Is ‘Trauma’ Goyisha Thinking?

As I review the entire corpus of Judaic literature in my head, I can’t find much about trauma. I wonder if trauma is goyisha thinking (outside of Torah and hence has no validity)?

I remember moving to the United States at age 11 and suddenly people started saying I was insecure.

I was just as insecure when I lived in Australia, but when I moved to California in 1977 I was suddenly surrounded by people immersed in psychological thinking.

And then weren’t as many abos around.

When my father was kicked out of the Seventh-Day Adventist ministry in 1980, I was 14. Many of my peers speculated that this would traumatize me. I immediately accepted this. I thought, I’m traumatized and I’m miserable and I hate the church. I proceeded to have a miserable ninth grade. I got a 1.2 (D average) GPA in my first semester. I thought of myself as a victim.

I’m fascinated by the discussion about sexual abuse and trauma here.

DF posts: Children are taught by battalions of self-interested pyschologists and plaintiff’s lawyers that they must feel “traumatized” by every allegation of abuse, real or imagined. Imagine if our this cottage industry of grievance mongers had been around for our grandparents who went through Auschwitz. None of them would have picked themselves up to remarry, raise families, and create successful business, and put the past behind them. They would have been taught to dwell on the past, wallow in it, and generally think of themselves as victims. You make the correct point, Dr. Shapiro, that this type of pyscho-babble is not found in the Torah, which is one reason the orthodox community largely rejects it. But I submit to you that there are millions of non-Jews in this country alone who also do not share this type of mindset. It’s a way of thinking, not necessarily a religious issue.

And of course, that’s why the comparison to eating McDonalds is wildly inexact. Eating a cheeseburger is concrete. It’s easily identified as a violation of community standards. But what exactly is “abuse”? To this day, amid all the accusations and false accusations, truths and half-truths, no one has been able to tell us what exactly abuse is, or what is molestation. I don’t have to go back to the Massachusetts witch hunt scandals of the 1980s to demonstrate how hysteria builds up in any case where children are involved, and innocent educators get harmed. Is bouncing a child on your lap molestation? If so, half of all summer camp counselors in this country are felons.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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