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14

R' Moshe Feinstein ruled that people are culpable for acts committed under hypnosis if there is reason to believe that the hypnotist wouldn't be beyond suggesting to the person to behave improperly (Igros Moshe, YD 3:44). This is comparable to someone that goes to sleep near fragile items and breaks them in his sleep (Tos. Bava Kamma 4a, s.v. Keivan). To ...


10

I just remembered that I do know the answer to this question. In Eruvin 54, much advice is given on the topic, including: Learn out-loud -- Rabbi Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda: "Open your mouth when you learn written or oral Torah, in order that you will remember it and live a long time." Also, Rabbi Yitzhok said, "Torah is close to you when it is [audible] ...


10

The Darkei Tshuva discusses it. He quotes the Bnei Tzion (Siman 67) who was asked if one was allowed to do a procedure that he called "Magnetization", where one is put to sleep, and in his sleep the person would tell of events occurring far away, and of events occurring privately (in other words, Hypnosis). Being that according to nature it would be strange ...


9

Very similar to the Downs question. Rambam says you have to see each case in-person to call these shots. Basically, if someone lacks the consciousness or control to perform a given mitzvah, they're not obligated in it. (This is called "a shoteh for one thing.") It's possible for someone to, G-d forbid, have an eating disorder such that there is really no ...


8

Horiyos 13b - olive oil is good for the memory. Also dipping the fourth finger in salt prior to Birchas haMazan and licking off the salt. Yerushalmi Brachos Chapter 5 Halacha 1 - learning inside a Sefer is good for the memory. Otzar Segulos page 9 - saying Zicharon L'Maaseh Braishis at Kiddush having in mind to help your memory. Chagiga 9b learning 101 ...


8

The Tif'eres Yisra'el (Bo'az, Avos 1:15) gives five points for success in learning and improving the memory: Not to learn lazily (lying down, leaning, or eating when learning), and not to concentrate on things other than learning. A person should learn out loud to fix this. The gemara tells a story of someone who learned quietly and forgot all his learning ...


8

The question also appears in the responsa of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Yoreh Deah 3:44 thanks blockhead), asked way back in the 1950s. He writes that he spoke with someone who knows what hypnotism is; then consulted with Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin. Neither of them saw it as prohibited; the human mind is a complicated thing, and if using whatever mechanism ...


8

From Nefesh HaRav p233 "They asked our rabbi (R' Soloveitchik) if it is permitted for one to undergo hypnotism not for the sake of healing rather just for fun and games. Our rabbi answered that this is forbidden. Then they asked what sort of prohibition is involved in it? And our rabbi answered that is it "shtus" -- stupid -- and it is forbidden to be ...


6

It would likely depend on the specific individual, but generally a low functional IQ does not render someone a halachic shoteh ("insane" or "irrational.") I assume that was your question about Down Syndrome was effectively asking about a low IQ. We have the concept of oness Rachmana patrei, G-d does not hold us accountable for what's truly beyond our ...


6

Likely you are thinking about the Ramban's conclusion to his Hilchot Niddah (9:25): ומדיני החציצה לא טוב היות האדם מחמיר יותר מדאי ומחפש אחר הספיקות לפסול טבילתה בדבר הקל, כי אם כן אין לדבר סוף, אלא אחר שחפפה ראשה וסרקה במסרק וחפפה ורחצה כל גופה בחמין ונזהרה לבלתי תגע בשום דבר חוצץ ותעשה טבילתה בפשיטות איבריה וכל גופה, לא יכניס אדם ראשו בספיקות החמורות ...


5

Yad Efraim Yoreh Deah 36:14 discusses the trauma of chickens seeing other chickens slaughtered. He says that this causes the chickens much distress and they become treifos from their lungs drying out from fear. He also says that in slaughter houses, animals should not be slaughtered in plain view of other animals because it is Tzaar Baalei Chaim. He ...


5

RS quoted a fascinating Gemara above, however there are a lot of ways it's interpreted. Don't get started on trying to psychologically diagnose "sort of kind of pikuach nefesh", unless you're a trained professional or it's clear this person is a danger to themselves or others (at which point you need to call in the professionals). Let's try and break down ...


5

For starters, JONAH has been the subject of allegations of malpractice & sexual abuse. Before that even gets into the picture, however, the entire idea that homosexuality is a curable ailment is highly suspect. From Psychology Today: "Most professional psychologists view reparative therapy skeptically, to say the least. In 2007 the American ...


