Working with Worry

דאגה בלב איש – לב השבוע בעת צרה
Rav Yishai Singer​​
Written by:
Yishai Singer
Access editable doc with student handouts:
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This limmud encourages participants to consider different ways to deal with דאגות, worries, and explores the relationship between them and תפילה, prayer.

ברכה ראשונה

  1. מספרים: Ask participants to share on a scale of 1-10 how present they are (1=I’m here but my mind is some place else, 10=I’m completely present and ready to learn/discuss). Alternatively, you can ask students to share one word that describes the emotion they are currently feeling.

    Together with their number or emotion, ask participants to share a one sentence story describing what’s on their mind today.

  2. Ask participants: Who is someone I am worried/thinking  about and who is someone worried/thinking about me?

לימוד ועבודה פנימית

If there is worry in a man’s heart, let him quash it [yashḥena]” (Proverbs 12:25). 

Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi dispute the verse’s meaning. One said: He should forcefully push it [yasḥena] out of his mind. One who worries should banish his concerns from his thoughts. And one said: It means he should tell [yesiḥena] others his concerns.

גמרא יומא דף עה עמוד א

"דאגה בלב איש ישחנה.." (משלי יב כה)

רבי אמי ורבי אסי חד אמר ישחנה מדעתו וחד אמר ישיחנה לאחרים

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. Read the pasuk twice and describe the way in which דאגה, worry, enters the heart.
  2. What is the logic behind Rav Ami’s position? What is the logic behind Rav Asi? 
  3. What approach do you typically take when you’re feeling worried or anxious? Give an example. 
  4. Who do you want to daven for? 
  5. Who would you want to daven for you? What would you want them to say?

ברכה אחרונה

Ask everyone to complete the sentence: When worry or anxiety leave the body, it’s like… 

Download with student handouts:
Please help others by sharing how you used the resource, how you adapted it (link to your own version!) and what worked more or less well. You can also post questions that Lifnai Vlifnim staff or community members will try to respond to.

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