Anything about JUDAISM
Anything about JUDAISM
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simcha613 Posted - 19 May 2008 23:50
I'm still young (only 21) and still in Yeshiva but I can't help thinking about careers. I'm torn between going into chinuch, rabanus, or clinical psychology. I plan on going to semicha at RIETS regardless be"H... but I'm not sure what to do career wise. My two main questions are which one can I do better (which you can't really help me on) and what does the frum community (modern/centrist orthodox right, yeshivish, and charedi) need more? So basically my question is... what do you think the frum community needs more... a rebbe or a frum psychologist?
wannabe Posted - 23 May 2008 20:10
omg i totally have the same question- whats better, a teacher or a therapist? k im waiting to hear what people have to say on this one...
U.S. Posted - 23 May 2008 20:10
I would imagine this is the same dilemma Rabbi/Doctor Twerski (who I think is AMAZING) had to go through. In my opinion, why not do both!?!
satinsword13 Posted - 02 June 2008 16:40
rebbi. totally. so many people whoi nmeed therapists just need a good rebbi. and theres more of a shortage of good rebbis than good therapists.
torahtemima Posted - 04 June 2008 0:05
The frum community needs both, especially frum male psychologists. The frum community desperately needs more psychologists who are willing to deal with teens. I hear it's hard to find a frum therapist who's willing to deal with teenage girls, they tend to be the hardest and most sensitive age.
If you have a degree, you can easily be a Rebbe as well, and get more money that way. If you live in Eretz Yisrael, you will probably be paid according to your level of education.
thinkingitover Posted - 11 June 2008 23:20
really torahtemima?
i mean, where i live, there are many more male frum therapists than female, and they're all willing to deal with teens - both girls and boys.
i guess i should be counting my brachos...
Torah=MayimChayim Posted - 13 June 2008 13:17
The focuses are very different. The Rebbi is one who is steeped in Torah all day long, and he deals with people based on Torah knowledge. He gives eitzos, yes, but his primary role is learning Torah. A psychologist focuses primarily on "giving eitzos"--although those eitzos are based on a well-established science instead of directly from the Torah (although there can be overlap, which is a different discussion). He must be in constant contact with rebbeim to make sure he is acting b'derech HaTorah, but the focus is never going to be the same as a rebbe.

As far as which role you should adopt, the question is difficult. Like you said, I can't help you decide what you would be better at. And you can see there's already a difference in opinions based on whether there is a greater need for rebbeim or psychologists (I vote for psychologists, but maybe I'm biased as a psych major myself :-)).

I think that the biggest difference between the professions is your audience. As a Rabbi, you'd have a community of mostly adults asking for your eitzah. If you were in chinuch, those would mostly be children and their parents. If you were a psychologist, they could be either children or adults who are coming to you not for eitzah, but for treatment (like going to a doctor).

The frum community is not going to benefit from a person adopting a certain type of position. The frum community is going to benefit from a person adopting a position in which he will best be able to perform. I say you focus on what you can do first, and then worry about the needs of the community.

Hope that helps!

MODERATOR Posted - 13 June 2008 13:46
My advice is, unless the financial aspect is your consideration, to become a rebbi. Two reasons:

1) A psychologist learns and disseminates secular knowledge; a Rebbi learns ans disseminates Torah. Therefore, its more spiritually profitable to be a rebbi; and

2) Psychologists have great nisyonos in halacha and hashkafa that even frum practitioners are nichshal in regularly. Being in constant contact with a rav is not enough; you need to be able to know on your own (a) what material you are learning is against the Torah's beliefs (and there will be many), (b) disbelieve those teachings (this, in my experience with frum psychologists is the hardest part) and (c) know wherre there is a shailah to ask your rav.

FlippedOutFish Posted - 15 June 2008 18:17
If you have the hava amina to be a Rebbi and or can be a Rebbi. Then i would say you have
to be a Rebbi and that should be your choice.

Assuming that you want to be the best eved hashem you can be here is 21 reasons to become a Rebbi instead of a Physcologist:

