Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Dragging Drag

There are some people that always seem to get themselves dragged into all kinds of things that have nothing to do with them. They could be dragged into a discussion or an argument that has nothing to do with them. And, if you ask them why they are getting so involved, they may say that they’re just “curious” by nature, or that they just want “to help” others, or that they just feel so passionate about the issue. In some religious circles, people may even justify their intrusiveness due their “commitment” to finding “the truth” - so they get themselves dragged into all types of nasty controversies that also have nothing to do with them.

Then there are other kinds of people who get dragged off into excessive fantasy land and find it difficult to concentrate and pay attention to what’s going on around them. They don’t know when they are having real thoughts of imaginary thoughts. Then there are people who get dragged into speaking too much. I’m talking about the kind of person who literally can’t stop talking no matter how many times people hint to him to give it a rest or tell him outright: “be quiet already!”

Still, there are other people who find themselves being dragged away by their eyes that look at forbidden sights or dragged away by their stomachs to eat what they shouldn’t eat. There are those who are being dragged into doing excessive chesed (acts of kindness) that go beyond their healthy capacity to give; there are people who are being dragged into learning too much or who are learning subjects that are above their capacity to understand. Then there are those who get dragged into excessive exercise and health concerns; those who are being dragged by the internet, by improper desires, by compulsive shopping, gambling, pic-pocketing – you name it!  There is an endless list of emotions, behaviors, object and “goals” that can literally drag a person down. Some people simply get dragged down by mimicking their surroundings and doing whatever they see happening in “society” or in others’ around them.

Our Rabbis have been studying the full gamut of human emotions and behaviors for thousands of years. It’s astounding to me, that the more I delve into what our great Rabbis have written about the soul and the human personality, the more I realize why secular ideas can’t help us at all. The secular view is like looking at the outermost branches of a tree and mistaking the branches for the tree itself. Our Rabbis have written about compulsivity, and impulsivity, and difficulties that people can have in paying attention and concentrating – all from their understanding of the inner-most roots of the Jewish soul – only they can teach us how the human being can perfect his thoughts, feelings and actions. Continue here...

I will be giving a live lesson today on "Why we get hurt" and other topics. I hope you'll be able to join me at 5pm Israel time at:

Have a wonderful day!
Dr. Zev