16

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] ...


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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


12

Here are some ideas. Many are not my own, but are copied or adapted from others. If you can't or won't quit completely: If you can't or won't quit completely, then you may want to at least reduce your pornography usage gradually. The "StayFocusd" Google Chrome extension, or one of its competitors, may help. If you'd like to quit completely: You can ...


11

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

The Talmud in Bava Kama 91a talks about inducing panic in someone -- "our courts can't charge the person, but Heaven will take him to task." I would assume the same would apply here, at first glance. (I'm not well-read on the halachic literature on the subject.) The classical examples of charging for embarrassment involve physical actions such as spitting ...


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

Fine yourself 50 dollars (to be paid to tzedaka) for each time you view pornography, enforced with a neder (vow), and with a maximum of 100 dollars per day. Make a condition that the neder be valid only if you remember it beforehand and that it is valid for one or two weeks only. (You can renew it after.) You'll squash the habit in no time. However, this ...


8

Rabbi Bodner (Halachos of Refuah on Shabbos) writes (page 242) that insomnia is classified as a מיחוש בעלמא, an "ailment" that isn't serious. (though if someone suspects that they suffer from chronic insomnia, they should see a sleep specialist after Shabbos) The rules for מיחוש בעלמא are found in chapter 1 of that work; the most basic rule being that one ...


8

In general, the Torah is not so concerned and doesn't judge how people feel or what their desires are. It is mainly concerned in how we act. Nowhere does the Torah consider feelings for same-sex people to be a prohibition. But the Torah is concerned about actions and as is well known homosexual male intercourse is forbidden. The gmara in Kiddushin 40a ...


6

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 "...


6

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 ...


6

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 ...


6

Marry a wife Pele Yoetz (here) says it helps with sin Seifer Hachinuch (mitzva 582.2) explains that the reason of the Mitvzah that after the first year of marriage you need to be happy with your wife is that you should (get use to her, since you like what you are use to and) and to make **all other woman disgusting for you ** (I guess this will include ...


6

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

Shmirat Shabbat K'hilchatah 33:16 writes: 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 for someone who suffers greatly from insomnia, then some tea should certainly be OK.


6

The Chofetz Chaim writes in a note to the fifth detail of permissible Lashon Hara in Hilchos Lashon Hara 10:14 אפשר דהוא הדין אם כוונתו בסיפורו להפיג את דאגתו מלבו - הוי כמכוון לתועלת על להבא, [ולפי זה מה שאמרו ז"ל, דאגה בלב איש ישיחנה לאחרים, קאי גם על ענין כזה]. אך שיזהר שלא יחסרו שאר הפרטים שבסעיף זה" It is possible that the same [allowance] ...


6

In terms of actual prohibitions: 1- Male homosexual sex is prohibited to both Jew, and under the covenant G-d made with Noah, to non-Jews as well. 2- Male homosexual intimacy that is not prohibited under #1 is prohibited to Jews under the same kinds of laws that prohibit masturbation. 3- At least some forms of female homosexual sex if not all are ...


6

Like many other beliefs, Judaism doesn't have a clear opinion on the matter, but individual Jews do. Rashi, for example, believed in demons and gives that explanation of ruah raah in Eruvin 45b s.v. ruah ra'ah. Accordingly, Saul's possession by the ruah raah (I Samuel 16:14) would be a demonic possession. However, like most other things, there is not a ...


6

A very relevant passage is Nidda (47a) which relates that Sh'muel, examined the body of his slave, to better understand the maturity process and at which point bagrut is achieved. He then paid her 400 zuz to compensate her for the indignity. He explained that the Torah allows one to work a slave; not to embarrass her. It seems that compensation was ...


5

Someone with Downs who cannot understand the mitzvah in question would be a pesi. A shoteh is someone incapable of choosing right over wrong. The Rambam may have blamed that on an inability to comprehend, but more modern psychological theories would attribute it to impulse control, an inability to relate to consequences, and psychiatric rather than ...


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

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 ...


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