Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jewish Spiritual Healing

As a follow-up to yesterday's blog about psychic healing, here is an article from the website Jewish Healing which has a great deal of information for all who want to learn more.

The main difference between Jewish healing and and the rest of medicine

by: Ya'akov Gerlitz, Dipl.Ac and C.H

The main distinguishing feature of Jewish healing is that it is an "open" medical system. An open medical system is one where the body is viewed from the perspective that it continually receives vitality and life from outside of itself. All medical systems reject this notion. That is, all except one, Jewish Healing. According to Judaism, healing is a function of Divine Will. It does not matter whether the healing comes through the medium of an aspirin, homeopathic remedy or the blessing of a Rebbe. The final fact remains that all healing comes from Hashem.

This is good news. According to many vitalistic medical systems, when a person's vitality runs critically low there is no way to revive it. There comes a point where even the best acupuncturist and herbalist has to say that the qi is so deficient that it cannot be tonified. Homeopathy teaches that there comes a point where the disease becomes so complicated and deep seated, with the vital principle and organs so damaged that there is no hope of a cure (Western medicine is not a vitalistic medical system, thus it has not opinion on the matter).

Of course, we know from Jewish law that a doctor is not allowed to give a negative prognostication. A doctor's right to heal is limited to healing, not predicting the future. As it says in the Torah, "that even if a sword is on one's neck he must pray to Hashem to save him." When my mother, zt"l, was sick with cancer and the situation turned from bad to worse, I spoke to a Rabbi to discuss a variety of issues, and he told me that we have to continually pray and hope that Hashem would perform a wonder and that she would recover. This is a Jew's task; to pray to Hashem.

All healing comes from Hashem. In the act of Jewish healing our job is to connect a person to the Divine source of all life. When I perform acupuncture I don't just try to harmonize the body and correct any imbalances, I also try to connect the person to Hashem's Divine Will.

As the Ramchal says, "to the extent that a person is connected to Hashem, there is wellbeing." This does not mean that people who are sick are bad people. That is not the intention of this, but rather that at its core all sickness is a distancing of Divinity within a person. It should be mentioned here that these rules do not apply to a Tzaddik. They are in another category, different spiritually from us mere mortals. In short, Tzaddikim take upon themselves the suffering of the generation and its rectification. This can manifest itself in many ways, one of them being the suffering of physical ills and pains. This subject is long and complicated, but suffice it to say we are discussing the general population.

Many of the techniques we use in Jewish healing are designed to bring in a new influx of Divine "light" into the individual being treated. This is also one of the purposes of Jewish prayer. It is this light that sustains and vivifies creation. When we pray for a person we are beseeching Hashem to send more of His light into the person needing the healing. This light not only heals the person, but also has a positive effect on creation as a whole (see other paper for an elaboration on this).

Being that Hashem is Merciful, Compassionate and Kind (not only is He the epitome of these attributes, He created them), there is nothing Hashem would rather want for a sick person but to heal him and bestow upon him goodness. The issue usually lies with the person himself. Many times it is we who do not accept the blessings that Hashem is sending us. Jewish healing has techniques that help resolve these (usually subconscious) self destructive issues and thus promote health and healing.

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