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What's the Jewish position on spiritual healing?

Sunday, 29 July, 2018 - 10:16 pm

Question of the Week:

What's the Jewish position on spiritual healing? I have come across an eastern treatment that looks amazing. It requires me to connect to particular angelic forces and recite incantations in order to activate the healing. As a Jew is there any issue in utilising these healing practices?

Answer:

Spirituality and healing are deeply intertwined. Modern medicine recognises the power of the mind to help heal the body, and the impact of a patient's spiritual state on the healing process. Any attempt to improve our physical health should be coupled with an upgrade in our spiritual health. On many levels, the body and soul are in parallel.

A medical treatment will only be effective if it is compatible with the patient. Factors such as blood type, genetic make-up and family history will determine whether a particular treatment is appropriate for a particular person. A practitioner would be derelict in their duty if they did not first investigate the patient's background before deciding how to treat them.

The same applies to spiritual remedies. Your soul's family history must be taken into account before embarking on any spiritual path. If your soul make up is Jewish, it needs Jewish spirituality to be healthy.

Healing practices can be borrowed from any culture. Stretches and exercises, breathing and relaxation techniques, herbal remedies and natural medicines, if they have been tried and tested and pose no danger, may be helpful, no matter where in the world they come from. These practices don't need to come from a Jewish source in order to heal a Jewish body.

But once a remedy crosses over into the realm of the soul, requiring us to connect with spiritual energies, pray to higher beings, focus on names of angels or channel invisible powers, then we must beware. We have only one G-d who does not work through intermediaries, and we have the Torah as our spiritual health manual. If it doesn't jive with Torah, then it clashes with our family history.

A healthy organism is one connected to its roots. Study Torah and plug in to your soul's source. You need it for your health. Your doctor doesn't have to be Jewish. Your spirituality does.
 
Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

Note: Some remedies contain non-kosher ingredients. Some spiritual energies are idolatrous and some are not. These issues should be discussed with a competent halachic authority on a case by case basis.

Sources:

Igros Kodesh Volume 10 p38 

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