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The Sages Debate How to Heal from Deep Trauma

        

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Published
Rabbi YY Jacobson

Where Chemistry, Physics, Halacha, Psychology
and Healing Converge

Right after we enumerate the ten plagues that befell Egypt, pouring out a little wine for each plague, we read of a debate that took place between three of the foremost sages during the second century CE, Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yoisi from the Galilee.

Rabbi Yoisi HaGlili says: “The Egyptians were struck in Egypt by ten plagues… Rabbi Eliezer says: “... Every plague that G-d brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt was comprised of four plagues...Thus they were struck by forty plagues;” Rabbi Akiva says: “... Every plague that G-d brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt was comprised of five plagues... thus they were struck by fifty plagues.”

What is this supposed to mean? The Torah states that Egypt was struck with ten plagues. Why would the Talmudic Sages debate this simple fact? Do we have to argue about everything? And what is the meaning of their views that each plague was comprised of four or five plagues? And what is the relevance to us?

The sages were addressing a big question: How deep can abuse, trauma, corruption, and evil penetrate a society collectively and each person individually? How messed up can you and I become? How sick can we become? How deep can the dysfunction run? And what is the path of healing? Is healing even always possible?

In Judaism, psychology and ethics are reflected in practical law. It is fascinating that the above dispute, finds expression in the world of Halacha: How do we treat our Chametz on Pesach?

How did Reb Yoisi Haglili treat his ex-wife who made his life miserable? How did Reb Akiva understand that trauma can affect your formless core? What did he teach us about the path toward healing from profound abuse and dissociation?
in english
Category
Passover - Песах Trauma - Травма
Tags
pesach, passover, deep trauma
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