Simon Yisrael Feuerman, a psychotherapist in New Jersey, is director of The New Center for Advanced Psychotherapy Studies. He is also author of the Yiddish novelYankel and Leah.
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God and Spock in Space

For many, a new Star Trek series is an event of quasi-religious significance. For me, it’s a reminder of an actual religious awakening, brought on by one wise Vulcan.

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Sacrificing My Childhood

My father taught me Talmud as a boy—whether I wanted to learn it or not

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Lessons in Love

I spent years searching for romance, without success, until my grandfather and my rebbe showed me just how simple it could be

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My Crushes on Rabbis

My youthful admiration for religious teachers, and my desire to please and even emulate them, ultimately helped me connect with myself as a Jewish adult

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Lost and Found. And Lost Again.

My mother’s terrifying fear of losing me started with her fear of being lost herself

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An Inaugural Dispensation

Why Jared and Ivanka’s anonymously granted Shabbat exemption is problematic

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The Days of Early Minyans

Every fall and winter, as sundown comes earlier, the nature of ‘mincha’—when Jews gather to say the afternoon prayers—changes

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The Season of Prayer, Repentance, and Psychotherapy

During the High Holidays, many Jews turn to their rabbis with questions about God. But others seek their answers on the couch.

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When the Bronx Was Burning

As a child accompanying my father to funerals in the 1970s, I witnessed the death of the borough’s Jewish community, one person at a time

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The Center of My Life

When is a father’s attention too much for a son to bear?

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The Little Girl Who Wanted a Dog for Hanukkah

Her parents didn’t want her to have a dog. Or maybe they just didn’t want her to want something they didn’t want themselves.

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It’s the Messiah, Charlie Brown

My father taught me that a Jew waits. And so I wait, out here in the pumpkin patch.

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When Shabbes Is the Longest Day

If I wanted my daughter to learn to love the Sabbath, I had to bend my own rules just a little

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The Lives We Never Lived

Imagining a different, less-observant life confirms that I’ve made the right choices for myself

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Lifting More Than Just Weights

Entering a weightlifting contest challenged everything I was raised to value

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On Purim, Remembering Not to Forget

Memory, continuity, and a grandfather’s curious New York Times ritual

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When Modern Medicine Fails, an Old Folktale Offers Comfort

My father used to bristle at a family legend about putting one’s life in God’s hands. Now he has come around—and so have I.

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Why Jews Were Drawn to the Civil Rights Battle

It was a moral imperative, but it also fueled a different urgency among Jews

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Gelt Complex: A Tale of Two Zaydes

One grandfather gave lavish Hanukkah gifts, the other single dollar bills. The reasons stretch back to the Old Country.

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Discovering the Lust in a Religious Man’s Heart

When I found pornography in my Talmudic mentor’s desk, I felt betrayed. What did it say about him—or about all of us?

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Finding an Unlikely Serenity at Yiddish Vokh

Annual retreat draws a diverse group with a love for the Jewish language

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People Who Secretly Love Feeling Miserable on Tisha B’Av

The holiday gives us permission to mourn for many things, personal and communal, that we avoid discussing the rest of the year

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My Arranged Marriage—to the Torah

On Shavuot, as Jews commemorate our marriage to God at Sinai, I look back on the commitment I made as a young man

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A Congregation Can Be Like a Family—for Better, and for Worse

I pray with angry, damaged, and difficult men. I stay because they’re like my brothers. And because sometimes they change.

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My First Tough Mudder Competition

The grueling physical challenge was everything my DNA says I should avoid

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Remember the Often Invisible Non-Jews Who Help the Jewish World Function

We tend to overlook the gentiles who keep synagogues running. As we begin the Torah anew, let’s acknowledge our debt to them.

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Facing the Naked Truth About My Father’s Declining Health, and What It Means for Me

When I was young, my father cared for me. Now he’s old and needs my help, but can I really provide it?

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Living in a Material World

Rabbis have long tried to persuade us of the benefits of parting with some of our money. Are we listening?

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The Last Kaddish

Mourning for my mother saw me through anger, doubt, and numbness—and brought me closer to her

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Burying a Man of Mystery

By giving a stranger a proper funeral, my community did a mitzvah. What if he wasn’t actually Jewish?

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