Maggid- The greatest medicine

This coming Monday night we will sit around the table and retell the story of the Jew’s slavery in Egypt. Many commentators have asked why we bring ourselves back to days of servitude when life is so much better for us now. Isn’t it depressing to focus on the negative? They answer that reliving our oppressed history is essential for us to thrive in our current state.

Words facilitate healing

Each person has their own coping methods after a trauma. However, it is clear that putting words to a trauma whether by writing, talking or thinking about it is essential for healing. Imaging research has shown that immediately after a traumatic experience the speech centers of our brains are shut down. As people recover, these areas slowly light up again and when used, facilitate recuperation.

 

Imagine to grow

At the seder when discussing enslavement and exodus, we are not only healing through speech, but are strengthening ourselves through meaning. When people attribute meaning to an event they achieve post-traumatic growth and emerge mentally stronger. This year, let’s truly imagine ourselves leaving Egypt and use that experience to increase our resilience and mental health.

Ariel Mintz, MD

Founder and President at Refuat Hanefesh
Dr. Ariel Mintz grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After spending two years learning in Israel, at Derech Eitz Chaim and Shaalivim, he earned his BA in Psychology at Yeshiva Univesity in New York. He went on to obtain his MD at Oakland University William Beaumont School of medicine. He is currently a licensed physician working to complete his training in General Psychiatry at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. After that, he hopes to subspecialize in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has a supportive and talented wife and two wonderful children. He is very passionate about destigmatizing mental illness in the Jewish community and bringing comfort to those who are suffering. Ariel can be reached at [email protected].

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