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Are you facing the kind of illness that makes you think about your life? Are you a caregiver for a loved one? Are you a medical professional who wants to do more than aid a person's body? Are you struggling with what the word "God" might mean when your life has been changed by illness? Through the lenses of personal stories and Jewish tradition, this guide can help you cope with the difficulties of disease, whether you are facing illness yourself, serving as a caregiver or simply questioning where God is when we get sick. The sages of Judaism advocated having realistic expectations about illness while also seeking out the spirituality of relationships. Judaism has traditionally understood healing to not only be a physical process but also a spiritual journey. While it is easy to be overwhelmed by the physical nature of illness, also neglecting the human spirit allows our sense of self to become threatened. To address these realities, Jewish tradition asks us to bring both those who are ill as well as their caregivers into the embrace of community and to see God within both the healer and those needing to be healed.
Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler is a noted spiritual leader and educator, recognized for his ability to connect the importance of Jewish tradition with everyday life. He is coauthor of The JGuy's Guide: The GPS for Jewish Teen Guys and author of A Man's Responsibility: A Jewish Guide to Being a Son, a Partner in Marriage, a Father and a Community Leader; Witnesses to the One: The Spiritual History of the Sh'ma and Facing Illness, Finding God: How Judaism Can Help You and Caregivers Cope When Body or Spirit Fails (all Jewish Lights). He is the rabbi at Temple Sinai in Sharon, Massachusetts, and an instructor at the Kehillah Schechter Academy.
Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler is available to speak on the following topics:
The Spiritual History of the Sh'ma What "God Is One" Might Mean
Not Your Father's Brotherhood: What Being a Jewish Man Meant Then and Now
How Judaism Can Help You Cope with Illness
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