Friday, December 23, 2022

When the Addict has a Tantrum in Your Office

It isn't so unusual, if you are a couples therapist, to see an addict act like an addict. 

When called on it he will say, 

You don't know what it is like, being an addict. Neither of you do.

That's if his spouse is sober. 

Neither of you know what it is like being an addict! 

(I repeat) 

This theoretically justifies the behavior that the therapist or the spouse is calling out. Saying You don't know what it's like is saying, You can't empathize (so I'm right AND you're ganging up on me!).

The addict's response can be so emotional, so angry, so full of pathos, that it is hard to not have a sympathetic reaction. After all, it is a poor me calling out, Poor Me! And nobody likes to be kicked when they're down. But for someone in recovery life really is a lot of work, it takes tremendous self-discipline and mindfulness to avoid the many behaviors that give the word addict a bad name.

Been down so long it looks like up to me is not just the title of a Richard Farina novel. 

Richard Farina' famous novel, 1966
I want to say to my screaming patient, for his voice feels very loud,  'Are we done, now?' 

Because it was more than the voice. Spouse and I witnessed facial contortions and fist clenching. Drama.

I want to ask this, Are you done now? as I would a child, but his spouse is there and I don't want to shame him. So rather than attend to the drama I turn to the spouse and ask her how she's been doing. She explains to me that she has been under a tremendous amount of pressure from her parents who want her to help them with her grandmother. Her parents both work, she works, but her hours are flexible.

Her spouse jumps in to say how dysfunctional that is, and that he has been saying that she should just say NO! He is adamant about this, tells her that her parents are toxic alcoholics and she should not be doing what he considers her mother's job. He maintains that his in-laws have a way of making his wife feel guilty. They can make her, a grown woman with a choice, comply, do what they want. That makes him feel unappreciated, unloved, abandoned, and less-favored. 

So he drinks. Or he has recently.

She (pointing to his spouse) makes me do it, he asserts. 

He has been in AA for fifteen years so it is difficult to allow the avoidance of responsibility to go unnoticed. I remark upon this. I gently say, 'I thought that an addict, no matter the external circumstances, takes responsibility for a slip.'

Much double talk ensues, ultimately agreement with the above, but also a reminder that SHE MADE ME DO IT.

To which I reply. So you have work to do. 

Yes, of course. But she could make it easier.

Can she? And then what, let's say she can't make it easier? It is tit for tat, you abandon her to alcohol? 

Fifteen years, it goes without saying, isn't always enough. 

She tells him she will turn her mother down. She doesn't want to babysit her grandmother, it turns out. All she wanted to do was be the one to make that decision, without any coercion from anyone. 

It usually works that way. 




Sunday, December 18, 2022

Not that this is a course on comparative religions, but with holidays coming up, lots of people are thinking about their religion. 

I remember, years ago, when my kids were small, that Christian Scientists would knock on doors in our neighborhood to discuss how Judaism is really Christianity and Jews should love the founder of Christianity, a Jew himself. I refrained from the dialogue, but some of my friends, rabbis, would invite them in and talk circles around them. The Christians might quote a passage or two from the Talmud, but could not compete Talmudic experts. The poor evangelists would leave feeling very confused and disheartened. 

Legendary Rabbi Jonathan Sack, chief rabbi of world Jewry,  passed away on November 7, 2020 and I am just now getting to his books. There are dozens.

I believe the Queen knighted Sir Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks, and Prince Charles wrote the dedication to one of his books. A scholar in both secular and religious worlds, Rabbi Sacks wrote prolifically.

I happened upon this book at my daughter's house yesterday, his ethics spin on the weekly Torah portion. I wondered, knowing full well the answer to my question: Do Black Israelite Nationalists have a scholar like Rabbi Sacks hiding in their neighborhoods? Nah.

Jewish Ethics

Rabbi Sacks writes:

 Great civilizations come and go. Judaism came and stayed.

 These are among the reasons why 

1. The dignity of the individual. Every human being, regardless of class, color, culture, or creed, carries within him or her the image of God. 

2. Human freedom. Free will, the opposite of the thinking that we lost that in the Garden of Eden. We're still capable of choosing to be good over bad without any Divine assistance. 

3. The sanctity of life. Killing is really, really bad. 

4. Guilt, not shame. Shaming people in public is also really, really bad.  Guilt is more elegant, makes us remember about that free choice option. Guilt is the voice of our own conscience. Shame is about how we look in the eyes of others.

5.  Loyalty and love. Love is commitment, mutual obligation. This is about monogamy and monotheism. 

6. The ethics of covenant. A promise is an obligation, covenant is an exchange of promises. At Sinai the Jews agreed to construct a society of justice and compassion, of freedom and human dignity, whose logic lay, in part, in their memories of exile and enslavement in Egypt. They were charged with constructing a kind of anti-type to Egypt, one free of oppression and exploitation. At the same time they agreed to be bound by an ethic of holiness whose purpose was to remind them that the Divine Presence was in their midst. 

The rabbi doesn't say this, but tradition has it that on the flip side, the Old Mighty agrees not to drop the mountain on their heads. 


