Rabbi Twerski: Letters To My Children
I COULD and will, at some point, blog about the fact that Fred has been suspended three days in the past month (and had another major incident that didn’t lead to suspension), and that these incidents didn’t lead to a new FBA/BIP before suspension and that I’ve got an emergency IEP meeting coming where I’ll ask for a one on one aide for him (and likely be told no)…. but I’m truly not in the mood. I wasn’t GOING to blog during this get ready for Pesach kind of week, but my 10:00 pm Sunday phone appointment got rescheduled for tomorrow, and the rest of the house is asleep, so…… I choose to blog about Rabbi Twerski. I’ve been wanting to share snippets of my favorite books on this blog and bit by bit I will.
These snippets are from Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.’s “Letters To My Children”. Things I want to remember and refer back to.
The Incident of The Whirlpool: As a medical director of a psych hospital, Rabbi Twerski was on constant call. He had a two week vacation and decided on Hot Springs, Arkansas— no sight-seeing, no adventures, just REST. He got into a whirlpool bath, and sat for…. five minutes. He was told that the treatment was twenty five minutes. He could not tolerate the peace and quiet and being alone with himself for more than five minutes. “In your whirlpool, you were deprived of all possible diversions. There was nothing to read, nothing to watch, nothing to listen to, and no one to talk to. Being stripped of all diversions, you were left in the immediate company of yourself. You were alone in a tiny room with someone you don’t like very much. No wonder you were miserable.” (negative self worth)
“I have often said, only half in jest, that there are four essentials to human life: 1) food and water, 2) clothing, 3) shelter, and 4) someone to blame.” (accepting responsibility)
“…The salesman saw that the peasant had put the suit on over his farmer’s clothes and said, ‘My friend, you have to take off your old clothes. No suit will fit properly if you wear it on top of your old clothes.’ We might wonder why we have difficulty achieving an enduring simchah. It is because we are trying to put it on top of our former concept of simchah. …….. we may better understand simchah by contrasting it with its opposite. the opposite of simchah is despair.” (on simchah)
“R’ Samson Raphael Hirsch made an important observation. R’ Hirsch, among others, contends that when two Hebrew words are similar, their meanings are somehow related. The words samei’ach (happiness) and tzomei’ach (growth) are almost identical. This means that simchah requires growth. There is a seed of simchah within every person that can be developed into happiness, but like a delicate plant, it must be cared for and given adequate water and nutrition. Only then can it sprout.” (on simchah)
His third grade teacher speaking with him years later….. “Then I said to your mother, ‘Mrs. Twerski, I was sure that you were going to reprimand me for putting Abraham in that play.’ Your mother said, ‘If what we have given him at home is not strong enough to resist the effects of a non-Jewish holiday play, then we have totally failed’.” (on public school– resistance to non Jewish influences)
More to come— this is a great book.