Sunday, April 22, 2018

Alternative Medicine in Halacha: a Review by Rabbi Hoffman

hear rabbi Tendler

see Rabbi Belsky Alternative healing


By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times
Rabbi Rephoel Szmerla’s new Sefer entitled, “Alternative Medicine in Halacha” [Israel Bookshop 198 pages English 398 pages Hebrew 596 total] is divided into two sections – the main part of the Sefer and the in-depth biurim in Hebrew in the back of the work. In the biurim, it is truly groundbreaking in terms of its exhaustive treatment of the aveiros of the occult: specifically, kishuf, doresh el hameisim, nichush and kosaim. It also deals with following the ways of the gentiles (Darchei Amori) and of the Mitzvah of Tamim Tehiyeh. In discussing these aveiros, the author takes us through every opinion of the rishonim.

As stated throughout this review – the halachic views of the Rabbi Szmerla constitute amazing depth and profundity in the Hebrew biurim section. The medical views espoused in the main body of the book are, in this reviewer’s opinion and in the opinion of a number of mathematically trained doctors and scientists, quite dangerous. Traditionally, our abilities in calculating the ibbur and other such areas of Torah thought have been described by the rishonim as “ki hi chachmaschem uvinaschem b’ainai ha’amim.” The rejection of statistics in how medicine is applied is a dangerous trend.
The author can be reached at


  1. How is this book in comparison with RR Belsky same book?? R Belsky also knew the metzius of these things very well

  2. See also this new sefer:

    AK was founded by chiropractor George Goodheart, Jr. whose father George Goodheart was also a chiropractor. Now chiropractic in its early years was idolatry. The original chiropractors believed that the non-adjusted vertebrae prevented their pantheistic god (dubbed the "universal intelligence" & "innate intelligence") from keeping the body healthy.
    Goodheart Jr. himself betrayed his own believe in his father's pantheism when he wrote:

    "Man possesses a potential for recovery through the innate intelligence..."
    " allows the force which created the structure to operate unimpeded."

  3. I have a question, if anyone might be able to help: In some circumstances, it is permitted to have a security guard employed on Shabbat. Is it permitted to ask or tell him to carry something for you, even if there is an eruv in place? [ that is not a security related matter, but just enjoying the benefits of having an eved]. Thank you


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