1)A rebbi when hes in action usually would be learning torah all day a therapist would not.
2)By studying to become a rebbi or therapist, a Rebbi learns torah and a therapist does not.
3)A Rebbi would usually see things through the realms of Torah and daas torah and makes his decisions usually through daas torah.As the Stiepler said Daas Torah is when you ask a kollelman who has been learning all day for countless hours and then if u ask him a wuestion his response will probably be daas torah.
4)A Rebbi focuses on being a "transmitter" of our mesorah and torah hakedosha and a shrink/ or therapist does not. This reason is for ur own sake not just society.
5)A Rebbi would solely seek to help someone because he wants to help him be a better eved hashem a therapist even a frum one usually would think to solve a "problem" even at the little cost of certain aspects in avodat hashem.
6)A Rebbi will KNOW more torah than a therapist in the long run.Yedias hatorah will be present in a Rebbi much more than a therapist.
7)Learning Torah itself changes a person's middos and personality under the framework of Torah.If you want to connect to someone and help them the best way you will learn how to connect the best way possible from how rabbanim and how Gedolim connected to their talmidim or people.How come Gedolim gave the best eitzos not physcologists.
8)By being a Rebbi you would most probably have to know certain halachos and study halacha so that you would gety semicha or lead people who beseech halachic help.If one becomes a therapist most probably he would not know the same amount of halacha a Rebbi knows.(This reason is a seperate maala from the reason i mentioned of having "yedias hatorah").
9)By being a therapist one will have to read secular material which is bitul torah if you could have been learning Torah.
10)Secular material which will take time and effort training youre mind to think physcologically that wont help youre avodat hashem compared to what Torag will do for you.
11)Everyone is obligated to become a Gadol btorah as Reb Moshe paskens in teshuvos Yorah Deah Cheleck 3 Siman 82.By being a Rebbi you up youre chances to become a Gadol btorah.By being a therapist you reduce it.
12)By becoming a Rebbi one will be in the "seviva" the crowd of people who will also want to do everything lshem shamayim or who will also be Rabbanim.This reason applies when you will get semicha to become a Rebbi and when you are a Rebbi you will be dealing with Rabbanim who will be a good chevra which will enhance youre avodat hashem purposes.
13)By becoming a Rebbi and not a therpaist not only will the types of people you will interact with will be more for youre spiritual health but also the actual surroundings and the places you will be in.By being a Rebbi you will most likely be in a bais medrash most of the time when studying to become one and in practice.A therapist will not study in a makom torah or a beis medrash he will go to college and study his material not in a makom torah.
14)To help our society we need more Rebbi's not therapists if you wanted to help society like you said then by being a Rebbi society will improve because there will be more limud hatorah and there will be more harbatzat hatorah.(This reason is not the same as 4) which was for youre own sake.This is a reason for society). Imagine if Reb Moshe Fienstien and Reb Ahron Kotler decided to become therapists instead of Rebbeim chas vshalom , how much torah would have been lost? where would america be today ?
15)By becoming a Rebbi you have a much greater chance of putting out seforim which they will ask you when u get to shamayim where's youre sefer? Using the same example as before imagine if the Netziv became a therapist where would his seforim be where would Mishnas Reb Ahron and Igros/Dibros Moshe be? ?
16)More for society by becoming a Rebbi you will help a yid the best way possible and you will be able doing the Greatest CHESED.The greatest form of Gemilut chasadim is giving a yid more torah, Rav Rudermen was fond of saying this and gives drashos about that.
17)Chances are by becoming a Rebbi one would stay on the derech hatorah he would be in check and will most probably be machshiv torah for the rest of youre life as oppose to becoming a therapist where you then might fall into the traps of society and decide to become more modern and have a TV in youre house and bring shtutim and havalim in youre family since "Physcologically" it would help.
18)By becoming a Rebbi people will become dependent upon you to help them in avodat hashem with that it will also make sure you keep urself in check and the best of youre potential.As oppose to a therapist who people (for purely avodat hashem purposes) do not have to rely on which will not keep you in check and will increase youre chances of learning less... and not keeping up to maximize youre potential.
19)By becoming a Rebbi instead of a therapist it will sharpen youre mind and youre abilities and havanos on understanding Torah.This is becuase you will have to give a shiur and say over youre Torahs which being so will force to fully grasp real pshat in a Gemara rashi tosfos Shev Shamita.As if you become a therapist you will lose that clarity because it will not force you to fully understand what you learn.
20)By becoming a therapist instead of a Rebbi you will most probably end up in mikomas that have halachick PRITZUS which is assur to purposely put youreself in a situation where you can even see places on a womans body that must be covered but are exposed because of societys accpetance of how much a person has to wear.Especially in RIETS- i have a relative of mine who went to Wurzwiller for her Social Work education and she told me one of the teachers had her body barely covered and her cleavage open saying "Read Soliviechick 67 pg 92" or something to study his work.She has boys in her work to who have to attend the same class which is coed.
21)Furthermore, in order to fulfill really all shitas for various things by being a Rebbi you will be safer as oppose to becoming a Therapist.For instance, by being a therapist you will have to go to college which most Gedolim prohibit or you will have to learn secular studies (bkviut)which the Roggetchover prohibits and which Rav Boruch Ber prohibits even for parnassah.

