Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health

Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health

by William Cutter
     
 

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Where Judaism and health intersect, healing may begin.

Essential reading for people interested in the Jewish healing, spirituality and spiritual direction movements, this groundbreaking volume explores the Jewish tradition for comfort in times of illness and Judaism's perspectives on the inevitable suffering with which we live.

Pushing the boundaries of

Overview

Where Judaism and health intersect, healing may begin.

Essential reading for people interested in the Jewish healing, spirituality and spiritual direction movements, this groundbreaking volume explores the Jewish tradition for comfort in times of illness and Judaism's perspectives on the inevitable suffering with which we live.

Pushing the boundaries of Jewish knowledge, scholars, teachers, artists and activists examine the aspects of our mortality and the important distinctions between curing and healing. Topics discussed include:

  • The Importance of the Individual
  • Health and Healing among the Mystics
  • Hope and the Hebrew Bible
  • From Disability to Enablement
  • Overcoming Stigma
  • Jewish Bioethics

Drawing from literature, personal experience and the foundational texts of Judaism, these celebrated thinkers show us that healing is an idea that can both soften us so that we are open to inspiration as well as toughen us—like good scar tissue—in order to live with the consequences of being human.

Contributors:

Rachel Adler, PhD • Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD • Arnold Eisen, PhD • Tamara Eskenazi, PhD • Eitan P. Fishbane, PhD • Rabbi Arthur Green, PhD • Tamara M. Green, PhD • Rabbi Peter Knobel, PhD • Adriane Leveen, MSW, PhD • Louis E. Newman, PhD • Rabbi David B. Ruderman, PhD • David I. Schulman, JD • Howard Silverman, MD, MS • Albert J. Winn, MA

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[This] stellar community of seekers and teachers explores both text and context, giving voice to a range of healing insights and approaches, deeply Jewish and yet wonderfully diverse."
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW, rabbinic director, National Center for Jewish Healing, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services; editor, Healing of Soul, Healing of Body: Spiritual Leaders Unfold the Strength & Solace in Psalms

“What a gift! The depth and originality of these articles invite—indeed, challenge—readers to reframe their spiritual perspective and questions. To read this book is to expand one’s own religious imagination.”
Linda Thal, EdD, codirector, Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction

“A cohesive work that functions both as academic source material for the professional as well as resource material for the interested layperson. When we feel as though our internal world is crumbling, this book has the potential to help us find our grounding.”
Debbie Friedman, singer and songwriter

“A remarkable collection by some of the best minds of our generation. Provocative, thoughtful, deeply infused with critical and personal reflections, reveals a maturity of thought and religious insight that is highly readable and often moving for the layperson, professional, scholar, rabbi and all who work with patients and others in need of healing.”
Rabbi Lewis M. Barth, PhD, professor of midrash and related literature and immediate past dean, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion

“Humane, personal and richly intellectual … for those of us who are searching for Jewish wisdom about healing when we are not sure of cure, about hope when we know our lives are all too finite.”
Rabbi Rachel Cowan, executive director, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

Publishers Weekly

If you are looking for a compassionate how-to for healing, this academic exploration of Jewish texts isn't it. In a ponderous introduction that distinguishes between healing and curing, Cutter, director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, says outright that "these pages are intended to be more scholarly than restorative." Essays treat the intersections of literature, philosophy, mysticism, Bible, history, biography, science and contemporary society, and are primarily penned by scholars, teachers, artists and activists who are not involved in hands-on clinical or spiritual aspects of the work. Tamara Green's essay on her personal search for answers to the questions her own illness provoked: "Could I be spiritually healed even if I never got better physically; and if I was not to be cured, what did Adonai [God] expect of me?" Her interpretation of the shattered tablets in the Ark of the Covenant and each individual's responsibility to bring about the repair of the world are beautiful nuggets buried amid pages of academic discourse. But those willing to plow through will find that, as Green concludes, "spiritual healing may be possible, even if we cannot be made whole again." (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580233736
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi William Cutter, PhD, is author of Midrash and Medicine: Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition, and is editor of Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual Perspectives on Judaism and Health. He has published widely on health and healing. He is former director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and professor of modern Hebrew literature and the Steinberg Professor of Human Relations at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.

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