TORAH PSYCHOLOGY
OR
PSYCHOLOGY THAT USES TORAH

Welcome to the Torah psychology site. The site is first and foremost an invitation to begin a conversation about ideas how religion and helping people are connected. Hopefully psychologists, social workers, teachers, counselors, Rabbis and others will take part. Need they be religious? Definitely not. Need they Jewish? Definitely not. The site is open to people who work with people and think, worry about, or relate to the issues of religion (the therapists’ or the clients’) and how religious laws and a religious world view can/should influence the helping process.

This site is not intended to be an academic exercise or to prove there is only ‘one way’, but rather to call attention to significant issues in the helping process. The sites working assumption is that it is imperative to combine a concrete real Torah/religious view of man with a selective highly judgmental use of psychological knowledge and techniques. What evolves from this careful combination of two very diverse worlds is a morally correct model that is both effective and efficient in the helping process.

The author of the site has worked as a secular therapist, a therapist who is Jewish, and during the last 10 years or so as a Religious therapist. That personal evolution is what created the idea for the site and its present title.

The sites title has three major ideas it in. Short limited definitions are offered to help clarify the ideas and to further our discussion.

Torah: Gods plan for the understanding and betterment of Man as embodied by the scriptures and commentaries of the Sages - three thousand years of implementation and experimentation, discussions, evolution, law, and the study of truth.

Psychology: A secular plan for the understanding and betterment of Man as embodied by the theories and commentaries of secular philosophers and scientists - - 150 years of discussion, evolution, implementation and world views of man.

Which is first: Imagine a Babushka, the Russian dolls that contains similar but smaller dolls inside. Each time you open the doll there is another one inside. In real life a persons belief system is built like this -- A system of beliefs nested one within the other. The larger the doll - the belief - the more it shapes the smaller one. Torah is the first one that encompasses the rest. The others conform to the first and are shaped by the original form. Thus Torah shapes and determines the acceptability of the smaller secular systems that are used to bring Torah to its goals. Our use of economics, medicine, teaching skills are examples of smaller supplementary systems.

 

Usually translated into English as ‘BIBLE’ but it refers here to Religion or Religious.

This term is used generically and includes all the mental health professions: psychiatry, social work, teachers, counselors, Rabbis, psychologists and the myriad of informal helpers of people in distress.

Please send us your comments to TorahPsychology@shemayisrael.co.il