Remembering the Great Rabbi and Psychiatrist Abraham Twerski

Feb. 15 2021

Among those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus since the year began was Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, the scion of a major ḥasidic dynasty, the author of some 80 books, and a psychiatrist who ran a world-famous addiction clinic. Twerski, who died in Jerusalem at the age of ninety, developed a particular worldview that drew on impressive knowledge of the Jewish tradition, the practical wisdom of the twelve-step program, and the simple life lessons of the comic strip Peanuts. But Twerski’s path was not an easy or foreordained one, note Edward Reichman and Menachem Butler, pointing to his correspondence with the renowned Israeli halakhic authority Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, in which he sought advice about whether to pursue a career as a physician. In 1959, Twerski’s graduation from medical school was the subject of a short profile in Time magazine, which Reichman and Butler have uncovered:

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Read more at Seforim

More about: Addiction, Coronavirus, Judaism, Medicine

 

How the U.S. Can Get Smart about Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East

Sept. 27 2021

Considering the current state of the region and the policy mistakes of the recent past, David Pollock and Robert Satloff outline a strategy that is “both virtuous and realistic” for defending human rights and encouraging democratization in a region plagued by autocracy, chaos, and brutality. They argue that “in the long run, more democratic, tolerant, and inclusive governments are likely to be better at defending themselves, and more reliable and effective security partners for the United States.”

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Arab democracy, Human Rights, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy