Midrash and Medicine: Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition

Rabbi William Cutter, Author, Dr William Cutter, Editor
Edited by William Cutter, Jewish Lights, $29.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-58023-428-3
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-58023-591-4
Paperback - 978-1-4596-6951-2
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The Jewish healing movement is an effort to promote the use of Jewish beliefs and traditions among doctors and health care workers. The rabbis and other community workers who founded this movement believed that patients and people facing life crises are better served by practitioners knowledgeable about Jewish literature, liturgy, and midrash—commentary, interpretations, and stories about biblical texts. The Kalman Institute on Judaism and Health, founded by editor Cutter, a rabbi and professor emeritus at Hebrew Union College, fosters the movement through conferences and workshops, including the 2009 "Midrash & Medicine" that is the basis for this book. Twenty papers of uneven quality attempt to foster linkages between science and faith. Illustrations of midrash are offered to promote the Jewish healing movement, although, in some instances, the connections are difficult to discern. The most poignant presentation describes how a man with a four-year-old daughter confronts the death of his 32-year-old wife. The heightened current interest in spirituality is furthered by the relationship between tradition and medical care set forth here. (Feb.)
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