Category Archives: Individualism and Empathy

A Fragile Balance

Alex Braver
November 18, 2013

As an overworked, overscheduled, and overtired rabbinical student, I hear a lot about “self-care” from my teachers and classmates. People–like rabbinical students–who go into the “helping professions” often have a tendency to want to give and give and give, to feel responsible for helping others at the expense of their own well-being. Sometimes, saying no More »

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A reflection on multivocality and empathy

Lauren Henderson
November 15, 2013

Last year in Israel, I was part of the Encounter Leadership Seminar, where we as future Jewish leaders worked on becoming productive agents of change around the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  I spent time in the West Bank, including Hebron, Ramallah, and Bethlehem, and also in East Jerusalem, and I listened to stories.  I heard Palestinian narratives More »

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Tourist Eyes

Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler
November 14, 2013

I took this photograph when I was in high school, on a “Jewish Heritage Trip to New York City”. Now twenty years later, this image is all I think of when I remember that trip. As a 16-year old visiting New York, this man (and the flurry of city movement behind him) was a “site” More »

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Empathy and the “Jewish Science”

Cheryl Goldstein
November 13, 2013

It has always been clear to me that, despite Freud’s reservations, psychoanalysis is a “Jewish science.” This “Jewishness” doesn’t stem from Freud’s religious practice (about which much ink and time has been spent), but from a Jewish sensibility that pervades the psychoanalytic endeavor as a whole. On a structural level, Freud’s method of dream interpretation More »

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Perils of Empathy

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
November 11, 2013

Hannibal Buress, one of the great stand-up comedians working today, says, “I don’t believe in cancer walks.  Well, I believe in them, because they exist but I’d rather just give money straight up and save my Saturday afternoon.  I can make my own t-shirt, that’s not incentive.  Plus, I don’t think cancer responds to how More »

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Not Me or We

Rabbi Sara Brandes
November 8, 2013

The essential divide between world religions is often reduced to one thing – me or we? Is the path to enlightenment, and by extension, to human salvation found by paying the closest of attention to the self or the other?  The framing of this month’s issue accepts this dichotomy. I do not. As a Jewish More »

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Of Stomachs and Open Hearts

Rabbi Joshua Bolton
November 5, 2013

I’m always so overwhelmed — though never surprised — to find God’s voice hidden in the almost secret acts of strangers. The other morning I was on the subway and learned some very powerful Torah that I want to share. Us passengers were startled by a wild-eyed man who burst into the train car yelling. His More »

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