7. The dual covenant.  Take care of the family, the tribe, even love them more (most of us tend to love our families more). But take care of the world, too, Jews believe in the universality of justice. 

Do not become xenophobic. Stay open to individual differences. (My spin).  


Friday, December 09, 2022

More on antisemitism, Kanye West, Ky


Well, this feels like hate. 

No fear that Hitler would want to eliminate this kind of Jew, I suppose. But he would have put them on the top of his list. 

The Wiesenthal Center issued a special report about this yesterday. I'm going to copy and paste directly from the Wiesenthal Center Special Report.  It sent me directly to the mint chocolate chip ice cream. Go to the website for better pictures.


The full text from the Wiesenthal Center:


This short report will outline the ideology of the extremist Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI) in the US. During October and November 2022, multiple anti-Semitic attacks by US rap artist and major social media influencer, Ye (Kanye) West and a tweet from NBA player Kyrie Irving’s providing a link to an anti-Jewish film, Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, have thrust radical BHIs into the national spotlight.

It is important to note that the BHI movement is not monolithic. There exists a diverse spectrum of beliefs and practices. This report will only focus on the extremist elements that espouse anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ+ and misogynistic rhetoric. This radical subgroup of Black Hebrew Israelites should not be confused with Black Jews or other Jews of color.


BHI supporters reject the history of Christianity, Judaism and the Jewish people. Its adherents claim that Black Americans are the true descendants of the 12 Tribes of Israel, and therefore, are God’s “chosen people”. Some BHI groups believe that Native Americans and Hispanics are also included.

BHI adherents contend the true children of Israel were scattered across the globe, driven into slavery, and forced to accept other religions such as Christianity. They believe the Bible prophesizes that the “true” Israelites were displaced from their homeland and cursed to suffer atrocities. They trust they will eventually receive salvation as the chosen people if they return to their Hebrew roots. Adherents point to Deuteronomy 28 as evidence for this prophecy and consider it their duty to inform other true descendants of their lineage. These beliefs can be traced back in the US to the 1890s.However, there are Black Hebrew Israelites who promote militant, extremist interpretations of biblical religious texts, fueled by and fomenting anti-Semitic and anti-white rhetoric.


Often, BHI extremists claim they cannot be anti-Semitic because they believe themselves to be the true Semites. They argue the people who present themselves as Jewish today are in fact, imposters. The 2018 pseudo-academic film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America posits that Sephardic, Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews are just religious converts with no blood connection to the ancient 12 tribes of Israel. It also promotes Holocaust denial and claims Hitler believed that “negroes” were the real Jews.

The assertion that BHI believers cannot be anti-Semitic is often followed by a series of anti-Semitic tropes. In a recent video from Bishop Nathanyel, the leader of Israel United in Christ (IUIC), one of the most extreme BHI groups currently operating in the US, he accuses Jewish people of always playing the victim in any situation, raising his hands in a mocking manner stating Jewish people claim that - “I am a victim, but I run society.”2

The extremist fringe of BHI promotes a litany of anti-Semitism in numerous ways. The most extreme believers argue that today’s Jewish people, including Israelis, are not descendants of biblical Jacob, but actually descendants of Esau (also known as Edomites). As a result, BHI considers them to be the enemies of the “true” Israelites. They believe that these false Jews are just white people who have deliberately usurped or stolen the true identity of people of color. This incendiary allegation spawned traditional anti-Semitic tropes promoted within BHI.

Another video from IUIC titled “Jewish Fables”, argues that the imposter Jews stole the land of Israel using the Balfour Declaration, because “we’ve been duped by Jewish fables”.They also argue that today’s Jews are descendants of converts to Judaism and are descendants of the Khazars (a long-debunked conspiracy) – “they have established the vision of being us”, they argue. One of the videos from the Sicarii Hebrew Israelites features a discussionbetweenaJewishmanandstreetpreacherstitled“AmalekconfoundedbyGRLAHebrewinPhilly”.The Amalekites mentioned in the Bible, descendants of Amalek, were the first nation to seek the total destruction of the Israelites after the Exodus from Egypt, and are viewed as the genocide-seeking enemy of the Jews.

Often extremist BHI groups reference New Testament Revelation 2:9 and 3:9, passages taken out of context to “prove” that the Bible indicates that a group of imposters will masquerade as Jews in the future – “I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”The use of this passage, to refer to all Jews as a synagogue of Satan, was a cornerstone of medieval Christian theological anti-Semitism and mirrors the beliefs of the white supremacist Christian Identity movement. Adherents of Christian Identity allege that white Aryan people are the true Israelites, and like extreme BHI believers, contend that today’s Jews are imposters, and are the “children of Satan”. Similarly, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has also charged that the Jews are “not real Jews.... you are deceiving and sending this nation [USA] to hell.”This anti- Semitic trope runs through all three movements, despite their otherwise conflicting ideologies.


In November 2022, IUIC hosted a livestream on Twitter titled “Satan on Mt. Sinai NWO” (NWO – New World Order referring to the anti-Semitic conspiracy that Jews control secret governments who run the world).It features a video of a religious Jew wearing a yarmulke and sidelocks, who walked past IUIC demonstrators outside the LA Lakers’ basketball home, the Crypto Arena, in Los Angeles in November 2022. The video was edited to make the Jewish man’s eyes glow red as the voice-over references “the synagogue of Satan”.

