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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

About Michelle Friedman, MD

Dr. Michelle Friedman received an MD from the NYU School of Medicine and has completed advanced training at the Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center for Training and Research. She is a highly respected psychiatrist who focuses on the Jewish community and has a special interest in the rabbinate and pastoral counseling. In addition to her private practice and her role at YCT, Dr. Friedman is also Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.

Written by Michelle Friedman, MD

Mother’s Milk: A Psychoanalyst Looks at Breastfeeding

by Michelle Friedman, MD, November 8, 2016

To read Mother’s Milk: A Psychoanalyst Looks at Breastfeeding, click here.

Unorthodox Therapy

by Michelle Friedman, MD, November 7, 2016

When a psychotherapist is needed, how important is it that he be religious? Can we trust a non-religious therapist to not impose his own value system on the patient? Isn’t it possible that a therapist who is not intimately involved with the Orthodox lifestyle may misinterpret an Orthodox person’s behavior? Can we be confident that Continue Reading »

Jewish Pastoral Counseling: Recent Books

by Michelle Friedman, MD, November 7, 2016

To read a review by Dr. Michelle Friedman, click here.

“This isn’t what anyone expected….”

by Michelle Friedman, MD, November 7, 2016

Sara, 23, and Raphael, 28 just became parents of a much wanted baby boy.  The  brit was a joyous event but Raphael noticed that his wife was distant and preoccupied throughout the morning. Over the following weeks, Sara, usually a cheerful, easy going and very social young woman, seemed more and more changed. She kept Continue Reading »

A Lesson in Listening

by Michelle Friedman, MD, November 7, 2016

In this week’s portion we come across a striking word usage that occurs only twice in Torah, both times in Bamidbar, the Book of Numbers. The phrase changes slightly, Lama nigara, lama yigara, translated as “Why should we/it be lessened/diminished,” and is found in what appears to be two disparate stories. On closer examination, the Continue Reading »

When Doubt Enters the Room

by Michelle Friedman, MD, November 7, 2016

Jeremy graduates from public high school after attending the local community day school that ends at 8th grade.  He enters college at a large state university and takes a course in comparative religion. His roommate, Partha, is a smart, friendly young man from an Indian Hindu background. The two have thoughtful discussions late into the Continue Reading »

Observant Married Jewish Women and Sexual Life: An Empirical Study

by Michelle Friedman, MD, November 7, 2016

Observant Married Jewish Women and Sexual Life: An Empirical Study Michelle Friedman, Ellen Labinsky, Talli Y. Rosenbaum, James Schmeidler, and Rachel Yehuda   I. INTRODUCTION Taharat haMishpahah, literally, “family purity,” refers to the series of rabbinic laws and customs governing sexual behavior between husbands and wives. The laws of taharat haMishpahah need to be understood Continue Reading »

Why Don’t the Girls Say No

by Michelle Friedman, MD, July 5, 2016

Each time another sordid story of sexual molestation of children comes to light, an inevitable series of questions arise. “Why don’t the girls protest? Why didn’t they tell their parents, a teacher, a trusted friend? Why didn’t they say ‘no!’ to the abuser, and fight back?”… This article was originally published in the JOFA journal. To read Continue Reading »

Psychotherapy and Teshuvah: Parallel and Overlapping Systems for Change

by Michelle Friedman, MD, July 5, 2016

People come to mental health treatment because they are in pain. The presentations of their pain vary–they come because they suffer from symptoms that restrict or threaten their lives, because they struggle with inner conflicts that undermine and torment their integrity, or because if they don’t come, they will lose their job, their spouse, or Continue Reading »

Shame and Illness: A Jewish Perspective

by Michelle Friedman, MD, July 5, 2016

I approach the topic of “Shame and Illness” from my twin perspectives as psychoanalyst and traditional Jew. This written piece contains material prepared for the forum held at New York Medical College on June 14, 2004 as well as issues raised that evening via case vignette presentation and audience participation. I hope to discuss a Continue Reading »

Rites of Passage

by Michelle Friedman, MD, July 5, 2016

My eldest daughter was assigned to read a long novel of her choice over spring vacation and came to me for help in making her selection… To read the full article, click here.

Sex Selection and Halakhic Ethics: A Contemporary Discussion

by Michelle Friedman, MD, July 5, 2016

This originally appeared in Tradition in 2007. To read the article, click here.