By Rabbi Benzion Greiper
We are continuing with the begin again series, which are based on the teachings of my rebbi, Rav Shmuel Elchanan Brog, zatzal.
Today, everyone’s jumping to psychiatrists and psychologists and medication. If you can’t control a classroom, it must be because the students need medication. We’re jumping the same way the rest of the world is jumping today.
It could be that the class size is too big. A little kid is able to build, build, build wherever he goes. Outside, he can build mountains, but in school he can’t sit. It could be that the husband and wife simply don’t understand each other. I hear so many times, “He gets along with everyone except for me.” So don’t jump to medication. Don’t jump to psychologists so fast. You have to jump with the proper advice from chachamim (sages).
I told her husband, “When she says jump, you jump”
Someone approached me and said, “There’s a psychiatrist who has told my wife that she needs heavy duty medication because she is so depressed. We are ready to take that step, but I’d like to discuss it with you first.”
The couple came to speak to me at home, and the woman told me that she suffered three miscarriages during the past year and a half. All of a sudden, everything became clear, and I wonder why her psychologist didn’t see it also. I told this woman that she is completely normal; it is normal do be depressed in such a situation.
I could see that this made an impression on her. I also told her husband to act as if they were playing “Simon Says.” When she says jump, you jump. Do everything that she says. Everything that you do will help her. I also found an intelligent, empathetic woman who could speak to her about her experiences and help her move forward. After some time, she didn’t have to be on medication anymore, and baruch Hashem they’re doing very nicely now.
The main thing to realize is that every morning Hashem returns our neshama to us as a clean slate. It is important not to mindlessly jump to new ideas. Unfortunately today there are many concepts from the outside world that have crept into the Torah world as well. Don’t jump to all these new ideas. Be very, very careful, there are so many different ways to improve and create a good situation. In the situation that I just described, Hashem sent wisdom to this husband and to his wife, and baruch Hashem they’re doing very well now. This was a clear case of the ability to begin again; we all have the inner strength to begin again.