Category Archives: Experiences

Having depression doesn’t mean you lack emunah (belief in G-d)

(Disclaimer: I began writing this in 2012 and left it alone until continuing it today.)

I find this piece to be kind of timely since this past week it was Bell’s Let’s Talk Day, which is a mental health initiative where money is dedicated to mental health awareness for every text and tweet for every time the hashtag #BellLetsTalk is included. It’s a neat initiative I’ve been a fan of and I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts about said topic with a frum perspective.

I’ve often been told by rabbis that sadness and anger are signs that you disagree with the way G-d runs the world. You feel like this because you’ve developed a feeling within that you have to be compelled to have control in certain areas of life. And because you don’t – that is the cause of these emotions.

Some may say that even when dealt with a blow of health – this trigger can cause a roller coaster of emotions that fall under the realms of anger and sadness. With this understanding, it would seem that coming to terms with your illness and accepting that G-d is in charge and that the challenge he’s given you is not something beyond your ability to manage. By this, you can control and limit these emotions.

It takes a while to get healthy – I know this personally. Thank G-d I am proud to say, that I’ve made a strong recovery.

That’s all wonderful.

But my big question – is how does this apply with mental illness – particularly with depression?

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Niagara Falls on Chol Hamoed: A Hot Chani haven

So I did something pretty frum yesterday: I took a Chol Hamoed day trip with some friends to Niagara Falls. It was a great trip. And for many reasons.

We did some of the touristy stuff; i.e. Casino Niagara, shopping in the US and of course hit up the Falls. As a matter of fact, two of the buddies we went with still had to say Taschlich so they did it there.

But amongst all the fun, two things really stood out to me: Read the rest of this entry

Finding Your Ideal High Holiday Shul Seat Mate

Now that the High Holidays are coming and the lineups for shul tickets are abound, maybe this little form could help you decide where you’d like to sit. I mean listen, we all know how much time you will be spending with your shul-seat-mate, so you might as well utilize this form to find your ideal seat mate! Consider it the match.com of high holiday shul going. It works whether you’re a once a year Jew, damnit shabbos is here every week Jew, or an I’m better than you because I go every day Jew, this list is for you!!!

Best regards, and Shana Tova from your friendly neighbourhood FFB team!

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Ode to the shabbos couch

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude (hakaras hatov) to one of the unsung heroes of the Jewish world. It has provided an innumerable amount of happiness, relief, assistance and yes – meaning, to the many Jews who rely on its multi-purpose usage. It is without question a necessity to anyone who appreciates the importance of bringing enjoyment and honour to the holy and paramount pillar of Judaism – Shabbat (oneg shabbos).

I am talking of course about about the shabbos couch.

On any day of the week – it is merely a couch, and thus only lives up to simple defining purposes of providing a place to sit. In fact, the couch may even lead to sin – i.e. a place to watch television (if you have one), alienate yourself from your family, or simply a location to waste time when you could be instead doing something meaningful – like learning Torah (because G-d forbid you’re mevatel torah).

But all this changes on shabbos. Instead of acting as a vehicle for sin, the couch acquires a sort of shechinah, embodying an eternal and holy purpose of bringing G-d’s presence and kedusha into the world.

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Things That Really Grind My Gears #7: When Chabbadniks Become Intrusive

I would like to take this chance to put my own “unique” (Torontonian Jewish) spin on that segment, to tell you guys what really “grinds my gears” in our community, or others.

I will try posting one or two grinds per week to keep this as an ongoing segment.

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