In December 2022, a video circulated of another BHI demonstration held by members of the Sicarii Hebrew Israelites, outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This followed Ye’s appearance alongside fellow anti-Semite Nicholas Fuentes on long-time conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ InfoWars show, where Ye praised Hitler. The Sicarii speaker also states in the video agreed with Ye, claiming that “Hitler knew who the real Jews was” and that the Jewish person speaking to them in the video is “the seed of the devil”. The speaker also states that “fake Jews” will go into slavery, and that he was glad that the Holocaust happened.8

A music video released in November 2022, titled “Death Con 4” by artist Natazab, features members of The Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) and spews numerous anti-Semitic tropes. Natazab is a Sacramento- based rapper. The title is inspired by a recent outburst by Ye, who tweeted he was “going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” Lyrics for Death Con 4 include “You’re the synagogue of satan with them black hats, your whole nation sitting ducks”. Natazab’s lyrics also charge that “they making millions off our culture and black people suffering from it”, another reference to the belief that Jewish people are imposters.9

Another anti-Semitic trope promoted by extreme BHI adherents insists that Jews are afforded a level of protection because of alleged control they have over society. One video from an Australian branch of Great Millstone, another extremist BHI group, insists that “them small hat people are being protected worldwide... they’re the ones who is in power right now.”10

Some adherents of extremist BHI believe that those who present themselves as Jewish today are actually Europeans (rather than Israelites), and as a result, these extremists promote anti-white beliefs portraying white people as the devil. This is particularly evident in several videos uploaded to YouTube by the Sicarii Hebrew Israelites, where the street preachers refer to white people as devils. Similarly, in an interview with the Chicago leader of ISPUK, he states that “There is nothing that gives me more pleasure, you know what I’m saying, on earth than saying that the white man is the devil... because it is the absolute truth.”11 He also goes on to claim white people are responsible for allowing homosexuality to proliferate across the earth.

A screenshot from an ISUPK TikTok account featuring part of Natazab’s “Death Con 4” music video, including a caption of some lyrics, referencing the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust as “$6,000,000”.





The extremist BHI adherents believe that members of the LGBTQ+ community are evil. One member from ISUPK Killeen (Texas), compares a child-friendly drag event to the murder of children in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022, stating “it is the spirit that wants to hunt and murder children”. He insists that the oppressor is trying to drag children into this “wicked” culture which they consider to be an “abomination”.11 Another video from ISUPK Staten Island refers to the LGBTQ+ community as a “plague” intended to “destroy the Lord’s chosen people”.13


The extreme BHI religious doctrine places God above man, and man above a woman. One video from ISUPK features a street preacher advocating for polygamy, because there are only “weak men” left, so they have to “go and marry seven or eight women so... that our women can have a strong man.” He goes on to argue that women are made to be “soft and delicate”. The video is titled “ISUPK Turns LGBTQ Member Straight”, implying sexual identity is a choice and that their rhetoric is some sort of remedy.15 Another video from IUIC in Queens, New York, refers to the Bible as asserting that women who wear pants are an abomination against God, and that men should make the rules in a household. They also claim that a husband takes the role of the Lord in the house over a wife. Another video claims that households in Europe are dysfunctional because women take a role in leading them, against the will of God.16


It is hard to gauge the number of people that belong to extreme BHI movements.17 Many extreme BHI host groups for learning that they refer to as schools or camps but the number of members within each is difficult to assess. Social media statistics are useful in assessing the reach of their preaching, but cannot be relied on as evidence of membership numbers. Public displays, such as a recent protest outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, to support Kyrie Irving, was attended by hundreds of individuals who appeared to be connected with IUIC.

One of the most prominent organizations promoting extremist BHI ideology is Israel United in Christ (IUIC), founded by Bishop Nathanyel in Coney Island, New York, in 2003. His goal is to resurrect the “Children of Israel”, and “rebuild the nation of Israel according to bible prophecy.”18 IUIC preaches that Black, Hispanic and Native Americans are the true descents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They refer to themselves as the true Israelites and the 12 Tribes of Israel. They claim that today’s Jewish people are Edomites, the enemies of the true Israelites, and descendants of Esau who was cursed by God. The IUIC argues that these Edomites financed the slave trade from Africa, and were responsible for the genocide of Hispanics and Native Americans. Several YouTube videos reference the anti-Semitic screed, “The Synagogue of Satan”, contending that the New Testament states that Jews are imposters stealing the identity of the true Israelites.

The IUIC has approximately 70 different YouTube channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, representing multiple regions in the US, as well as the UK, Germany, Belize, Liberia and Jamaica. The IUIC dismisses criticism of their movement as part of a wider conspiracy to prevent unity within the black community.19 They also have a channel available for free on Roku, a media device and streaming platform that provides over 63 million monthly active users with access to media content.19

A promotional image for an upcoming IUIC livestream on YouTube titled “The End of the Fake Jews”.21

The Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) is based in Pennsylvania and was established in 2006. They appear to be a registered non-profit in multiple states including New York, California, and Michigan.22 They have several TikTok channels with 10,000s of followers.

