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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 ...


11

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 ...


9

In the introduction to his commentary on Masekhet Avot (Shemonah Peraqim), chapter five, the Rambam says (in Shmuel ibn Tibbon's translation): והוא הדין מי שהתרגשה עליו מרה שחורה, ועמד והסירה בשמיעת הניגונים ובמיני הזמר, ובטיול בגינות ובבניינים נאים, ובישיבה עם צורות נאות וכיוצא בדברים שמרחיבים הנפש ומסירים הרהוריו הקודרים ממנה.‏ In an English ...


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 ...


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 ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


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 ...


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


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

I believe that sometimes with nervous habits such as this one may be able to direct the energy into a more "parve" habit. Its possible that with focus tapping you fingers, perhaps quietly on your legs so as not to disturb others, may help someone not bother with their nails as much.


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

Getting divorced would NOT serve as any halachic basis for an abortion. Life is something of the greatest value and should not be looked upon lightly at all. It is exceedingly important that no one misinterpret halacha to try and "allow" for an abortion when it's forbidden (and a major sin). The baby - who is unable to speak and defend himself - is the true ...


5

Shmirat Shabbat C'hilchatah, 33:16: מי שמצטער הרבה מחוסר שינה, מותר לו לקחת כדורי-שינה. Someone who suffers greatly from lack of sleep (insomnia) is allowed to take sleeping pills. (my translation) If even sleeping pills are allowed, some tea should certainly be OK.


4

It's important to distinguish between someone who is suffering from OCD and someone who is being religiously meticulous. Someone repeating words in prayer over and over again is not fulfilling the requirement to pray, and such a person is very likely violating the prohibition of saying G-d's name in vain. Someone who is washing over and over again is in ...


4

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 ...


4

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 ...


4

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 ...


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

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

Mentally ill individuals are known as a shoteh. People who are classified as such are exempt from all mitzvot obligations. (Chagiga 2b) However, determining whether a person is a shoteh must be done on a case-by-case basis. Please see Who is a Shoteh? and the sources below for more information. In particular, As a result of this characterization of ...


3

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

BSD Firstly I would like to preface that anything I say should be taken on case by case basis. As one who is an Orthdox Jew and has a history of dealing with medium to mild OCD, I can only provide suggestions from my own personal experience, so dont take this post as scripture. Your Question: Should we intervene with someone who has OCD. The answer is ...



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