Friday, May 05, 2017


Hashem Heals, Doctors Heal, Doctors are Bad?

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths


Much, if not most, of halacha regarding health boils down to "do what you need to do to recover your health or solve significant health issue (such as infertility) - even to the point of consuming supposedly therapeutic non-kosher substances (where only anecdotal evidence of positive affect is necessary) or, in emergency health situations - overriding Shabbos or Yom Tov to deal with the health emergency in a necessary timely fashion."

Now there ALSO is a minority position, backed up both by the Gemora, Kaballah, and some Chassidus (particularly Breslev), that because of the statement 'ki Hashem rofecha' (Hashem is your/our/the only healer) that one should not use doctors or any healing methods, one should only pray and have faith in Hashem.

Additionally, the charedi world, over the last 15 years or so, has philosophically gone to war with modern science.

These three patterns are strongly at play in current ultra-orthodox society and are causing some of the problems you refer to (avoiding vaccination, use of clearly problematic alternative medicines not to solve problems to as types of exercise or stress relief or just for pleasure - such as energy manipulation, yoga, reiki, etc).

Aligning with pattern one, people are taking rumors of negative effects (such as rumors of vaccines causing autism) and turning that into a "don't use" in the halachic pattern of multiple cases of anecdotal evidence allowing for use.  Vaccines don't help themselves by NOT educating on the very low but real situation of side effects versus the very high value of immunity across the group.

Further, people are taking alternative medicine that doesn't appear as clear medicine, such as yoga whether the exercises might be allowed for someone with a specific major health issue that it would help, and picking up the whole system and using it for general use / exercise / stress relief - where the general system is clearly a foreign religious-spiritual belief pattern clearly prohibited to Jews.

Aligning with pattern two, we see rulings even by gadolim saying "just have faith".  And because emunah (faith) is a strong part of Judaism, we indeed should pray to G-d for healing, and when (G-d willing) we receive a healing through a doctor, remember that G-d gave doctors permission and the wisdom to heal. 

But when we combine these, we have a real problem.  Rulings saying avoid vaccination, which will lead to significant harm across the klal (across the community).  The inability, or rather the specific choice, to avoid actual evaluation of modern medical choices.

It leads to very strange results where people will avoid vaccination but use the most up to date modern medicine for fertility treatments.  And where people will argue that yoga and energy healing are kosher, but sonograms are not.

Buyer beware.  It seems to me that whatever weird opinion one wants to find, whether allowing very clearly problematic methods, or whether prohibiting very clearly highly valuable modern medicine and/or practices. 

Shabbat Shalom, may all those in need of a refuah (a healing) receive a complete and speedy recovery from Hashem rofecha.


  1. You obviously have not done your research on the vaccination agenda and what big pharma has turned it into. But since you are vaccinated, what are you worried about with others who choose not to inject these substances into their own body? You are protected by your science, so mind your own business. Studies do not back up your stance.

  2. Hi Reb Akiva,

    Thanks for this article, you're making a lot of important and valid points, and I think it's very useful to discuss these issues in a reasoned, respectful and halachic way.

    I'd like to urge all commentators to please post FACTS not just statements. If there are scientific studies / poskim saying particular things, please link to them, so that other people can also have more of the information available to help them make up their own minds as to where the truth really lies.



  3. Hi,

    Please check my relevant comment on the next post from Reb Gutman Locks, " Can of Worms". Alternatively may I suggest this post on my blog, ISRAEL TRUTH TIMES, which has recent FACTS and STUDIES as well as links to numerous previous sources of factual information:

    Thank you,

    Daisy J. Stern, MD

  4. Reb Akiva, hope all is well with you and the family. Regarding this post, this is what I wrote on another blog, and it likewise applies here:

    "Theoretically vaccines are a good idea (which is probably what Rebbe Nachman believed back in those days); however, now-a-days there are so many toxins, poisons, and unkosher STUFF in todays vaccines, that they do more harm than good. If those who produce them return to the primary principle and clean up the ingredients, then it may be worthwhile to allow tender, innocent, growing children to be vaccinated. Because there are nasty diseases out there, and while immigrants from questionable countries share our living space, it might be an imperative. There should be a “screening process” to determine if babies and children MIGHT be ALLERGIC or otherwise DAMAGED by the vaccine concoction. The same that is done for antibiotics and foods. A little sechel is needed here.

    There is scientific evidence that vaccines contain poisons - period!!


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