The Sicarii Hebrew Israelites are an extreme Black Hebrew Israelite group based in San Diego, California. They are led by Adonis Glaude, also known as the “Guerilla Hebrew”. They have over 50,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel and have raised over $88,000 using GoFundMe since 2015.

Great Millstone is a loosely organized US-based extreme BHI organization that also believes Black, Hispanic and Native Americans are the true Israelites and descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel. Their street preaching videos are extensive, with hundreds of hours of content uploaded to multiple YouTube channels, representing branches in a multitude of places including various US states, the Virgin Islands, and Australia.23





Extreme BHI followers have been responsible for several attacks and murders in the US in recent years, most notably in December 2019. In Jersey City, New Jersey, four people were killed at a kosher supermarket after being targeted by two individuals who were motivated by anti-Semitic beliefs fueled by extreme BHI ideology.24 Later that month, five Jewish people were wounded in a stabbing attack at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey, New York, during a Hanukah celebration. Rottenberg later died of his injuries. The perpetrator was deemed incompetent to stand trial and was hospitalized in a mental health facility but had expressed extreme BHI beliefs in his journals and internet searches leading up to the attack.25


Whenever an individual or group, whatever its size, endorses anti-Semitism, celebrates Adolf Hitler, and the Nazi mass murder of 6 million Jews in a public display of hatred against the Jewish people, they must be taken at their word. When such hatred is expressed in the heart of New York City, home to the 1.6 million Jews, the largest Jewish community in the world (outside of Israel), then everyone should take notice—elected officials, faith leaders, social media influencers, and neighbors.

When American Jewry is targeted, there also needs to be action from law enforcement to ensure the community’s safety. A recent statement from FBI director Christopher Wray shared the alarming statistic that while Jews make up only 2.4% of the US population, anti-Semitism is the motivating factor in 63% of all religious-based hate crimes.26 Additionally, social media platforms must be held accountable for their role in spreading anti-Semitism and hate, particularly the use of YouTube to host thousands of hours of anti-Semitic street preaching archives from extreme BHI groups, and livestreaming on platforms such as Twitter.

Tragically, this brief report presents an overview of a worldview, ideology, and rhetoric of extremist elements in the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. They fan the flames of anti-Jewish hate and like some white extremist movements, literally present Jews as the devil incarnate, spawning targeted violence, mayhem and even murder of Jews.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center will continue to bolster our relationships and alliances with Black Americans, who in 2022, remain the #1 target of race-based hate crimes in the US and will continue to fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry, and racism, whatever the source and whoever the target.



1For more information on the history of Black Hebrew Israelites in the USA: Jacob S. Dorman, “Black Israelites aka Black Jews aka Black Hebrews: Black Israelism, Black Judaism, Judaic Christianity”, Volume 5: African Diaspora Traditions and Other American Innovations, in William M. Ashcraft (Editor), Eugene V. Gallagher (editor), Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America (2006)

2 ”#IUIC | Message to the ADL, SPLC, & the Media”, YouTube, uploaded by IUIC Events, 11/23/2022 [ - accessed 12/8/2022]

3”#IUIC | 15 Minutes with the Captains | Jewish Fables”, YouTube, uploaded by IUIC Captains, 2/15/2021 [ – accessed 12/6/2022]

4“AMALEK CONFOUNDED BY GRLA HEBREW IN PHILLY”, YouTube, uploaded by Sicarii, 6/11/2022 [ – accessed 12/6/2022]

5To read the verses in isolation, visit: and [accessed 12/6/2022]

6Dr Harold Brackman, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Louis Farrakhan – Four Decades of Bigotry in His Own Words (June 2020) [ report-farrakhan.pdf - accessed 12/6/2022]

7Israel United in Christ (@IUICOfficial), “Satan on Mt. Sinai NWO”, Twitter, 11/19/2022, [ S0JA764A - accessed 12/6/2022]

8Michael Rapaport (MichaelRapaport), “This was in Brooklyn outside Barclays yesterday. These dudes have been doing this since I can remember but now they have some famous spokespeople #kyrie #Kanye”, Twitter [ - accessed 12/6/2022]. The Sicarii Vice City (Miami, Fl.) branch of Sicarii Hebrew Israelites tweeted a link to their livestream of the demonstration on YouTube before subsequently making the video private.
Sicarii Vice City (@SicariiViceCity), “SICARII LIVE FROM THE BARCLAYS CENTER IN BROOKLYN NY! - FLUX FRIDAY via @YouTube APTTMH TAP IN!! #LIKE #SHARE #SUBSCRIBE #SUPERCHAT #LIVE #ISRAELITES #BLACKJEWS #YE24 #KYRIEIRVING @GRLAHebrew”, Twitter, 12/3/2022, [ status/1599234769044504576?s=20&t=6wbwQRWBw2pQBvWG95BPIA - accessed 12/6/2022]

9“Natazab – Death Con 4”, YouTube, uploaded by Natazab, 11/14/2022 [ – accessed 12/6/2022]
10“Esau is about to bring a new law January 2023, to protect the small hat in Australia”, YouTube, uploaded by GMSDOWNUNDERAUSTRALIA, 11/15/2022 [

com/watch?v=Eve6wQrR7jQ – accessed 12/6/2022]

