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Identity vs.

Role Confusion:
Understanding the Jews Slavery and Liberation from a Psychological
Perspective
In memory of Itai Zilberschmid "
Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development
psychology.about.com/library/bl_psychosocial_summary.htm
Stage

Basic
Conflict

Important
Events

Outcome

Infancy (birth
to 18 months)

Trust vs.
Mistrust

Feeding

Children develop a sense of trust when caregivers


provide reliabilty, care, and affection. A lack of this
will lead to mistrust.

Early
Childhood (2
to 3 years)

Autonomy vs.
Shame and
Doubt

Toilet
Training

Children need to develop a sense of personal


control over physical skills and a sense of
independence. Success leads to feelings of
autonomy, failure results in feelings of shame and
doubt.

Exploration

Children need to begin asserting control and power


over the environment. Success in this stage leads
to a sense of purpose. Children who try to exert too
much power experience disapproval, resulting in a
sense of guilt.

School

Children need to cope with new social and


academic demands. Success leads to a sense of
competence, while failure results in feelings of
inferiority.

Social
Relationships

Teens needs to develop a sense of self and personal


identity. Success leads to an ability to stay true to
yourself, while failure leads to role confusion and a
weak sense of self.

Relationships

Young adults need to form intimate, loving


relationships with other people. Success leads to
strong relationships, while failure results in
loneliness and isolation.

Preschool (3 to Initiative vs.


5 years)
Guilt

School Age (6
to 11 years)

Industry vs.
Inferiority

Identity vs.
Adolescence
Role
(12 to 18 years)
Confusion
Young
Adulthood (19
to 40 years)

Intimacy vs.
Isolation

Middle
Adulthood (40
to 65 years)

Generativity
vs. Stagnation

Work and
Parenthood

Adults need to create or nurture things that will


outlast them, often by having children or creating a
positive change that benefits other people. Success
leads to feelings of usefulness and
accomplishment, while failure results in shallow
involvement in the world.

Maturity(65 to
death)

Ego Integrity
vs. Despair

Reflection on
Life

Older adults need to look back on life and feel a


sense of fulfillment. Success at this stage leads to
feelings of wisdom, while failure results in regret,
bitterness, and despair.

Erik H. Erikson Vital Involvement in Old Age


The first two, in infancy are a sense of trust and a sense of mistrust; their
balance we claim helps create the basis for the most essential overall outlook on
life, namely, hope, which must be awakened by our primal, our maternal
caretaker(s).

There follows adolescence with its basic tensions between the development of
a sense of psychosocial identity and its interplay with an unavoidable identity
confusion. As this tension gets resolved, a sense of fidelity emerges both towards
ones own accruing identity and towards some overall orientation that helps unify
ones identity with an existing or emerging ideological world image. This can be
formulated thus: fidelity is the ability to sustain loyalties freely pledged in spite of
the inevitable contradiction of value systems. It is the cornerstone of identity and
receives inspiration from confirming ideologies and affirming companionships.
And now for adulthood. The ideological commitment of adolescence, it is
hoped, will lead to intimate associations and eventually to patterns of close living:
for that reason, we would define the dominant tensionin young adulthood as that
between intimacy and isolation.
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9. Rav Soloveitchik Kol Dodi Dofek
When we probe the nature of our historical existence we arrive at a very important
insight, one that constitutes a fundamental element of our world view. The Torah
relates that God made two covenants with the Israelites. The first covenant He made in
;)Egypt: And I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God (Exodus 6:7
the second covenant, at Mount Sinai: And he took the book of the covenantand said:
Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you in agreement with
all these words (Exodus 24:7-8) What is the nature of these two covenants? It seems
to me that this question is implicitly answered at the beginning of our essay. For just as
Judaism distinguishes between fate and destiny in the personal-individual realm, so it
differentiates between these two ideas in the sphere of our national-historical existence.
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