In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
Levi C. (not his real name) is a 26-year-old chassidic young man. At age 20, he was hit by a car. Now, over five years later, after many hospitalizations and then rehabilitation, he is functioning pretty well physically. But cognitively he has some problems and serious issues with short- term memory.
He lives with a family as a boarder, has a life coach who is with him throughout the day, and a job that recognizes his unique abilities in recalling what he used to know – cold. He is well versed in three languages (Hebrew, Yiddish and English). Levi C. was referred to me about eight months ago to see if I could help develop a rehab schedule to advance him further in his recovery.
It took a while for him to feel comfortable with me, a woman, but a non-chassidish one, as well!
When we would meet he would say that he doesn’t recall anything from the last meeting. I take this at face value and each visit I try to create a “learning” experience as well as an opportunity to discuss issues that bother him.
Over the months he has learned to make note of occurrences in his diary. We also try to hook a memory with an emotion, as emotions are stored in a different place in the brain than verbal memories.
When he went home for a fairly long visit, I called, and he did remember me. I joke with him that his recall of me throws his “no short term memory” diagnosis into the garbage can.
He laughs and requests that I ask him anything else other than who is speaking to him, and he insists he will not remember. He partially grins at that comment himself.
Recently during an appointment, for the first time, he told me a dream he remembered. He said it was a question that bothered him, and he thought maybe he had dreamt it. I waited with bated breath to hear the question.
“You are a psychologist doctor, right? What kind of person would do this? I have my favorite type of cake in front of me – chocolate. I leave it on my plate and go to wash. When I come back, someone has eaten it, and there are barely any crumbs on the plate. Who would do that?” he plaintively asks.
I am ecstatic! This is really a breakthrough! “You know,” I say, “you have just told me a very interesting and special story!”
I recall a book, Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life (ISBN 0-399-14446-3), published in 1998. It is a motivational book by Spencer Johnson that uses parables to describe change in one’s work and life. And then he gives four typical reactions to said change, with two mice, two “little people.”
Who Moved My Cheese? New York Times business bestseller since release remained on the list for almost five years. Also, it has spent over 200 weeks on Publishers Weekly’s hardcover, nonfiction list.
This is a brief (very thin book) tale of two mice and two humans who live in a maze and one day are faced with change: someone moves their cheese. Reactions vary from quick adjustment to waiting for the situation to change by itself to suit their needs.
This story is about adjusting attitudes toward change in life, especially at work. Change occurs whether a person is ready or not, but the author affirms that it can be positive.
His principles are to anticipate change, let go of the old, and act the way you would if you were not afraid. Listeners are still left with questions about making his/her own specific personal changes.
I looked at Levi and said, “Five years ago, you had a wonderful life. You knew you were an iluyi (Talmudically-gifted young man) who knew so much. You got up and went outside, and when you “came back,” there were only crumbs of your former life, your ‘chocolate cake’ on your plate.”
Levi looks at me very pensively. “I see what you are saying.”
“But this isn’t the end,” I continued. ” What is your next favorite cake or cookie?”
Levi thinks a minute and says his usual: “I don’t think I remember.”
“How about chocolate chip cookies?”
“Yes, I do like them.”
We were going to meet in two days. I prepared chocolate chip cookie batter at home in the morning, put it in a very thick plastic bag and put the chocolate chips in another bag.
When Levi came for his appointment I asked him to remind me of the cake story. He repeated the whole story with the same sadness and amazement that “someone” would do such a despicable act.
I showed him the batter and asked him to knead in the chocolate chips. We then placed the batter in little foil cupcake tins, and I put them in the toaster oven we keep in the office.
With the wonderful smell wafting through the hospital corridor, people knocked on my door and asked what was going on.
I used this opportunity to give the nimshal (parable’s meaning). I said that there are other kinds of cookies and cakes waiting for you to make and eat. Many people think that a new “chocolate chip cookie” is wonderful. You have a new and different life now, no question about it. But it looks, smells and tastes pretty good!
I told him what I read in a book, but know from life: “Things change. They always have changed and always will change. And while there’s no single way to deal with change, the consequence of pretending change won’t happen is always the same: The cakes/cookies run out.” (Lou Schuler).
We said the brachah (prayer) on the cookies. Levi had the first one. He smiled and said: “Pretty good.”
I pray we have found the recipe for success.
Judith Guedalia, Ph.D., is director of the Neuropsychology Unit and senior medical psychologist at Shaare Zedek Medical Center. She is also a licensed psychologist, supervisor and specialist in Medical, Rehabilitation and Developmental Psychology and EMDR Level II Co-Chair, Nefesh Israel. She can be reached at email@example.com
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.