11“Is The White Man The Devil? Captian Mawaqad Of I.S.U.P.K | 290 Moe Podcast”, YouTube, uploaded by Salo Hommie Moe Presents, 8/7/2022 [ watch?v=ExqsWCCPrtw – accessed 12/6/2022]

12“Both Old and Young....The Sin of Sodom #ISUPK”, YouTube, uploaded by ISUPK Killeen, 6/22/2022 [ – accessed 12/6/2022] 13“THE CRAFTY GENOCIDE OF A NATION-#LGBTQ #ISUPK #STATEN ISLAND”, YouTube, uploaded by ISUPK Staten Island, 10/13/2022 [

watch?v=6xaWKw7YK_U – accessed 12/6/2022]

14“#IUIC | The Writings On The Wall Radio Show | The Sodom Agenda | Exposing Pride Month”, YouTube, uploaded by IUIC TALLAHASSEE IN THE CLASSROOM, 6/27/2021 [ – accessed 12/6/2022]

15“ISUPK Turns LGBTQ Member Straight #ISUPK”, YouTube, uploaded by ISAPK Killeen, 8/21/2022 [ – accessed 12/6/2022]
16“The Israelites: The Black Woman Must Be Taught”, YouTube, uploaded by IUIC Queens Camp, 10/3/2013 [ – accessed 12/6/2022]

17Andrew Esenstein, “How many Hebrew Israelites are there, and how worried should Jews be?”, The Jewish News of Northern California, 11/28/2022 [https://jweekly. com/2022/11/28/how-many-hebrew-israelites-are-there-and-how-worried-should-jews-be/ - accessed 12/6/2022]

A 2019 poll conducted by LifeWay Research, a branch of a Christian media publishing company, sampled approximately 1,000 African Americans, 4% of whom said they identified as Black Hebrew Israelite (this is not reflection of how many adhere to extremist ideology within this movement), available at: content/uploads/2019/11/The-Philos-Project-African-American-Attitudes-Toward-Israel-Report.pdf


19“Let’s Talk: Israel United in Christ”, YouTube, uploaded by Rave TV Channel, 2/16/2020 [ – accessed 12/6/2022]

20IUIC TV available on Roku:

21“IUIC | Q&A | The End Of The Fake Jews | A Study Of Balaam”, YouTube, uploaded by IUIC TALLAHASSEE IN THE CLASSROOM, premiers 12/12/2022 [ watch?v=MXX5PkeRH7g – accessed 12/6/2022]

22ISRAELITE SCHOOL OF UNIVERSAL PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE (I.S.U.P.K.) – registration information available at: [accessed 12/6/2022]

23GMS Houston Texas, YouTube, [accessed 12/6/2022] GMS Virgin Islands Strait Gate, YouTube, com/@gmsvirginislandsstraitgate1733/videos [accessed 12/6/2022]
YouTube, [accessed 12/6/2022]

24Derick Waller, Jersey City shooting was planned for months, based on hate, investigators say”, Eyewitness News ABC 7 NY, 1/13/2020 [ supermarket-attack/5844233/ - accessed 12/6/2022]


26Times of Israel Staff, “FBI director says US Jews under threat ‘from all sides’ amid rise in antisemitism”, Times of Israel, 11/19/2022 [ says-us-jews-under-threat-from-all-sides-amid-rise-in-antisemism/ - accessed 12/6/2022]

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Antisemitism, Inglourious Basterds, and Hate Crimes

Honestly, I don’t like Thanksgiving, I know, sacrilege but the holiday has always seemed so hard on my patients and frankly it isn't a blast for me, either, sitting around the table for hours.  Tough on the back. And I eat more and more and more, which I realize is the point, but still.  

This one was wonderful. in fact I don’t remember a better one in decades. FD and I enjoyed it pretty much because we hadn’t seen this branch of the tree in six months, which is a long time not to see your kids and grandkids if you have a relatively functional family. I know that during Covid folks have had it worse. 

In Chicago few people mask anymore, I don't, yet I sported an ugly white N-95 in the airport and on the plane to avoid the triple threat, Covid, flu, and RSD. As predicted the airport was MOBBED Sunday night, crazy full of over-stuffed humans ready-to-get-home. Exhausted, wide-eyed, very well behaved children pointed to puppies in purses. 


Over the weekend my son brought up the movie Inglourious Basterds, which I had never seen but found on Delta’s entertainment interface. Too long to finish, but still worth the time, Christoph Waltz is absolutely chilling as a Jew hunter colonel in France doing his Nazi thing, eliminating Jews from Europe, seeking out those hiding places. I believe that here in America there may be like-minded people, still, like the fictional colonel's, adults who want to do this, rid the world of the people who brought you all of the following and much, much more

