Dr. Gary P. Zola
is the
Executive Director of The
Jacob Rader Marcus
Center of the American
Jewish Archives and
Associate Professor of
the American Jewish
Experience at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, where he
was ordained in 1982 and received his Ph.D.
in 1991. He is the author of
Isaac Harby of
Charleston: Jewish Reformer and Intellectual
editor of
The American Jewish Archives Journal
and has served as editor and contributor to
numerous books in the area of American Jewish
history, including
Three Hundred Fifty Years:
An Album of American Jewish Memory
Dynamics of American Jewish History: Jacob
Rader Marcus’s Essays on American Jewry
Women Rabbis: Exploration and Celebration
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of
Religion – A Centennial History, 1875-1975
Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and
Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health
the Jewish tradition of providing comfort in times of illness
and explains Judaism’s perspectives on the inevitable
suffering with which we live. Drawing from literature,
personal experience, and the foundational texts of
Judaism, celebrated thinkers push the boundaries of
Jewish knowledge through unique, sometimes contro-
versial perspectives. Using a modern interpretation of
Judaism’s ancient texts, these essays discuss the dis-
tinctions between curing and healing, and 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. Topics include the importance of the individual; hope and
the Hebrew Bible; health and healing as part of the mystical tradition; from disability to enable-
ment; Jewish bioethics; and overcoming stigma and knowing its roots. Contributors include
Dr. Rachel Adler, Rabbi Elliott Dorff, Dr. Arnold Eisen, Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Dr. Eitan
Fishbane, Rabbi Arthur Green, Dr. Tamara Green, Dr. Peter Knobel, Dr. Adriane Leveen, Dr. Louis
Newman, Rabbi David Ruderman, David Schulman, Dr. Howard Silverman, and Albert Winn.
Healing and the Jewish
Imagination: Spiritual and
Practical Perspectives on
Judaism and Health
Rabbi William Cutter, Ph.D.,
ed., Jewish Lights
Publishing, 2007
The Deuteronomic
Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Professor of
Bible, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
The perspective of Deuteronomy shapes
many parts of the Hebrew Bible, including
prophetic books such as Jeremiah. At a time
of crisis, the prophet Jeremiah asks “Is there
a healer?” Jeremiah himself answers the
query with a negative: There is no healer.
There is no balm. Therefore, calamities will
follow. Therefore, God weeps. Like many
others in the Tanakh, Jeremiah holds that
there is an inevitable connection between sin
and human suffering. This ideology comes
especially from Deuteronomy and forms the
backbone of large portions of our Bible. This
ideology, commonly labeled, “Retribution,”
comes to a particularly vivid expression in
the blessings and curses at the end of the
Book of Deuteronomy.
These chapters represent Moses’s final words
to the Israelites who are about to enter the
Promised Land. They disclose a theology
that is often hard to swallow. In chapters
and 28 Moses instructs the Israelites to
proclaim the curses that will befall them
should they fail to follow the teachings of
Dr. William (Bill) Cutter,
Director of the Kalsman
Institute on Judaism and
Health, Dr. Paul and Trudy
Steinberg Distinguished
Professor of Human
Relations, and Professor
of Education and Modern Hebrew Literature,
has been on the faculty of HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
since 1965, where he was the Founding Director
of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, and the
first Director of the Louchheim School of Judaic
Studies. In 2000, through the inspired gift of
the family of Lee and Irving Kalsman and
Peachy and Mark Levy, Dr. Cutter developed the
Kalsman Institute for Judaism and Health,
which has sponsored over 30 forums on health
and healing in the Jewish community, helped
develop pastoral training programs in Israel,
and supervises the pastoral education of stu-
dents at HUC-JIR/ Los Angeles. Dr. Cutter
received the A.B. from Yale University (1959),
was ordained by the College-Institute (1965),
and received a Ph.D. from UCLA (1971). He
serves on the Spiritual Care Committee of UCLA
Medical Center and is the editor and author of
numerous books and articles on literature,
interpretation, and health and healing
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