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Midrash & Medicine

Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition

Edited by Rabbi William Cutter, PhD
Preface by Michele F. Prince, LCSW, MAJCS

6 x 9, 352 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-484-9

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Midrash provides a revolutionary guide through the most difficult passages of our life stories.

This groundbreaking volume examines the spiritual shortfalls of our current healing environment and explores how midrash can help you see beyond the physical aspects of healing to tune in to your spiritual source.

Pushing the boundaries of Jewish knowledge, physicians, rabbis, social workers, psychologists and philosophers investigate the role of midrashic thinking in addressing seemingly intractable social and personal issues. Topics discussed include:

  • How metaphors and parables can aid healing
  • How Jewish tradition can inform and enrich health, hospice and nursing-home care
  • New ways of reading Jewish texts in the discussion of medical ethics
  • The role of community in addressing aging, loss and suffering.

“A conversation among the giants of the Jewish healing movement. Jewish professionals and lay leaders alike, along with clinicians and all those who have had encounters with medicine will appreciate the depth and the humanity, the challenges articulated and the synergy engendered by this discourse on the science and art of healing.”

Rabbi Mari Chernow, senior rabbi, Temple Chai (Phoenix)

“A rigorous intellectual and emotional journey. Expands the field considerably, as midrash—Jewish lore—allows emphasis on empathy. An exploration of some of the finest minds (and hearts) into a new chapter of Jewish bioethics.”

Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler, author, Facing Illness, Finding God: How Judaism Can Help You and Caregivers Cope When Body or Spirit Fails

“A synergistic interplay of simultaneously personal and scholarly reflections from an international group of seasoned, intelligent, caring voices. Perusing this rich compilation of fresh source material and nuanced insights is like joining a leading-edge conversation—or at least like sitting within a couple of rows of the lively, collaborative roundtable.”

Rabbi Natan Fenner, BCC, founding editor, Bay Area Jewish Healing Center’s Torah Reflections

“Explores a wide range of thought about how we use language, image and story to make meaning in the midst of illness, aging, healing and caregiving.”

Rabbi Nancy Flam, co-director of programs, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

“Presents inspiring and beautifully crafted essays and stories on subjects that touch all realms of the human condition—the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual. This powerful book provides the opportunity to engage in the extraordinary Jewish tradition of story making, interpreting and reframing to bring meaning and wholeness into our lives.”

Sharona Silverman, MPH, director, Deutsch Family Shalom Center, Temple Chai (Phoenix)

“Show[s], in different and creative ways, how midrash not only can be used to find new meaning in the biblical text—but also as a resource for healing…. Intriguing.”

New York Jewish Week

“Suggest[s] practical ways to use midrash…. Excellent.”

Reporter (Vestal, NY)

Contributors: Rabbi Richard Address, DMin • Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler • Ronald M. Andiman, MD • Rabbi Lewis M. Barth, PhD • Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, PhD • Jonathan Cohen, PhD • Rabbi Norman J. Cohen, PhD • Thomas R. Cole, PhD • Philip Cushman, PhD • Rabbi William Cutter, PhD • Eitan Fishbane, PhD • Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, MSW, MAJCS, BCC • Rabbi Sheldon Marder • Linda Raphael, PhD • Stuart Schoffman, MPhil • Rabbi Leonard A. Sharzer, MD • Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW • Rabbi Eric Weiss • Ruhama Weiss, PhD

Michele F. Prince, LCSW, MAJCS, is the director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. She is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in oncology and is co-founder of the Los Angeles Jewish Bereavement Project.


Related Item(s)
Code Name Image
978-1-58023-373-6 Healing and the Jewish Imagination (PB)
978-1-879045-31-6 Healing of Soul, Healing of Body
978-1-58023-068-1 Jewish Paths toward Healing and Wholeness: A Personal Guide to Dealing With Suffering
978-1-58023-423-8 Facing Illness, Finding God
978-1-58023-348-4 Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide for Fostering Wholeness


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