4

See this letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe regarding LSD: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/848022/jewish/Can-Hallucinogenics-Aid-Spirituality.htm He argues that one may only take drugs that are necessary for one's health, and that it is better to seek spiritual stimulation through learning chassidus. I would add that since there are real ...


4

The following story is from Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Echoes of the Maggid. It is one of my favorites. I believe that those that are imperfect are here in order for us to perfect ourselves. A young boy, Shaya, attends a special school during the week, Chush, for learning-disabled children. He loves baseball, but because of his lack of coordination isn't ...


4

I believe that the notion of guilt is one used as a stereotypical aspect of a variety of cultures -- often associated with strong female character (maternal guilt). It plays off of a number of other traits (communal or familial responsibility, a sense of tradition, high expectations etc.) In Judaism, many of these other aspects are present and if you mix in ...


4

The word מוח only turns up once in Tanakh anyway (Job 21:24). It means "marrow". Onkelos translates קדקוד in Deut 28:35 as מוח, and we see it with a similar meaning ("brain", and the membrane around the brain) in the early rabbinic literature. The fact that it's not mentioned in the Tanakh can be due to their either having a different word for the same ...


3

We are commanded to love Hashem with all our heart, all our soul and all our might. (First paragraph of the Shma.) Clearly, we need to serve Hashem with all parts of ourselves -- our bodies, our minds, and our emotions. It is not easy to change our emotions, just as it not easy to refrain from sins. But the ideal is that our head rules over our heart. We ...


3

Not sure if this answers your question, but here are a few anecdotes: A central thesis of the Tanya is that a "super-righteous person" will never even have thoughts occurring to them to do bad things. A "normal" person will occasionally have such thoughts, and then not act on them. It's acknowledged that not everyone's role is to be a "super-righteous ...


3

I have heard anecdotally that these types of individuals (as well as children who die in infancy) posses souls that have been reincarnated in order to achieve a very slight thing that was omitted in a previous gilgul (soul-incarnation). God always gives people the tools they need to achieve their goals in this world, therefore if God gave these people less ...


3

None of G-d's creations exist for no reason. As Rabbi Akiva's teacher, Rabbi Nachum Ish Gam Zu, taught him, gam zu l'tovah -- everything is for the (Divine) Good. What that is, we don't always know. When trouble happens to us, individually, it may be a message from G-d. Talmud Bavli Berachot 5a tells us that when hard times falls on us, individually, we ...


2

See this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guilt_society and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shame_society They aren't really good articles, but they explain the point. Judging from what you wrote in a comment: "if you do not measure up to your familial responsibility or tradition" I suspect you come from a Shame society, since responsibility coming from your ...


2

Introductory Note of Clarification: Parts of the answer (below) that are critical, are not directed at the questioner, but rather to some people who jump to conclusions about whether another person has (or likely has) OCD - often based on faulty premises or a lack of context concerning the other individuals behaviors or perceived behaviors: It is good that ...


1

Are w talking about married asexuals, or unmarried? Lemaise, we haven't been concerned about making unmarried people fulfill prvi irvi since, when, centuries at least? The Remu says that we don't. Married aces, OK. (And yes, there are plenty of them, some of them married to other aces, and some married to sexuals.) If the woman is ace, it should be entirely ...


1

Obviously, such a person should have a discussion with a mental health professional just to make sure they understand what's going on and how to cope with everything in their life. Similarly, when seriously dating s/he should make clear to a prospective spouse what to expect in this relationship. People can work out all sorts of things. (Maybe he can find a ...


1

There is a distinct difference between suffering from OCD and being religiously meticulous. Someone repeating words in prayer over and over again is not fulfilling the requirement to pray, and is very likely violating the prohibition of saying G-d's name in vain. Someone who is washing over and over again is in danger of hurting his or her hands and could ...


1

It seems that many OCD sufferers' (regardless of what they obsess over) don't realize that they OCD'ing. They will usually give many 'excuses' and 'hidden reasons' for why it's not OCD. When someone that we care about has a problem we try to help them, but the problem gets compounded when the person doesn't even realize that anything is wrong. In this ...


1

I think it's important to shed light on the important issue of whether homosexuals can "change" to become the heterosexuals that Hashem intended them to be. As Co-Director of JONAH, I chose to submit the paragraphs shown below which were written by a therapist who is not associated with JONAH, but who has counseled men and women with unwanted same-sex ...


1

I personally know of a case where a man was convinced he is Moshiach, and his wife wanted a divorce and most Rabbis said that he is a Shoteh and can not give a divorce. However after HaRav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal met him he said that he is not a Shoteh and may give a divorce, and gave a letter to the lady that he determined that her previous husband was not a ...



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