Brought to you by Jews--a very, very, very short list:   

the polio vaccine, antibiotics, first Big Bang Theory and quantum physics, gasoline fueled cars (Sigfried Marcus), the cardiac pacemaker, ballpoint pens, fertilizer, color photography, the film industry, condoms (yes, condoms), the first reactors for NASA rockets, remote control pacemakers, the first laser, LED technology, Duracells, videotape, no, most of us don’t use that anymore but we did play the first videogames on the first Jewish conceived/developed game consoles, USB memory (an Israeli company, ScanDisk), microprocessors to prevent our computers from overheating, Facebook, WhatsApp, GettyImages, Nivea cream (that one is important), Heineken’s beer yeast formula, Mattel and Toys “R” Us, Sears, Macy’s, Marks & Spenser, the first Mercedes-Benz cars, Estee Lauder, Revlon, Faberge, Helen Rubinstein, Ralph Lauren, Haagen Dazs, Dunkin’ Donuts, Proust, Kafka, Joseph Roth, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Kubrick, Spielberg, the Coen brothers and hundreds more, Mahler, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Mark Knofler, Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, Amy Winehouse, Billy Joel, hundreds of Nobel prizes, the creation of the Pulitzer Prize, UNICEF, the NBA, the AHL (American Hockey League), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 written by Rene Cassin, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and of course, Marvel. 

Feel free to add contributions in the comments. 

I didn't scratch the surface when we talk about the Yiddin. But enough about stuff we take for granted, i.e, all the good that most everyone gives and wants to give, let's get back to hate and violence. 


Inglourious Basterds  (spelling intentional) is arguably Quentin Tarantino’s most popular film. Apropos of something, perhaps, Mr. Tarantino is not Jewish but did marry in and lives in Israel. His popular 2009 film is a fictional alternative to historically correct events in World War II. Many of the main characters in the film are based upon real people. Not Brad Pitt, who leads an American squadron of scalping (literally) Nazi hunters. His band of basterds terrify Hitler, the Germans. 

A lovely scene, that..

Brad Pitt as a Nazi hunter


It is a violent film which means I covered my eyes during violent scenes making it hard to read closed captions. But that behavior, trauma avoidance, is worth 20 of exposure therapy when you're me. (Although I spend a good chunk of my life teaching exposure therapy). But not to have bloody flashbacks, that is the key for me watching film. And really, who doesn’t love a good war movie? I do. 


The story behind Tarantino's alternative script, the true one, is that there did exist vigilante Jewish volunteers during the war, men who sought out Nazis to torture and kill them. A secret British intelligence unit, X-Troop (like X-Men, hmm, which came first?) organized D-Day. Volunteers for X-Troop had already experienced the horrors of antisemitism in Europe and they didn't intend to let the Nazis win the war.  X-Troop soldiers did not glorify themselves with nicknames like Bear Jew in the movie, Bear Jew is memorable for mercilessly beating a Nazi to death with a bat (I only saw the first blow and still I think about it. In the war, not the alternative, fighters with no claim to fame at all did request to be dropped over enemy lines from airplanes to carry out their missions of vengeance. 

Tarantino had plenty of history to draw upon. The movie took 10 years to make.  (Read Quinn Hough at ScreenRant for more).


Which brings me to why I am writing about this now, other than I saw the film on an 8" x 6" screen on an airplane, a perk of Delta. Yay Delta for finding good films.  

The date November 9-10, 1938 marks a stepping up of the regime of terror against the Jews, Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. In those terrifying, horrifying 24-hours the Nazis smashed storefronts of Jewish owners, violently stormed Jewish homes, and ransacked synagogues. We call this a POGROM in my parts.

The day to commemorate that, a German pogrom, a day set aside to never forget it, always precedes Thanksgiving. 

Kristallnacht pogrom, the Aron Kodesh

Kristallnacht pogrom a terrorist attack

The world watched, certainly heard, about how what the Nazis did, how they planned extermination of an entire people. The world said nothing. We didn’t have Twitter. 



From the Anti-defamation League: 

In 2021, ADL counted a total of 2,717 antisemitic incidents across the U.S. This represents a 34 percent increase from the 2,026 incidents recorded in 2020 and is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. 


Not in every neighborhood, not in every city, not yet, but antisemitism is revving up in many a Jewish local. We want to think that it is the squeaky wheel that gets the press and that this is a very tiny group of Ungrateful Idiots, but it isn’t so small, and negative attitudes freely expressed on campuses across the nation about Israel on campus have added to anti-Jewish sentiment in America. (I am not good at debate so when anyone tells me that Israel should be more open to Palestinians freely living/visiting Israel proper, I tell them that in Gaza, where they chose to live, which they destroyed to create a military zone instead of the thriving agricultural economy it was when they 'occupied' it as their own (I was there. Gaza was gorgeous and rich, lush with vegetation, thriving), children are taught that the only good Jew is a dead Jew. This sounds so familiar. Never forget. Children are taught this message in school, earlier even. It is in the mothers milk, we say. Do we grant visas to seekers who say that the only good American is a dead American? I don't know, actually, but think not.


This blog is not about politics but it is about the seeds of fear and appropriate caution versus panic. When we hear stories like I'm about to tell you, true stories, Jews grieve immediately and some of us panic. We have children in Israel. We have children in the army. But this is life in Israel. In the back of the mind there is anticipatory anxiety, rational, the mind waiting for the next explosion, 

(1) November 23, 2022, terrorists exploded bombs (nails in a backpack I think I read). Two buses at two different bus stops in Jerusalem killed at least one teen, Aryeh Schupak, 16 years old, of Canadian-Israeli citizenship, leaving 22 injured. 

