I waited until now to recommend this newsletter because I wanted to make sure it wasn't the same ol' secular psychobabble dressed up in frum garb and sprinkled with Yiddish terms.
In other words, I wanted to see if it's genuinely beneficial - and it is!
H.E.A.R.T. (Healing Emotional Atrophy through Reconnecting to Torah) Initiative is produced by a woman named Shiffy Friedman.
And like I said, this isn't a case of shooting the arrow of psychological theory, then drawing a Torah bull's eye around the landed arrow to make it look like it's hit a Torah bull's eye.
Here's what she wrote in the introductory email:
I came to the realization that my knowledge in psychology, no matter how many courses I took and clients I treated based on that knowledge, was not helpful in healing the profound nefesh.
The nefesh is an infinitely complex and majestic entity that needs a very particular approach in order to feel true simcha and fulfillment. And the one and only guide toward accessing this direction toward emotional and spiritual wellness is the Torah.
The more I realized how I and the people I was counseling were benefiting from this ultimate fount of wisdom, the more I wanted to share these teachings with my fellow Yidden.
Thus, I launched the HEART Initiative, whose goal is to provide a springboard for emotional and spiritual growth from a Torah perspective to every Yid who seeks it.
How many people are able to admit that after investing so much money, so many years, and so much time in their career?
I have enormous respect & admiration for people who are able to make this kind of turnaround in their mentality and then apply it to their lives.
It's indicates someone who has really done the necessary inner work, which is definitely someone I can learn from.
In my eyes, it resembles the gevurah of Yitzchak Avinu who was able to acknowledge that the view he held of Esav his whole life ended up not being the real deal. (Although there is a LOT more to that than this superficial one-sentence sum-up. In other words, it's not that Yitzchak Avinu wore rose-colored glasses with Esav; it was much deeper and more complex, as elucidated by Chazal.)
Anyway, the observations expressed in HEART Initiative are refreshingly honest and the recommendations and exercises are genuinely helpful.
I wasn't asked to recommend this nor does she know I'm doing it. We don't know each other at all.
I just think that it's a genuinely helpful perspective based on Torah sources.
A variety of topics are covered. So far, I've seen: guilt, boundaries, thinking, emotional maturity, and more.
For example, most recently, she has been discussing how much fear acts as a hidden motivator for so many people. Oftentimes, we respond from a place of fear without even realizing it.
We think our motivation is something else when it's actually fear.
And then she offers recommendations for dealing with that in a beneficial manner. (It's very useful for hitbodedut, BTW.)
To sign up, you can send an email to this email: