everyone’s defending his psychology (besides aaq, who’s saying that you can mix Torah and psychology, and again quoted his probably fanatical and messianic rabbi who claimed that the rambam could learn torah from Aristotle), and totally missing my point.August 18, 2022 7:38 am at 7:38 am #2116264
what messianic Rabbi? Oh, a Chabad Rav who mentioned that Rambam learnt from anyone. No, he is not a moschihist, but rather a serious engineer in addition to being Talmid Chacham. And he did not say “learn Torah from Aristotle” but rather “accept empirical truth from whomever”, it was Muslim science in the context of conversation, but you are probably not aware what was studied in Fes madrasa when Rambam passed by there. Your ability to insult people l’hathila is sad.
I am not saying R Twersky mixes Torah and Psychology. He does a normal thing – applies Torah to the current reality. He happened to be a baki in certain area and does it well, in opinion of many people. I am still not sure what is your claim to knowledge here. It seems to be entirely self-circular: “I learned from Rabbi X and Y whom I think being most important ones, therefore, my opinions are most important because I am following those important Rabbis”. I am afraid you are insulting your teachers also.August 18, 2022 8:17 am at 8:17 am #2116280
“Why are you learning mussar from 12 steps when you can learn it from sifrei kodesh, from tzadikim who are experts in Jewish middos, and the fight against the yatzer hora. Why go to something designed for mentally ill individuals??“
It’s a lot easier to accept mussar if one thinks he is sick as opposed to being badAugust 18, 2022 9:10 am at 9:10 am #2116346
CA: How does your response address Avira’s point?August 18, 2022 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #2116357
People view mussar as I’m bad and mussar helps me work on my middos to be a good person
People view the 12 steps as I’m spiritually sick and the 12 step will make me spiritually healthyAugust 18, 2022 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #2116418
“Why go to something designed for mentally ill individuals??”
This statement alone proves you are spewing nonsense on a topic you don’t understand, claiming a talmid chochom erred because you think you have enough understanding of his words to comment, when all you read is a small book.
Seriously, if not having a clue about something is not enough to get you to stop commenting on it, what will? For most healthy people, ignorance is a deterrent to acting like an authority. I don’t understand why you always insist on pushing forward in the face of being told you are wrong. Perhaps a few good self help books would be useful after all. And honestly, I have just the author to recommend.August 18, 2022 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm #2116486
Anyways even though Rabbi Twerski was niftar, Rabbi Shais Taub made a Haggadah and tied it into AA I think it’s called from bondage to freedom
So why don’t you ask him what he thinksAugust 18, 2022 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #2116502
that’s Rabbi Twerski’s haggadah. Absolutely one of my favorites.August 18, 2022 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #2116549
Even if this was one of rabbi twerskys small books, he did what i said he did. Was that an overarching theme in his other books? Well, if syag would say no, it’s not, and XYZ was his mahalach, then we wouldn’t have to get personal and have a squabble over it. Even if it’s a small part of his methods, how am i not justified in saying that that particular method is not mesorah-based and i believe it to be an error?
I didn’t rely on second hand info, or “what people say”, or whatnot. I read something of his which i disagree with. So sue me.
If these books have helped you in your personal life, then like i said, it’s a net positive. My opinions shouldn’t matter to you. I’m not saying it’s assur to do what he says, or that it’s apikorsus, even if you were to take my opinion to heart. If it works, it works. Being pragmatic in mussar has a mesorah too.August 18, 2022 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #2116558
“he did what i said he did”
No, he did not. Which is what you are not willing to accept because you refuse to doubt yourself. I don’t really care what beliefs you have until you are making false claims about someone who is much greater in learning and especially when what you are saying is based on something he never said.
“Even if it’s a small part of his methods, how am i not justified in saying that that particular method is not mesorah-based and i believe it to be an error?”
Because you never have the anivus to actually say that!!. Besides being incorrect, you have never lowered your self to say those words. You repeatedly say ‘he erred’ an anav or baal middos says, “if I am understanding correctly, I believe it to be an error”. We have done this many times and you have always been incapable or unwilling to display this anivus. That should worry you. That is a dreadful character trait. If it is not just an online persona and it really is yours than you should be alerted and alarmed.August 18, 2022 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm #2116577
“that’s Rabbi Twerski’s haggadah. Absolutely one of my favorites.“
Correct, I got confused but rabbi Taub did come out with a Haggadah it’s called four cupsAugust 18, 2022 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #2116590
I think I start understanding the nature of aviras objections: he doesn’t allow anyone outside of people he approves of to produce an original thought, or to apply Torah to a new situation. He trusts his teachers and up to their teachers so on up to Moshe rabbeinu. Anyone outside of his mesorah chain is a suspect apikoires. I thought he had something against modern or chabad but it seems to be a way to preserve his traditions from corruption.
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