In Search of a Spiritual Home

Lawrence A. Hoffman

From Reform Judaism, Fall 1994
Reprinted with permission.

The Mikvah as Spiritual Therapy

by Elyse Goldstein

From CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly, Winter/Spring 1995
Reprinted with permission

In recent years the popularity and appeal of traditional ritual in our movement have grown dramatically. On such ritual, which continues to gain acceptance and is being increasingly encouraged, is the use of the mikvah for Jews by choice, both male and female. While in 1893 the CCAR declared tevila unnecessary for conversion, the new Rabbi's manual states,

Why Temples Look the Way They Do

Daniel Hillel Freelander

From Reform Judaism, Fall 1994
Reprinted with permission.

The Jewish Way of Healing - Jewish Tools

The Torah can be a source of healing for the spirit and psyche. Some rabbis ``prescribe'' sacred verses for use in mediation.

Spiritual Healing: Prayer

In addition to bikur cholim, Jewish tradition teaches that we should pray for ourselves and others during a time of illness. Many modern Jews are resistant to praying in general, and especially skeptical about praying for something specific, such as good health or a cure.

Spiritual Healing: Bikur Cholim

A fundamental feature of Jewish spiritual healing is bikur cholim (visiting the sick), which responds to two of the greatest burdens of contemporary life: isolation and lack of community. At a time of illness, bikur cholim offers us the comfort of human connection and interdependence, a sense of community we so desperately need.

The Jewish Way of Healing - Body and Spirit

Jewish tradition has long recognized that there are two components of health: the body and the spirit. The Mi Sheberach prayer, traditionally recited for someone who is ill, asks God for refuah shleima, a complete healing, and then specifies two aspects: refuat hanefesh, healing of the soul/spirit/whole person, and refuat haguf, cure of the body. To cure the body means to wipe out the tumor, clear up the infection, or regain mobility. To heal the spirit involves creating a pathway to sensing wholeness, depth, mystery, purpose, and peace.