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Healing and the Jewish Imagination

Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health

Edited by Rabbi William Cutter, PhD

6 x 9, 240 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-373-6

Also Available in Hardcover

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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 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.


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

“Brilliant and enlightening.... Every Jewish and non-Jewish clinician, scholar, and spiritual leader who focuses on health, healing, and the human condition ... will benefit from the sobering, uplifting, and cutting-edge thought offered [here].... Create[s] new opportunities to ponder the intersection of tradition, medicine, and personal experience.”

Central Conference of American Rabbis Journal

“A book that health providers, patients, rabbis, educators, and all mortals—Jews and others—will want to return to again and again as age and illness affect us and those we care for and love.”

Jewish Media Review

“[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


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