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    Doctor or rabbi? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. If a person is sick, whom do they need – a doctor or a rabbi?

    A. They need both. Judaism says you are a pious idiot if you leave everything to God and refrain from going to the doctor. But it doesn’t leave it there. It also urges a sick (or for that matter a healthy person) to get spiritual assistance, which can help towards hope, equilibrium, certainty, security and atonement.

    Carl Jung says in his “Modern Man in Search of a Soul” (1936, page 264), “Among all my patients in the second half of life – that is to say, over 35 – there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them felt ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given to their followers. And none of them has been really healed who did not regain his religious outlook”.

    Yes, these words were written more than eighty years ago, but I cannot imagine that they could be bettered.

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