The Gemara in Nedarim 55a at tells us "Once a person makes himself like a midbar=wilderness in that he is mufkar lakol-open to everyone to teach them Torah then the Torah will be given to him as a matanah..And once it is given to him as a gift then hakadosh barch hoo will give it to him as a nachalah - inheritance..And once hakadosh baruch hoo makes the Torah an inheritance to him, oleh legdolah-he rises to greatness."
Rashi in Eruvin 54a explains that one who opens himself to teach Torah like a wilderness to his Talmidim then the Torah will be given to him as a gift and then it will not be forgotten."And then eventually reach gadlus.
Only Machshivei torah, Manhigei torah, Marbitzei torah, Machzikei Torah and Michanchei Torah will attain Gadlus because Gadlus can only come through Torah.
There is this Modern Orthodox concept that its ok to just be like everyone else and its ok to just be a moderate jew and its fine not to be so intense and maximize ones potential or not to become as great as one can be in Torah "its just ok to be good".Thats just ridiculous Modern Orthodox propaganda, a yids whole avoda is to be all he can be and achieve the greatest Gadlus Btorah. A yid can not settle for "goodness" and a yid can not even settle for greatness but a yid must settle for GADLUS!.And Gadlus doesnt come with just being ok but it comes with yegiya ameilut and mesiras nefesh for Limud Hatorah!

People can attain Gadlus BTorah through diffrent ways but in choice between a Rebbi and a Therapist a Rebbi will increase youre chances.

thinkingitover Posted - 15 June 2008 18:17
i thought that simcha was asking (a) rebbe (i.e. teacher - not rabbi) or (b) psychologist.

and r' mod - what about if the psychologist is a rav? like rabbi twerski? (i know others as well, but he's well known...)

taon Posted - 25 June 2008 17:35
Okay, but which to focus on? it svery hard to focus equally on both the Rabbincal duties and physchiatry.


questions? go here:

cheers! Posted - 30 June 2008 18:15
not answering this question but just wanted to add something...

a rebbe and a psychologist are very very different and fill very very different roles. while they can overlap at times, a good rebbe does NOT take the place of a good psychologist and vice versa. while perhaps a good rebbe may be able to prevent someone from needing a psychologist (maybe, possibly...) most ppl who need a psychologist need more, or at least differnt than just a good rebbe...

just thought id mention that...

taon Posted - 04 July 2008 1:50
outside of medication, i've seen that a good rebbe can take the place of a psychologist.


questions? go here:

depressedAngel Posted - 06 July 2008 20:46
taon- it really depends for what issue
cheers! Posted - 09 July 2008 20:32
i agree w/ da.

i think that's a very dangerous thing to say taon... a rebbe can definitely be helpful in multiple ways but i know of MANY rabbonim who've recommended for ppl to be in therapy. a rav/rebbe does not have the training that a therapist has and while he can be very helpful from a torah hashkafoh he is not able to conduct a therapy session and bring about the same results that a trained therapist can. obviously it is crucial for the therapist to have a proper torah perspective, but i think it's almost naive to say that a rav can do all that a therapist can aside for medication...

FlippedOutFish Posted - 14 July 2008 23:27
What taon said is not dangerous at all and may be very true to qoute taon- "i've seen that a good rebbe" i think ive seen a lot too.

Everyone may be different but certain Rabbonim especially Gedolei Torah posses things that will truly help someone in place of a Psychologist. Let me ask you something if one had a problem and the CHAZON ISH told you to do one thing and some Pyschologist or therapist told you to do another who would you listen too? One will listen to the Chazon Ish even if a doctor who studied surgery his whole life says to take an operation one way but the Chazon Ish says to take it another way even though the Chazon Ish never picked up a Surgery book in his life one will listen to the Chazon Ish. This was an example of how its actually better to listen to a type of Good Rebbi instead of a doctor even for Medical issues.If thats the way for something medical or life and death situation than for sure in regard to things such as eitzas or psychological problems or shalom bayis issues.

But thats the Chazon Ish the question what if youre Rebbi is not the Chazon Ish what if he is the Skverer Rebbe or what if hes not even that and just a regular Rebbi .The answer i think is it depends on what the person himself is willing to do and trust if a person is will to trust his Rebbi than he should do what he says if he is willing to trust a Therapist more than he should go to the therapist.
Furthermore, I think that the benefit of going to a Rebbi or a tremendous Talmud Chacham first even if he is not the Gadol Hador may be benneficial since within someone who has a proper Torah outlook whose essence is for Torah than his inner feelings of direction and what to do has in itself a psychological human understanding of the person and its needs of the things one can do.
They say about Rabbanim like Rav Shlomo Friefeld Ztzl, Rav Henoch Leibovotz Ztzl and Rav Shlomo Wolbe Ztzl and the like how they were able to understand the physcology of man and the needs of people who sought their advice. And it was people like the Alter of Slabodka who was able to see the needs of talmidim and children who were eventually able to become Gedolei Torah.

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