Illness and Health in the Jewish Tradition, by David L. Freeman

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The premise of the Jewish attitude toward illness is that living is sacred, that good health enables us to live a fully religious life, and that disease is an evil. Any effective therapy is permitted, even if it conflicts with Jewish law. To bring about healing is a responsibility not only of the person who is ill and of the professional caregivers, but also of the loved ones, and of the larger circle of family, friends, and community. Illness and Health in the Jewish Tradition is an anthology of traditional and modern Jewish writings that highlights these basic principles. Editors David Freeman, a practicing physician, and Rabbi Judith Abrams reexamine and reapply these tenets to modern life, with a varied selection of memoirs, stories, essays, prayers, poetry on illness and healing from the Bible to modern day. Topics cover the role and duties of the physician, reflections on suffering, prayers for healing, the pastoral role of the rabbi, and the ethics of caregiving. Contributors include scholars, rabbis, poets and writers of fiction, medical professionals, storytellers, liturgists and illness survivors. Hardcover, 291 pages, isbn 9780827606739

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