Aryeh Schupak

Soldiers in Jerusalem following a terrorist attack


(2) Yesterday: A female IDF soldier in her 20s was struck by a car at the Migron-Kochav Yaakov intersection in the West Bank in a terror attack on Tuesday morning.  The alleged attacker: identified as 45-year-old Rani Mamoun Faiz Abu Ali from Beitounia. Married and the father of five children, he had an Israeli work permit and was employed at the Rami Levy supermarket at the Sha’ar Binyamin industrial zone.


So we have that to put a damper on our happiness, the relentless hatred of cousins. 

But back to antisemitism in America, the home of freedom and free speech, and a good deal of hate, too. Psychologically people who are down, depressed, desperate and hopeless find that hate feels okay, The negative thinking summons the negativity emotion to leave the brain, come out of the mouth. Look, look what I am doing. Thoughts in my brain, a bit on the negative side, coming out of my mouth via my keyboard. Do I feel better? A little. I want antisemitism to be out of the closet. I want people to know that there are haters and these people have to be stopped, put behind bars when they commit hate crimes. That is the purpose of this post. Writing, like this is not a crime. Swastikas on synagogues are a whole other level.

But back to hate. Hating others, hating the self, is a sign of a negative affective state. We talk in therapy about hate and how it doesn’t change anything, only makes the hater feel worse, ultimately because it is not a positive identity, being a hater. Unfortunately, those who are spewing antisemitism so they can bring themselves up by putting other people down, are not getting psych consults. They are just out there creatively spewing hate just like the Nazis did in the twentieth century.


Camaraderie in depression, camaraderie in failure, violent goal-oriented behavior directed towards a target that has everything they do not.  


Will there be a time—in my lifetime— I can’t help but wonder— when strong, young, Jewish men, men who already have weapons (what do you think, Jews don’t carry?) will see the need to use them here in America? Will we be forming cells like Inglorious Basterds, like those we see in the movies? 


Because Never Again really does mean Never Again



Tuesday, November 22, 2022


The DSM-5-TR

I'm not even sure how long the DSM-5-TR has been out (some of us haven't been paying attention) and honestly for me that's embarrassing. But the copyright is 2022 so if you're just tuning in, like me, you aren't that far behind. My copy is in the mail so I'll be referring to the TR in future posts beginning with a refresh of yesterday's (yesterday?) discussion about defining pedophilia. Over time we will review other disorders, too.

Usually TR means text revised and implies important changes. Why bother otherwise? The last DSM-5 is only 9 years old but academians have been busy, apparently. 

The American Psychiatric Association lists changes to the DSM. A glance tells me that those of us who have to diagnose had best go shopping. Totally rewritten there are, of course, even new codes. The APA boasts the following : 

  • Fully revised text for each disorder with updated sections on associated features, prevalence, development and course, risk and prognostic factors, culture, diagnostic markers, suicide, differential diagnosis, and more.
  • Addition of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) to Section II—a new disorder for diagnosis
  • Over 70 modified criteria sets with helpful clarifications since publication of DSM-5
  • Fully updated Introduction and Use of the Manual to guide usage and provide context for important terminology
  • Considerations of the impact of racism and discrimination on mental disorders integrated into the text
  • New codes to flag and monitor suicidal behavior, available to all clinicians of any discipline and without the requirement of any other diagnosis
  • Fully updated ICD-10-CM codes implemented since 2013, including over 50 coding updates new to DSM-5-TR for substance intoxication and withdrawal and other disorders
  • Updated and redesigned Diagnostic Classification


Monday, November 21, 2022

Pedophilia--The Definition



A few weeks ago I wrote something about this (no, not the Praying Mantis post, something more serious) and took it down within the hour. I wasn’t in a good place, wasn't thinking like an academic, relied upon my memory for definitions and realize that's probably not a great idea. 

So I thought I’d take the topic in small, manageable bites, differentiate between sociopathy and pedophilia. Because a person can assault a child sexually and have no sexual interest in children at all, and a person can have intense sexual interest in children and never act upon his or her desires. 

Health professionals rely upon ICD 10 and 11 and the ICD relies upon the DSM-5 for mental health codes, so this discussion will stay within those parameters excepting the World Health Organization

The ICD-10-11 defines pedophilia as a "sustained, focused, and intense pattern of sexual arousal—as manifested by persistent sexual thoughts, fantasies, urges, or behaviours—involving pre-pubertal children.' 

The DSM-5 goes on to require that harm to the self or others is implicit in pedophilia as a disorder, but not as a condition or a state. But before we go over the DSM-5 criterion note that the World Health Organization's definition includes wider social ramifications:

Pedophilia refers to the sexual preference for children and poses a primary motivator for child molestation, which can incur great emotional and financial burdens on victims and on society, as well as on the pedophilic individuals themselves.  

Let's look at a bit of history, why don't we.

