Rabbi Abraham Twerski has encouraging words regarding the current situation in Israel. The well-respected psychologist, and author of numerous books spoke on Israel National Radio's Derech Eretz Hour with Rabbi Elan Adler. He also spoke about his thoughts on self esteem and positive attitude both within a Jewish context and in general.
For the full podcast click here.
"We do not have the option of losing our hope because that would be total defeat," stated the doctor. "In our history we've gone through some very difficult times. We have survived everything. Mighty empires that never left their land, that were controlling whole sections of the world are now historical relics and now only found in archeology. Whereas we were a tiny people driven from our homeland -- expulsion after expulsion, inquisitions, pogroms and then the Holocaust and then here we are. We're struggling, but we're surviving and our enemies cannot possibility tolerate that."
He added, "our hearts are with everyone in Israel. The several thousand miles that separate us are really nothing. The other night, the moment Shabbat was over, I ran to the internet to see what was happening in Israel. We are one people."
Rabbi Twerski also spoke about his upbringing and personal inspiration from his family. "My father was a chassidic Rebbe whose door was always open," Rabbi Twerski stated. But he found that in modern times being a rabbi often meant concentrating on officiating life cycle ceremonies and leading services and less of the one-on-one counseling he saw his father take pride in.
Rabbi Twerski ended up going to medical school and studying psychiatry, "and here I am 50 years later," he stated.
There are about 60 different books published by Abraham Twerski. Among them are Angels Don't Leave Foots Prints, A Practical Guide to Rabbinic Counseling, Living Each Day, and his latest, Without a Job, Who Am I? However Dr. Twerski has an interesting take on his prolific writings.
"I never wrote 60 books," he commented, "I wrote one book in 60 different ways." He elaborated by saying, "The thing I write about constantly is the need for self awareness and self esteem. I believe that unless a person has made an effort to get to know the real self and build up a true self esteem then most people in one way or another suffer from negative feelings -- beating themselves down, punishing themselves, not living up to their potential. Except for difficulties that are psychological in nature, all psychological problems have at least a strong component of people who have unwarranted inferior negative feelings about themselves."
For the full interview including Rabbi Twerski's attitude about the internet, additions and being "menschlichkeit" download the Derech Eretz Hour with Rabbi Elan Adler by clicking here.
Rabbi Elan Adler hosts the Derech Eretz Hour live every week. Expect to smile and enjoy this hour dedicated to discussing and promoting Derech Eretz, being a Mensch, having Shalom between us and among us, and polishing our character in manners, courtesy, kindness and compassion. The podcast airs live Sundays from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Israel time, 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. US Eastern Time. For mp3 archives click here.