ERIC Number: ED395226
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Value-Oriented Cognitive Therapy: An Application of Chassidic Teachings.
The Chassidic approach to self-improvement includes an event called the "Farbrengen"--a Yiddish term meaning an informal gathering. At its best, it is a gathering in which Chassidim talk with each other about private issues, and may be considered the equivalent of group therapy. During a Farbrengen, Chassidic melodies which have no words are sung. Meditative and inspirational in nature, they often bring the singer and listener to the verge of tears, and many people have testified that hearing these melodies was the first step toward a true return to God. The wordlessness of the songs suggests the openness of the meeting, going beyond the limitations of language. Traditionally, some alcoholic drink is shared at a Farbrengen, as a small amount of alcohol can be a "heart opener," lessening the intellectual defenses which tend to hold back participants' true emotions. When a Farbrengen's participants toast "L'chayim!" (to life) they loosen themselves in their corporeality and begin to open themselves to the truth by sharing with others what is in their hearts and on their minds. Additionally, the Farbrengen's leader usually tells stories of righteous and heroic people of the past or stories about people he has known. These stories come alive because one can see the character transformation in the person who tells the story. Here was a living being who practiced what he preached, who had internalized what he had learned, and expected the same of others. (TS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A