For over seventy years pedophilia has been classified as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of by the American Psychiatric Associations. The DSM is upgraded every few decades and pedophilia has traditionally been classified as either a Psychosexual Disorder or a Paraphilic Disorder. The latest version of the DSM, the DSM-5, classifies it as a paraphilic disorder. There are dozens of these, but only 8 are chosen for the DSM primarily ‘because they are relatively common and some also entail actions for their satisfaction that, because of their noxiousness or potential harm to others, are classed as criminal offenses.’

 The 8 DSM-5 paraphilic disorders: 

voyeuristic disorder (spying on others in private activities)

exhibitionistic disorder (exposing the genitals)

frotteuristic disorder (touching or rubbing against a nonconsenting individual) 

sexual masochism disorder (undergoing humiliation, bondage, or suffering)

sexual sadism disorder (inflicting humiliation, bondage, or suffering)

pedophilic disorder (sexual focus on children)


fetishistic disorder (using nonliving objects or having a highly specific focus on nongenital parts of the body, and 

transvestic disorder (engaging in sexually arousing cross-dressing).  

Pedophilic disorder is considered an anomalous target preference disorder. Anomalous means that it deviates from the norm, from what is expected.

The label paraphilia denotes any intense or persistent  sexual interest other than sexual interest in genital stimulation or preparatory fondling with phenotypically normal, physically mature, consenting human partners. The DSM takes into accountability that the interest may be less intense or persistent as among the very ill or elderly. 

Note: children cannot legally consent to sexual relationships

For a paraphilia to be a disorder it must cause intense distress to the one who has it or personal harm or risk of harm to the target. Having a paraphilia, according to the manual, does not justify or require treatment. 

The DSM-5* criterion for Pedophilic Disorder F65.4 (302.2)   

A.     A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger)

B.     B. The individual has acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty

C.     C. The individual is at least 16 years old and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A.

Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12 or 13 year old. 

Specify whether:

Exclusive type (attracted only to children)

Nonexclusive type

Specify if: 

Sexually attracted to males

Sexually attracted to females

Sexually attracted to both


Pedophilic sexual orientation is not the same thing, according the DSM—5. Here: the individual is not distressed or suffering any guilt, shame or anxiety about a sexual attraction to children, reports never having acted upon these impulses, and is not otherwise functionally limited by the paraphilic impulses and has not acted upon them.

 A person with pedophilia has an attraction to children that begins at puberty and doesn’t abate over time. What might change over time are feelings of distress, i.e. guilt and shame, feelings of isolation, or the propensity to act upon the desire. 

 The prevalence is not known, but is estimated to be approximately between 3-5% of the male population, unknown for females at the time the DSM-5 published in 2013. There is new data on women and I am waiting for the research to be delivered to my mailbox, hopefully soon. It suggests there is no difference between males and females.

 One is more likely to act on sexual impulses if diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder so the personality disorder is a risk factor. This explains my vitriol in the post that I took down, my screaming that a school pedophile who likely harmed a dozen or so children should be reported to police because this is NOT A NICE GUY, rather is a sociopath and should be in jail. 

So I wasn’t so off the mark on that one. 

But to be clear. One not have a diagnosable antisocial personality disorder to be a pedophile who acts upon his impulses. Pedophilia itself is the risk factor, a condition, a disorder that can cause emotional, psychological, social and financial harm to children.

One not have a diagnosable antisocial personality disorder to commit sexual crimes with children, nor need one be a pedophile to commit sexual crimes against children. 

 When we refer to the association between antisocial personality disorder and child sexual assault, it is about an adult with the personality disorder using the child for sex on the basis of accessibility. The child is available. A pedophile who works in a school and seduces children is harming them. He may not have antisocial personality disorder but intentionally harming children is sociopathy, a legal parlance. This is why I so strongly suggest that law enforcement be the judge regarding criminality, not school authorities. 

That and all school personnel are mandated reporters in most states. They must report to state departments of protective services. In Illinois, for example, mandated reporters must call the Department of Child and Family Services Child Abuse Hotline.

24-hours 800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873)    Mandated means that if you have a suspicion of child abuse of any kind, you are required by law to call that number.  Mandated reporters include:
  • physicians
  • physician assistants
  • psychiatrists, surgeons
  • residents
  • interns
  • dentists
  • dental hygienists
  • medical examiners
  • pathologists
  • osteopaths
  • coroners
  • Christian Science practitioners
  • chiropractors
  • podiatrists
  • registered and licensed practical nurses
  • emergency medical technicians
  • hospital administrators and other personnel involved in the examination care or treatment of patients
  • teachers
  • school personnel
  • educational advocates assigned to a child pursuant to the School Code
  • directors and staff assistants of day care centers and nursery schools
  • child care workers
  • truant officers
  • probation officers
  • law enforcement officers
  • animal control officers
  • field personnel of the Departments of Children and Family Services, Public Health, Public Aid, Human Services (acting as successor to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Rehabilitation Services, or Public Aid), Corrections and Human Rights

Bottom line: Not everyone who assaults children sexually is a pedophile, and not every individual diagnosed with pedophilia is dangerous to children. 

And anyone who suspects a child is being abused or sexually assaulted, molested, should report it. You don't need a mandate. 


*Note: The DSM-5 TR (text revised) is out and mine is due to arrive in early December. This post will have a refresh after that. 


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