About the Author


Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman

Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman is an assistant professor at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, the assistant rabbi at Kingsway Jewish Center, and a licensed psychologist practicing in Brooklyn.


Worst Things First

Do you ever have a task that you must do but really don’t want to? Do you procrastinate,...

Resolving Conflicts

Without effective intervention, conflict escalates quickly. Whether at work, home, or with friends...

The Original Marshmallow Test

Imagine you are presented with a puffy and fluffy, deliciously looking, and sweet-smelling...

The Right Kind of Praise

“Amazing job!” “Incredible accomplishment!” “Awesome...

Defying Death with Life

In his 1973 Pulitzer Prize winning book “The Denial of Death,” anthropologist Ernest...

Searching for Silver Linings

After predicting that the Children of Israel will turn away from God, and consequently be punished...

Healthy Happiness

Our emotional experience sometimes seems to come out of nowhere. When we try to understand what...

The Ben Franklin Effect

In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin tells of a rival legislator with whom he was having...

Overcoming the Better-Than-Average Effect

How would you rate your driving ability in comparison to everybody else? What about your...

Don’t Always Believe What You See

In what became popularly known as the Invisible Gorilla experiment, Christopher Chabris and Daniel...

Grateful Thinking

Dr. Jeffrey Froh, a psychologist at Hofstra University, is one of the leading gratitude...

Grit or Quit?

Imagine you were pursuing a goal with all your heart and soul for years. There were struggles...

The Courage of Judges

Is courage a trait that we are born with or can it be learned and cultivated? Dr. Robert...

Pre-Commit

Parshat Mattot begins by introducing the laws of vows and oaths. “When a man makes a vow to...

Social and Emotional Leadership

After processing the news that he will not be leading Bnei Yisrael into the land of Canaan due to...

The Language of Animals

“The human being is the only animal that…” This sentence, Dr. Daniel Gilbert...

Self-Monitoring

One of the key techniques used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is self-monitoring. Keeping track...

Unhealthy Conflict

Conflict is ubiquitous in so many areas of life and there are numerous fields of research that...

The Color of Tzitzit

There is a small, yet growing subfield within psychology called color psychology. Researchers in...

Variety Effect

Research on the “variety effect” proves what most of us know after partaking of a...

The Struggle for Self-Control

The struggle for self-control is one of the most important, hardest-fought battles of all time....

Unified Diversity

Muzafer Sherif was a Turkish born psychologist who moved to the United States for graduate school...

Individualism Vs. Collectivism

If given the choice, would you sacrifice your own goals, dreams, and desires for the sake of your...

Happiness and Wholeness

Toward the end of Parshat Emor we are presented with a description of the various holidays...

Expansion of the Self

What is love? We usually relegate its exploration to the arts, but there are psychologists who...

Searching for Meaning

Viktor Frankl was a famous Jewish psychiatrist and a Holocaust survivor. In his 1946 book,...

Mistaken Anger

On the Eight Day of the inauguration of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, a celebration is in order as...

The Fresh Start Effect

New Year’s is a time for a new you. When we change the calendar from one year to the next it...

Mistakes Were Made

In their book Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), Drs. Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson explain the...

The Dangers of Rigidity

At the risk of sounding too rigid, a strong argument can be made that inflexibility is at the core...

Moments Ripe for Anger

Before Moses provides his long delineation of the details of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, he...

Appreciating Beauty

How often do you feel awe, admiration, and elevation while witnessing beauty and...

Knowing Nothing

"The only thing I know, is that I know nothing.” This idea, known as the Socratic...

The Dangers of Groupthink

Pearl Harbor, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Vietnam War, the Watergate Scandal, NASA’s...

Emotional Responsibility

How can the Torah command us to feel or not feel certain emotions? Many of us are under the...

Feed Your Brain

We are generally aware that what we eat impacts our overall health and eating unhealthily can put...

Fake It Until You Become It

Sometimes a task seems too difficult, daunting, or incongruent with our personality that we elect...

Deep Breaths

One of the first and most central interventions to help manage difficult emotions is deep...

Moses: Upstander Instead of Bystander

In 1964, Kitty Genovese was stabbed and killed in Kew Gardens, Queens. The New York Times reported...

Yosef and Dealing with Trauma

There is no one “right” way to respond to a traumatic event and most people deal with...

Positive and Negative Glasses

How do we evaluate the past? How do we spend our time in the present? How often do we think about...

Immune to the Evil Eye

How much do you care about what other people think of you?

Influence Techniques

When Yosef’s brothers decide they are going to kill him and throw him into a pit, Reuven...

Who's In Control?

Do you believe that the happenings of your life are determined by external factors or by your own...

Believing in Our Abilities

One of the best predictors of whether I will attain a goal or not is if I believe that my actions...

The Space to Grow

Murray Bowen was one of the pioneers of the field of family therapy. He noted that families have a...

Smart Kindness

What does it take to be a person who embodies chesed, kindness? We tend to associate kindness with...

Healed by Kindness

When experiencing intense or chronic pain a common and logical response is to decrease activity...

Spiritual Gratitude

If my friend is gracious enough to give me a twenty-dollar bill as a present, my gratitude would...

Living Mercifully

While perhaps our motivation for being giving people should be because it is a religious...

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