Thursday, March 19, 2009

Perfectly Obsessed

Last night, via VIN, I read an excerpt of an excellent piece in the Jewish Press by Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Schwartz. I contacted him, asking for permission to re-post that piece; he sent me a more full version of the article, along with another, related piece that I thought was even better. I am going to post both of the pieces below this one in full; they're important reads, as I think we've all seen cases where people act like this, and it can cause or be a manifestation of a more serious problem.

As a slight commentary on the articles, I felt that in the Jewish Rituals piece the examples used are slightly extreme and therefore too easily shrugged off as "well, I would never act like that". It seems that even smaller examples which are similar are often indicative of a problem, which simply doesn't seem to be "that bad" because of its less obvious nature. Beyond that nitpicking, I thought both pieces were quite good and are important reads.

The differentiation R' Dr. Schwartz makes between proper zehirus and Scrupulosity is very good. His clear summary of points is also very good, such as
Healthy and scrupulous religious beliefs do not interfere with the normal practice of the religion. Scrupulosity frequently interferes with the proper practice of religion.
Please read the articles - I think that you will find them very worthwhile.
Jonathan Schwartz, PsyD is a practicing Rav in NJ and Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Center for Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy (www.ocdonline.com) in Manhattan. He can be reached at Schwartz.ccbp@gmail.com

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