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A Bisl Torah: A Habit Worth Forming

The more we habituate words of self-affirmation, the more we might start believing them.
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June 30, 2021
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Dr. Janina Fisher, psychotherapist, and trauma specialist, speaks about the concept of resourcing and de-resourcing thoughts. Resourcing thoughts are ideas that build up our confidence and develop healthy ego. De-resourcing are exactly how they sound: destructive, denies our capabilities, and degrades our self-worth. She suggests that we categorize our thoughts before we verbalize them. The more we habituate words of self-affirmation, the more we might start believing them.

When Moses is asked to come forward as the chosen leader of the Hebrew slaves, Moses responds, “Please, O, Lord, I have never been a man of words…I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10). Commentators assume this means Moses had an issue with speaking. Rashi explains that Moses stammered. Ibn Ezra offers that Moses probably had a speech impediment. But Targum Onkelos, Aramaic translator of the Torah, translates k’vad peh and k’vad lashon as weighty of speech and deep of tongue. In a quick reimagining of Moses’ persona, Onkelos creatively, says Speech Pathology and Audiology Professor Dr. Gerald Siegel, “turned Moses’ negative self-description into a positive one.”

There is always room for reflection and introspection. But when self-belittlement ventures into mantra, causing paralysis of growth, the habit must be reexamined. The first century translator had the ability to read the entirety of Moses’ life. Onkelos knew Moses went on to be the greatest leader of the Jewish people. Regarding our own lives, we don’t have the same kind of prescience. But in predicting your narrative, someone might write, “They had faith in themselves” or “They were known for constantly questioning their self-value.”

Have faith in yourself. Choose the resourcing thought. It will be a habit worth forming.

Shabbat Shalom


Rabbi Nicole Guzik is a rabbi at Sinai Temple. She can be reached at her Facebook page at Rabbi Nicole Guzik. For more writings, visit Rabbi Guzik’s blog section from Sinai Temple’s website.

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