"Healing and the Jewish Imagination" -- new book edited by Dr. William Cutter -- Jewish Lights Publishing

Monday, June 4, 2007

Health and Healing: What's the Jewish Perspective? 

For the first time, a group of Jewish scholars, teachers, artists and activists have come together to examine the aspects of our mortality. Using a modern interpretation of Judaism's ancient texts, they discuss the distinctions 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. 

"It is certain that our bodies do not last forever, and that they can't even do everything we want during their physical lifetime," writes Rabbi William Cutter in the Introduction to Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health (Jewish Lights / May 2007 / Hardcover / $24.99). "This condition makes life difficult and interesting, and it is a condition that has created much of the search for healing in Jewish tradition." 

Groundbreaking, Healing and the Jewish Imagination explores the Jewish tradition for providing comfort in times of illness and for explaining Judaism's perspectives on the inevitable suffering with which we live. Drawing from literature, personal experience, and the foundational texts of Judaism, twelve celebrated thinkers push the boundaries of Jewish knowledge through unique, sometimes controversial perspectives. Topics include:

  • The Importance of the Individual
  • From Disability to Enablement
  • Hope and the Hebrew Bible
  • Jewish Bioethics
  • Health and Healing as part of mystical tradition
  • Overcoming Stigma and knowing its roots

Rabbi William Cutter, PhD is director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and the Steinberg Professor of Human Relations at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He has published and lectured widely on health and healing. 

Contributors to "Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health"

  • Rachel Adler, PhD
  • Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
  • Arnold Eisen, PhD
  • Tamara Eskenazi, PhD
  • Eitan P. Fishbane, PhD
  • Rabbi Arthur Green, PhD
  • Tamara M. Green, PhD
  • Rabbi Peter Knobel, PhD
  • Adriane Leveen, MSW, PhD
  • Louis E. Newman, PhD
  • Rabbi David B. Ruderman, PhD
  • David I. Schulman, JD
  • Howard Silverman, MD, MS
  • Albert J. Winn, MA

Praise for "Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health" 

"[This] stellar community of seekers and teachers explores both text and context, giving voice to a range of healing insights and approaches, deeply Jewish and yet wonderfully diverse."

-Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW, rabbinic director, National Center for Jewish Healing, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services; editor, Healing of Soul, Healing of Body: Spiritual Leaders Unfold the Strength & Solace in Psalms

"What a gift! The depth and originality of these articles invite-indeed, challenge-readers to reframe their spiritual perspective and questions. To read this book is to expand one's own religious imagination."

-Linda Thal, EdD, Co-director, Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction

"A cohesive work that functions both as academic source material for the professional as well as resource material for the interested layperson. When we feel as though our internal world is crumbling, this book has the potential to help us find our grounding."

-Debbie Friedman, singer and songwriter

"A remarkable collection by some of the best minds of our generation. Provocative, thoughtful, deeply infused with critical and personal reflections, reveals a maturity of thought and religious insight that is highly readable and often moving for the layperson, professional, scholar, rabbi, and all who work with patients and others in need of healing."

-Rabbi Lewis M. Barth, PhD, professor of midrash and related literature and immediate past dean, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health (6" x 9", 240 pp., Hardcover, ISBN-13: 978-1-58023-314-9 / ISBN-10: 1-58023-314-7, $24.99) is available from Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, Cokesbury, Doubleday, Indigo/Chapters, Waldenbooks, B. Dalton, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and many other booksellers, or directly from Jewish Lights Publishing, P.O. Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091; Tel: (802) 457-4000; Fax: (802) 457-4004; www.jewishlights.com. For credit card orders, call (800) 962-4544. Add $3.95 shipping and handling for the first book, $2.00 for each additional book. 


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu